Guilty, Yet Free

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Guilty, Yet Free!

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This article was written by Chuck Anderson and published in the Discovery World and reproduced on ChristiansAreUs.com with permission from Chuck personally. Discovery World is provided on a free-will offering basis.  If you would like copies for your friends, or would be willing to help distribute Discovery World to doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, military bases, college and high school campuses, restaurants, motels and truck stops, neighborhoods and many other places, please call the Editor, Chuck Anderson, at (303)564-7581 or email him at DiscoveryNews1@aol.com. Mailing services are also available.
Donations for this ministry will enable them to translate Discovery World into foreign languages and make them available all over the world.
©2015 Mark Davis
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Good News For A Bad News World

Discovery_News_Paper_HeaderWritten by: Chuck Anderson of Discovery News

Good News For A Bad News World!

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We live in a "bad news" world...
           but it didn't start out that way!

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This article was written by Chuck Anderson and published in the Discovery World and reproduced on ChristiansAreUs.com with permission from Chuck personally. Discovery World is provided on a free-will offering basis.  If you would like copies for your friends, or would be willing to help distribute Discovery World to doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, military bases, college and high school campuses, restaurants, motels and truck stops, neighborhoods and many other places, please call the Editor, Chuck Anderson, at (303)564-7581 or email him at DiscoveryNews1@aol.com. Mailing services are also available.
Donations for this ministry will enable them to translate Discovery World into foreign languages and make them available all over the world.
©2014 Mark Davis

Lesson 12 – Knowing What We Believe – Lesson

Lesson 12

KJV Bible

KJV Bible (Photo credit: knowhimonline)

KNOWING WHAT WE BELIEVE

It is extremely important that we know what we believe and why.  In this lesson we will consider the vital doctrines of the Word of God.  Doctrine simply means teaching, and we are considering what the Word of God teaches about fundamental and basic truths.  To honor the Lord, we must have convictions about these truths.  Knowing these doctrines will help stabilize your Christian life.  I recommend that you acquaint yourself with these truths.

THE BIBLE

Words

Words (Photo credit: tempestuousseas)

We believe in the Bible as the verbally (every word) and plenary (completely) inspired Word of God.  By its being inspired, we mean that the Bible is literally breathed of God.  It is God’s Word.  All portions of Scripture are equally inspired and contain no contradiction.  They are totally without error as originally given by God.  Therefore, the Scriptures are our only infallible and authoritative rule for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Psalm 119:89).  The canon of Scripture, comprised of the sixty-six books of the Bible, is complete.  Nothing shall be added to it or taken from it (Revelation 22:18, 19).

GOD

We believe in the one Triune God.  He is personal, spirit, and sovereign. He is perfect, infinite, and eternal in His being, holiness, love, wisdom, and power.  The Godhead eternally exists in three Persons:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three are one God, having the same homage, confidence, and obedience.  God is absolutely separate and above the world as its Creator; yet He is everywhere present, upholding all things (Genesis 1:1, 25; John 1:1; 14:16, 17, 26; Matthew 3:16, 17; 1 Timothy 3:16).

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

We believe that Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1-4; John 10:30).  He became the God-man by virgin bir

THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the Holy Spirit is God, and therefore the third Person in the Trinity.  In Acts 5:3, 4 Peter told Ananias that he had lied to the Holy Ghost; and then he said, “Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto Godth (Isaiah 7:14).  He was begotten of the Holy Spirit, not having a human father, and is true God and true man.  He is man’s only hope of salvation, having shed His precious blood on the cross for our sins (1 Peter 1:18, 19; Hebrews 9:26-28).  He died, and buried and literally rose bodily again from the dead on the third day for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  He is at the right hand of God today as our Mediator, interceding for us (1 Timothy 2;5, 6).  He will return for us, His church, the body of Christ, and take us unto Himself into Heaven (! Thessalonians 4:13 – 18).  He will set up a millennial reign on earth (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Revelation 20:4-6)..”  In this we see that Peter stated clearly that the Holy Spirit is God.

The Holy Spirit is a Person.  In John 16:13, 14 and in other verses, a personal pronoun is used of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 8:27 states that the Holy Spirit has a mind.  First Corinthians 2:11 reveals that the Holy Spirit has Knowledge.  Romans 15:30 speaks of “the love of the Spirit.” Also, 1 Corinthians 12:11 states that the Holy Spirit gives gifts according to His will.

From these verses we see that the Holy Spirit has these attributes of Personality:

Intellect — mind and knowledge Emotion — love Will

You see, the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is not just an influence.  He is a Person at work in the world today.

His ministry is many-fold.  I will mention some of the ministries He has had in the past and does have now.

1.     In the past.  He is the Author of the Word of God.

2 Peter 1:21 — “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

2.     In the past.  He took part in creation.

Genesis 1:2 — ” . . . And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

3.     Today the Holy Spirit indwells the body of the believer.

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?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 — “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

4.     Today the Holy Spirit performs the following ministries:

a.     Conviction in the hearts of the unsaved to bring them to Christ (John 16:8-11 — The word reprove in John 16:8 means convict).

b.     Regeneration of the believer (John 3:5, 6; Titus 3:5).

c.     Baptism of the believer into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).

d.     Sealing of the believer — making each believer eternally secure (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).

e.     Teaching the believer the truths of the Word of God (John 14:26; John 16:13; 1 John 2:27).

f.     Sanctifying by developing holy fruit in the life of the yielded believer (Galatians 5:22, 23).

g.     Empowering the believer for service (Acts 1:8).

h.     Filling the believer to live and serve the Lord with power and blessing (Ephesians 5:18).

To live to the glory of God, every believer should rely on  the power of the Holy Spirit.  We need to know the truth concerning Him and then rely on His power.

MAN

The Bible teaches that all men are sinners, that they are, by nature and by choice, sinful.  Man, who was created by a direct act of God, made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27), fell in sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3).  Because Adam — the father of the human race — fell, all humanity has been born with a sinful nature.  The only One ever born of woman who held no sin is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Sin and death passed upon all men.

Romans 5:12 — “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

Therefore, mankind is universally sinful.

Romans 3:23 — “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Read also Romans 3:9-12, Isaiah 53:6, and Ecclesiastes 7:20.

Because of his sin, man is alienated from the life of God (Ephesians 4:18) and is outside the family of God (Ephesians 2:12).  Unsaved men abide under the wrath of God (John 3:36) and are unable to save themselves.

SALVATION

The Bible teaches that salvation is by God’s grace through the believer’s faith and is without works.

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.”

Titus 3:5 — “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

Salvation is a free gift (Romans 6:23) and cannot be merited or secured by man in any way except by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:19-24).  Salvation was purchased by the blood of Christ.

I Peter 1:18, 19 — “For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Hebrews 9:22 — “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

In Christ, believers have eternal life as a present possession and are justified before God.  Believers are sons in the family of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1).  The saved are eternally secure in Christ (John 6:37; 10:27-30; 1 Peter 1:5).

When a person is saved, he is a new creation.  His salvation affects his whole life and personality (2 Corinthians 5:17).

SATAN

The Bible reveals Satan to be a person, actively at work in the world today.  He is the great adversary of God and His people.  Satan is the leader of all evil angels and spirits.  He is recognized in the Bible as:

a.     Satan — Revelation 12:9

b.     The Devil — Revelation 12:9

c.     The adversary of believers — 1 Peter 5:8

d.     The god of this world — 2 Corinthians 4:4

e.     The prince of the power of the air — Ephesians 2:2

f.     The prince of this world — John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11

As a believer, you will be wise to recognize the reality and power of Satan. Thank God, though he is powerful, he is not all powerful, Satan was defeated and judged at the cross; therefore, his eternal doom is certain and believers can have victory over him.  Satan can come either as a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) or as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).  The saved are able to overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:11), and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 John 4:4).

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

God’s people should live holy lives with good works, not to bring salvation, but because of salvation.  The good works of a Christian should be the normal fruit of a saved life (Ephesians 2:10).

HEAVEN AND HELL

The Bible teaches there is a place called Heaven for the saved and a placed called Hell for the lost.

Matthew 25:46 — “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

Luke 16:22, 23 — “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom:  the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, . . . “

FUTURE EVENTS

The Bible teaches that at the close of the church age, the Lord Jesus will descend from Heaven to call out the believers.

1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 — “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: 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.”

This event is called the Rapture and could take place at any time.  At the rapture, Christ does not set His feet upon the earth, but comes in the clouds to call the Christians home with Him to Heaven.  Following the Rapture there will be the seven-year period of tribulation, the worst conditions ever to exist on earth.  After seven years the Lord Jesus will return with His saints to set up His millennial reign.  These two appearances of the Lord are delineated in Titus 2:13 —

“Looking for that blessed hope [the Rapture], and the glorious appearing [Christ’s coming with His saints] of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

The Lord Jesus will reign as King for 1000 years.

Revelation 20:6b — ” . . . but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

The Bible teaches there will be a resurrection of the saved and a resurrection of the unsaved.  The saved are raised to life and the unsaved to eternal doom (John 5:29; Daniel 12:2).

It is the responsibility of Christians to be watching for the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Titus 2:13 — Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Mark 13:35 — Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning.”

Hebrews 9:28 — “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

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Lesson 12 – Knowing What We Believe – Asssignments

Lesson 12

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ASSIGNMENTS

1.     Memorize 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

2.     Read Romans 1 — 8

For lessons 12 and 13 our assignment will be to read through Romans. Someone has said that Romans is a little Bible presenting a complete message of salvation and the Christian life.     Under section 2 of “NOTES” on a separate sheet, please record truths you find concerning doctrines from your reading of Romans 1 — 8.

3.     Answer the following questions in your own words:

1.     How did God give His Word? (2 Peter 1:20, 21)

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2.     Note the three persons in the Godhead from Matt. 3:16, 17.

a. _____________________________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________________________

What do these verses indicate concerning the working together of each member of the Trinity?

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3.     List at least four truths concerning Jesus Christ, the Word, from John 1:1-14.

a. _____________________________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________________________

d. _____________________________________________________________

4.     What is the lost man’s condition according to Ephesians 2:1-3?

a. _____________________________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________________________

d. _____________________________________________________________

5.     Salvation comes by God’s _______________ and through man’s _______________________ (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

6.     What part do works have in our salvation? (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

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7.     What two things are mutually exclusive? (Romans 11:6)

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8.     Give the descriptive names of Satan as found in Revelation 12:7-12.

a. _____________________________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________________________

d. _____________________________________________________________

e. _____________________________________________________________

9.     Give some truths about Hell found in Luke 16:19-31.

a. _____________________________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________________________

d. _____________________________________________________________

e. _____________________________________________________________

f.  _____________________________________________________________

10.     When does a believer go to Heaven? (2 Corinthians 5:8)

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11.     What will happen at the Judgment Seat of Christ? (2 Corinthians 5:10)

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12.     What should the truth of the second coming of Christ do for us as believers? (1 John 3:2, 3)

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NOTES

1.     A blessing I received each day as I read in Romans 1 — 8:

Day 1 — Romans 1 __________________________________

Day 2 — Romans 2 __________________________________

Day 3 — Romans 3 __________________________________

Day 4 — Romans 4 __________________________________

Day 5 — Romans 5 — 6 _______________________________

Day 6 — Romans 7 __________________________________

Day 7 — Romans 8 __________________________________

2.     Notes on doctrines which we believe that I found as I read these eight chapters of Romans:

1.     The Bible ______________________________________

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2.     God __________________________________________

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3.     The Lord Jesus Christ ______________________________

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4.     The Holy Spirit __________________________________

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5.     Man __________________________________________

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6.     Salvation _______________________________________

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7.     Satan _________________________________________

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8.     The Christian Life _________________________________

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9.     Heaven and Hell __________________________________

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10.    Future Events ___________________________________

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_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

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©2012 Mark Davis

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Our Holy Scriptures

Core Beliefs: 

Our Holy Scriptures – The Bible

Through the sands of time, God has used men/people to chronicle history (mostly of the Children of Israel), from the beginning of time to near the end of the first century A. D.  In this article, I will attempt to show you how we can know that the Holy Bible is our Word from God that we can hold to be true and infallible so that we can use it and ONLY IT as our road map through life.

The Holy Bible is compiled of 66 books, ranging from Genesis to Revelations, including the Old Testament and the New Testament.  We hold that the WHOLE Bible has been compiled by men by the inspiration of God to become the Holy Bible that we hold today.

The Scripture is Verbally Inspired Directly BY God:

Verbally – Verbal means that every word of Scripture is God-given. The idea is that every single word in the Bible is there because God wanted it there.

Plenary – Plenary means that all parts of the Bible are equally authoritative. This includes such things as the genealogies of the Old Testament. All parts of the Bible are of divine origin. Jesus said:

Luke 16:17; “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.”
Paul wrote: “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

After having that said, I want to emphasize that Scripture contains the exact words, forms of words, and wording that God desired. The fact that a certain word in Scripture is found in the singular rather than the plural is all part of the divine work. Everything in Scripture is there because God wanted it to be.

II Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

It is important to emphasize that the Bible contains the exact wording that God wanted. When the Holy Spirit worked with the various writers of Scripture He moved them in a mysterious way to bring about exactly what God wanted to say.  We have to remember that the inspired words of God are the words that are found in the original manuscripts.

There are many different translations and interpretations today that do NOT convey the words and thoughts that God had in mind when they were originally given.  When choosing a translation that is more “inspired” than the rest, you need to look at the texts and compare them to the original GREEK (New Testament) and HEBREW (Old Testament).  There were no original texts that were written in Aramaic or Latin except for several chapters in Daniel and a brief passage in Ezra, which were written in Aramaic.  These were later translated and, in a lot of cases, adulterated by “not-so-inspired” men that did not believe that God had a reason for putting certain words in certain places.  They changed words, removed words and added words to be able to meet their agenda.  DO NOT be deceived by these translations.  Other supporting scriptures include; I Corinthians 2:13; II Peter 1:19-21; Titus 1:2, 3; Hebrews 6:18).

God’s Word has been preserved down through the ages.

God’s Word is important enough to Him that He would go to any extreme to preserve His Word so that it will say the same thing now as it did 4000 years ago (the originals – not in some translated manuscripts).  We have available to us now, the same truths that the Hebrew children memorized in Torah school and knew by memory by the time they were adults.  In Matthew 5:18 Jesus says, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”.  In Matthew 24:35 Jesus also says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away”.  And in I Peter 1:25 it says, “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you”.

God, Himself, has vowed that absolutely nothing, even the end of the heavens and earth, would change His words and that they would be preserved, or stay the same, from the time they were written down the first time to the end of the heavens and earth.  Other supporting scriptures: Psalm 12:6, 7; Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 19:8; Psalm 119:140; Matthew 24:35; Luke 16:17; Revelation 22:18, 19; Deuteronomy 12:32.

The Bible is Truth without any error whatsoever (John 10:35; Matthew 5:18, 19).

It is the complete and final revelation of the Will of God to humanity (Deuteronomy 12:32, Revelations 22:18, 19).

The Purpose of the “Testaments”

In the Old Testament, we see allusions to the coming of a new testament or covenant to mankind.  That being the case, we can see that God never intended for the Old Testament (the Law) to be the final testament or covenant.

The Old Testament was incomplete in the fact that it never provided a way to forgive our sins and to provide a way for us to be able to spend eternity with God in Heaven:

Hebrews 10:1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

Hebrews 10:2 “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

Hebrews 10:3 “But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

Hebrews 10:4 “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” 

The Old Testament foretold the coming of a new testament:

Galatians 3:19; “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Galatians 3:20; “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

Galatians 3:21; “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

Galatians 3:22; “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Galatians 3:23; “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Galatians 3:24; “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

The Old Testament foretold of the coming of a Messiah which will provide permanent forgiveness of sins:

Isaiah 53:10; “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Isaiah 53:11; “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”

Galatians 3:25; “But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”

A final way for mankind to obtain final absolution from our sins:

God, through His Holy Scriptures, has provided a final way for mankind to obtain final absolution from our sins through the sacrifice of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and His shed blood on the cross:

Acts 5:31 “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins”.

Acts 13:38; “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Acts 13:39; “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses.”

Ephesians 1:7; “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”

Colossians 1:14; “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

God has provided a final sacrifice from our sins:

The next statement is made referring to Jesus Christ:

Hebrews 10:9; “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Hebrews 10:10; “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Hebrews 10:26; “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”.

The New Testament became the fulfillment of the Law by the shed blood of Christ Jesus, His death, burial and ultimate resurrection. Other supporting scriptures: Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20;  1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 9:15, 20; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 30:5,6; Isaiah 8:20; II Timothy 3:16; Revelation 22:18, 19.

The Bible is Truth without any error whatsoever.  As we have seen above, if the scriptures were given by God verbal plenarily, and if He has preserved it through the ages, then there is no way the scriptures can change from being the Truth and, as such, would continue to be without errors. (John 10:35; Matthew 5:18-19)

It is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, Christian unity, creeds, philosophies and opinions must be tried:

We have seen that the Word of God (Scripture/Bible) has been inspired by God and that it is perfect in all that it says.  God gave us His Law that gives us a guideline for personal activity – what should be done or not, and if something should not be done what the consequences would be if it is done and sometimes it will tell us that if we actually do something that is good, what the reward will be.

God has given us the ability to choose in all aspects of life.  He has given us these guidelines and tells us the good and the bad of things and lets us make the choice from there.  He then tells us what will happen if we make the wrong choice or what the blessing will be if the correct choice is made.

There are more verses through the Bible giving us these guidelines than I can even begin to list.  Here are just a few for you:

Proverbs 28:26; “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”

1 Thessalonians 5:12; “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

1 Thessalonians 5:13; “And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

1 Thessalonians 5:14; Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

1 Thessalonians 5:15; “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

1 Thessalonians 5:16; “Rejoice evermore.

1 Thessalonians 5:17; “Pray without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:18; “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:19; “Quench not the Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:20; “Despise not prophesying (Teachings).

1 Thessalonians 5:21; “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:22; “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

This list covers almost everything regarding human behavior.  If it isn’t written here, it is implied within at least one of them.

It is the only unerring canon that determines truth:

Deuteronomy 4:1; “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.

Deuteronomy 4:2; “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you”.

Deuteronomy 17:19; “And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them”:

Psalm 119:11; “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”.

Psalm 119:105; “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”.

Romans 15:4; “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”.

Hebrews 4:12; “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”.

These scriptures, as well as many prior to this, are excellent statements that prove that the canon of the scriptures (66 books) is the truth.  Yes, there are many books, many authors and many different statements within the Book, but these scriptures have been studied by scientists to verify the manuscripts are from the time period that it would have been written in, scholars have studied the words, statements, phraseology, writing styles, etc. to verify that the works were written by ONE true Author – God – at the hands of humans.  The true manuscripts have been vetted and the false (non-Spirit inspired) manuscripts weeded out so that we finally end up with the final 66 books.  All prophesies made that were to have been fulfilled, have been fulfilled when they were supposed to be fulfilled, save the ones that are still yet to be fulfilled regarding the End Times and the Second Coming of Christ.

We also have to remember that if there were any one place in the Book (The Holy Bible – all 66 books) that contradicts another place/statement therein, then we could not trust anything within the Bible to be true.  If there were any inconsistencies within the covers of the Bible, then we would not be able to trust ANY other words in the Bible to be true.

We have to believe all of the Bible or none of it at all.

©2012  Mark Davis

How Many Ways Are There To Get To Heaven?

Dear God,
It’s O.K. that you made different religions, but don’t you get mixed up sometimes?        – Arnold (age 10)

Well, dear Arnold has been just as deceived as 98% (just an estimate not a fact) of the world’s population. Last I saw, there were over 10,000 separate distinct religions in the world today. Is it really logical that a God that is totally perfect – from eternity past to eternity future infallible – could make a mistake 10,000+ times over?

Surely, if all of the religions out there led to Heaven, God would be really contradicting Himself a lot. So many of these religions have conflicting doctrines and beliefs; so how can they be right? Some of them have to be wrong, right?

What is the definition of “religion” first?

Noun:

      1.) The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
      2.) Details of belief as taught or discussed.

Synonyms: faith – belief – creed – denomination

Which ones are right and which ones are wrong?

When you consider this question, you have to think about what you would consider to be the “gold standard” of thought. What can you compare all else to that would be unfailingly right (correct)? How do you go about trying to figure that out? Wow, what questions…

Most people would boil it down to morals.

Q: Well, where do people get their morals?
A: Their parents and the people around them and they just figure right from wrong from there.

Q: Where would they have gotten their standards and ways of thought from?
A: What/who gave them the morals that they have now (or had)? And it goes down from generation to generation. Back to the beginning of time.

It all leads back to the first man and woman; and even before that. God is the only “gold standard” that you can look at that is totally unfaltering and unwavering and infallible and the only One that can be considered “perfect” without refutation.

Well, ok, if God boils down to being the only One that can be considered; then God it is. Now, how does He give us morals? How does He even talk to us? The way He talks to us is through the Bible. The Bible is the only history book ever written that has never had any contradictions to itself. There might be some oxymorons in there but when you get down to the original manuscripts and the true meanings of those texts, we find that they really don’t contradict themselves.

2 Timothy 3:16 KJV
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

So, the Bible (God) gives us morals or at least He is the “gold standard” in which we can look to and compare anything else to find out if it is right or wrong.

The concept of “right” has been around since before creation because God is inherently “good”. So then, what is the source or beginning of “evil” or “sin” or “wrong” (all being the same thing)?

When Adam and Eve were created, they were originally sinless. They had never done anything wrong at that point. God told Adam and Eve that they could do anything that they wanted to do EXCEPT eat of the fruit of only one of the trees that were in the Garden of Eden. Out of all the different trees that were there, they could only NOT eat of ONE of them. Well, I think we all know human nature well enough that, eventually, when someone tells us not to do something, it only makes us want to do it even more.

Eve was in the Garden wandering around one day when she was approached by a serpent. This serpent was the incarnation of Lucifer (Satan, the Devil, etc). Mr. Serpent told Eve that she should eat of the fruit of the Knowledge Of Good And Evil which God had told them not to eat. Oh, the fruit looked so good. Mr. Serpent said “God only told you not to eat it, because if you did, it would make you just as smart as God. Now, you want to be as smart as God don’t you”? Well, Eve thought that that sounded pretty good. She wanted to be smarter, after all, Adam had been the one that named everything not her. She wanted to be as smart as God. She went to Adam and told him about the proposition that she had been given by Mr. Serpent and, with the lures that she had, tempted Adam and they both ended up eating from the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  (**Color added for readability**)

Well, they sure knew Good from Evil at that point. They immediately knew that they had done wrong in the sight of God (yes, God saw them – He sees everything at all times-did then and still does today) and they realized that they were naked and they hid from God. Just like a parent playing hide and seek with their child, knowing right where they were hiding all along, God went looking for Adam and Eve.

One thing led to another and God threw them out of the Garden of Eden, never to return again. He took it a step, or really a bunch of steps further and cursed; the animals (primarily the Serpent); the land would, from then on, have weeds; woman would have pain in childbirth; and man would now have to labor. Couldn’t you just hate Adam and Eve about now?This story can be found in The Bible in Genesis 2:16-17 and Genesis 3:1-24. I’ll not post it here since it is rather long. I have a feeling that this post will be long enough as it is.

Right and wrong were conceptualized from that point on. It has been passed down from generation to generation and none were skipped. It went through Cain and Able, Jacob and Esau, Noah and the Ark (that God told him to build) and so on and so forth down to you and I now.

You know, life would have been a whole lot better now if Adam and Eve had not sinned. We wouldn’t have sickness or disease or have to pull weeds out of the garden and our wives would actually look forward to having children (just kidding ladies). I don’t think that we could really be able to imagine life in a perfect world.

I regress; we wanted to know about how many ways there were/are to get to Heaven.

Looking through the Bible, I have never read anything about any “religions” besides idol worshiping, maybe. Then to top it off, the idol worshipers in the Bible were always on the wrong side of God. God commanded that there be no other gods before Him and no graven images – idols. Well then, if “religion” isn’t the way to Heaven then how does it work out that we can all have the opportunity to go to Heaven?

The Bible tells us through history that there would be a “savior”*, someone to come to earth – a King that would deliver us from all oppression and the penalty for doing wrong. Oops! Did I not say anything about a penalty? Hummm. *There are many prophecies about that in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by Jesus’ coming to earth.

Looking through history, when someone did something wrong, there has always been a penalty. The first five books of the Bible are filled with rules and laws that God’s people were supposed to follow but, there, along with the laws are also the penalties for breaking the laws. Most of the penalties are really severe – the most severe was/is, obviously, DEATH! Yikes! That’s pretty bad!

Along with the laws and the severe penalties, God also made a way that they can have forgiveness by Him for their sins, restoring favor in His sight, or restoring their “friendship” so to speak. It used to be that the penalty was a sacrifice of a lamb but, we don’t seem to be doing that much anymore, right?

When God created us, He wanted to spend time with us (in our perfect state). He still wants to spend time with us, it’s just that there seems to be omething in the way. We have a barrier between Him and us. The barrier is called “sin”. While we are sinful we can’t be in God’s presence.

Isaiah 59:2 KJV
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

If you look at God as Light and Sin as darkness; when you bring light into a dark room, it is no longer dark. Light cannot be in the same place as darkness. The above verse indicates that God has hidden His face from you because your “iniquities” or the sins that are in your soul – all the way back to when we were born and started sinning to the present time.

John 8:12 KJV
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

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

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

Being sinners, we are in need of a way to pay the penalty for our sins, which would be eternal death without a payment.

Mind you, I said Eternal Death. That is different than just death – being dead at the end of your life here on earth, buried and six feet under the ground. Eternal Death is what happens when we die and our soul continues on into eternity without any salvation.

Since sin cannot be where God is in Heaven, there is another place for sinners to go and that is ultimately into the Lake of Fire – a place where the fire never goes out and those there will be in excruciating pain but unable to just die and get it over with. Such PAIN and AGONY! They will have to stay like that for the rest of eternity.

Any idea how long eternity is? It Never ends! Eternal Death is separation from God – in the Lake of Fire. The alternative is eternity WITH God, in Heaven.

Matthew 25:30 KJV
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Mark 9:42-48 NASB
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
43 “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire,
44 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
45 “If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell,
46 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
47 “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell,
48 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.”

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

The alternate payment for our sins is only something that God can give. He gave His only Son so that we can have Eternal Life:

John 3:16 KJV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

His only Son’s name is Jesus. He came down to earth to live as a man. He was born of a virgin (Mary) – conceived of the Holy Spirit (God the Spirit). He lived a sinless life – unlike anything that anyone else could do. No one else has done it before or since. He did many miracles and cast out evil spirits (demons) and raised some dead people. He did things that only God could do. Because ONLY He is God. Only God could take our sins away or pay the penalty for our sins.

Jesus was crucified on a cross – one of the most excruciating deaths that they had for people in that day. When He went to the cross, He took with Him all of the sins of everyone that had ever lived and even all of the sins of everybody that would live from that day on. He paid the price, or redeemed us, from our sins. We were convicted of being sinners and sentenced to eternal death, and He, God, through Jesus Christ’s blood, paid the full price for our pardon. His blood was the only thing that could ever forgive our sins and remove them from the sight of God so that we can go to Heaven and so that we can have that continued fellowship with God.

Colossians 1:14 KJV
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Psalms 103:12 KJV
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Wait, it doesn’t end there. I know I am boring to listen to and I like to ramble on and on, but you have got to hear this.  Jesus took it a step further because, you see, anyone could say that they are going to die and take away our sins but if it stops there, that person is no different than you or me and, in reality, couldn’t take away my sins or anyone else’s.

Jesus died. They buried Him in a tomb and three days later He was gone from the tomb. He rose from the tomb and was alive again. Not just any man could do that. Only God can do that.

John 20:11-18 KJV
11 “But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 “And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 “And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 “And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne
him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18 “Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

John 20:24-29 KJV
24 “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

A short time after He rose from the grave, He ascended back into Heaven. He stood and started raising into the sky until He couldn’t be seen any more.

Acts 1:9 KJV
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”

Before He left, He promised that He was going to prepare a place in Heaven with Him and He would come back and get us and take us home to be with Him.

Wow, this is really starting to sound like an alien movie or something. I assure you that it isn’t. Have you ever read a book or story that was so crazy and outlandish that there was no way that anyone could have made it up? None of this story is made up and can all be corroborated from the Bible, as you can see by the scriptures listed.

John 14:1-4 KJV
1″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.
4 “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

John 11:25-26 KJV
25 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this”?

1 John 5:12-13 KJV
12 “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 

If God went to all the effort to make a way available to us to get to Heaven through His Son, why would He let there be more than one way to get to Heaven? Let’s take a look at some of the things that Jesus said while He was still on earth:

John 14:6 KJV
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 10:9 KJV
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

John 8:24 KJV
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

John 1:12 KJV
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

John 3:36 KJV
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Revelation 20:15 KJV
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 3:20 KJV
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

You know, God made it so that there was only ONE way to get to Him for one reason and one reason ONLY!

That reason is that “man” has a real bad problem with pride. So much so that, if it were possible, we would do anything and everything that we could to be able to get to God/Heaven by doing any imaginable thing, such as: going to church, donating money to charities, volunteering at the homeless shelter, being baptized (yes, that’s what I said – I’ll touch on that in another post), becoming a missionary to another country to propagate a “religion”, being a pastor or employee in a church, being born/raised in a Christian home, and the list could go on and on.

Why are these things so bad? They aren’t. But none of them together or by themselves will do anything to repay the debt we owe to God for our sins. Many of the “religions” out there today will try to lead you to believe that one or more of those things are required for salvation. NOT TRUE!

The reason that He made it impossible for us to do special things to get to heaven is very simple – and if you try to make it more than that, you are trying to legitimize and justify your own well-doings – God wants ALL of the credit for you getting to Heaven. He wants you to go there because you love Him; because you would give your life to be with Him and to make Him pleased with what you do (for Him). He wants us to give Him the glory for the things that He has done for us, not for the things that we do to try to get to Him by earning His good favor.

Someone once explained the difference between “religion” and “true Christianity” as this: True Christianity is God trying to get to us, whereas, Religion is us trying to get to God.

The people that tried to build the tower of Babel in the Old Testament were trying to make it so high that it would reach God. Remember that that was when God got very upset with them and scrambled their words (creation of different languages) so that no one could understand each other (hence the word babel). The tower was destroyed as will anything else be that we use to try to get to God.

Isa. 64:6a KJV
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness (good works) are as filthy rags”

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

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
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.”

Romans 10:9-10 KJV
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.”

Friend,

If you have never received God’s gift of salvation before today, I trust that you won’t hesitate to do it now. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, nor for that matter, another breath. Take care of this ASAP! Hell is a very real place and I’d really hate to find out someday that you had the chance to receive His gift and didn’t take it.

If you would like to receive God’s free gift NOW, please pray the prayer below and let me know that you did so that I can rejoice with you for your new-found hope (promise) of ETERNAL LIFE. I would really love to hear from you by email to let me know of your decision. My email is listed at the bottom of the right hand column of this page, please write to me. 

“Dear Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner and I know that I don’t deserve to go to Heaven. But, Your Word says that if I ask You to forgive my sins that You will forgive me and let me become Your child so that I can go to Heaven. Lord, I ask You to forgive my sins, right now, and take them away. I want to become Your child so that I can please You and so that You can become my best friend. Lord, thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins to take them away and to enable me the right to become Your child and go to Heaven to spend eternity with You. Thank you for forgiving my sins, Lord. I ask you this in Your name, Jesus. Amen.”

Christian, new or old, thank you for reading this far. I will be posting follow up articles relating to different things that the Bible teaches us and what it tells us that we should/n’t believe and do. Become a reader/follower at the top and keep up to date on my postings. You can also keep up to date by subscribing to my updates via email on the right side of the page as well. 

If you have gotten anything out of this post or if you have a comment (please keep them nice), please leave them in the space provided at the bottom. By all means, feel free to pass this article along.

©2012  Mark Davis

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