Archive for the ‘Religion vs. Relationship’ Category


COPYRIGHT WARINING

See and Find Me

It is interesting that a person will search out Christian web sites where evidence for God is put forth, in order to dispute His existence. A person who genuinely does not believe something, does not need to convince others. When a matter is settled in our mind, we are finished with the struggle to understand it.

The fact that a person is vigorously active in visiting the web sites of those who disagree with them, is a sign that this person is really not that convinced that their position is correct. I have been a follower of Jesus for over 40 years. In times past, when I was still developing my thoughts, I would often visit the sites of atheists and seek a dialogue with those who frequent these places. As I realized that what I believed about God, was the truth, I no longer needed to seek affirmation from those who do not believe.

It is a fact that the people who are often the most vocal against God, are individuals who are the closest to surrendering their lives to Him. As a person becomes more and more convinced by the evidence for God, they will often become quite militant in their opposition of those who do believe. I have observed this phenomenon quite often in the types of comments that are made on this web site, in response to articles that I have written. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

What we eat, determines how well we can see. Our eyes depend upon us to take in the proper nutrients in order to allow our optic nerve, retina, and other parts of the eye, to function properly.

In the same way, our ability to see what is true and wise in life, will depend upon what we eat, spiritually.

Jesus said that He is “The Bread of Life.”

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. —John 6:35

The hunger and thirst that a human being feels, can never be truly satisfied by anything that is in this world. We were made to be loved. We were made to know God, who loves us so intensely that He was willing to die for us, in order to rescue us.

Jesus said that unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we do not have eternal life.  (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Those Who Deny God, Cannot Understand Him

A human being is made up of three components; body, soul, and Spirit. When a person is born, the body is preeminent, it rules the life of the person. Whatever the body wants, it expresses through the desires of the flesh. The soul is the inhabitation of the emotions, where a person expresses their thoughts, feelings and emotions. The spirit, which is the only part of man that can know and understand God, is dead because of sin.[1]

When Jesus told Nicodemus, in John chapter 3, that “you must be “born again,” He was describing the spirit. In order for any person to understand God, or to comprehend His word, first his spirit must be born again, into a new relationship with God. Until our sins are dealt with and removed by God, it is impossible for us to have a relationship with God.[2]

Jesus death on the cross, paid for the sins of all people, for all time. All those who are willing to repent from their sins and come to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, are born again—into this new spiritual life.[3]

This is one of the preeminent differences between Biblical Christianity and religion. The religions of man ignore the spiritual side of man, regarding sin, repentance and the need to experience a new life in the spirit. Man’s religion requires conformance into a set of rules or conduct. The Bible reveals that there are no rules that any person can keep that will make them acceptable to God. It is by a reliance upon what Jesus has accomplish that God will accept any person.[4]

To those who do not know God, who have yet to experience this new birth of the spirit, these things are difficult to comprehend. Some even scoff at this possibility and find it impossible to believe. Nevertheless, this is what the text of the New Testament reveals. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

According to many Theologians, Churches, and individual Christians, a person cannot be saved apart from Baptism, or membership in their particular church. The final authority on all matters of doctrine resides with the Bible, not what men say, nor the tradition of the church. According to Jesus, the requirements for salvation are extremely simple and even the worst sinner may find forgiveness and eternal life–even during the final moments of their life.

As a person goes through each one of the individual parts of the Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, we are struck with the details that are included in these many faceted predictions.

In the prophecies of Isaiah chapter 53, we see the specific detail that the Messiah will be condemned and put to death along with other criminals. Although this may be seen as a very common occurrence in the carrying out of a sentence for crimes committed, in the case of a prophecy written over 700 years in advance of its fulfillment, this detail is a stunning inclusion.

Isaiah 53:12c Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 23:32-33 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.

When we examine the New Testament, we discover that there were two thieves who were also condemned to die by crucifixion along with Jesus. They are placed on either side of the Lord. At first, it seems that both condemned men ridicule Jesus for also being crucified along with them. After one of these men witnesses the grace and the love with which Jesus endures His suffering, praying for those who placed Him on the Cross, this dying criminal has a change of heart. He cries out to Jesus: Lord, Remember me when you come into Your kingdom. A subtle statement of salvation from a man doomed to die, during the final moments of his life. Though his confession is short and simple, yet it is sufficient to move Jesus to pronounce him: forgiven and worthy of eternal life.

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COPYRIGHT WARNING

It is a paradox of the Bible that the One who spoke the universe into existence would be willing to come to earth and lay down His life for us.

This character of Jesus as a servant sets Him apart from every other religious or spiritual leader. In Greek mythology, it is inconceivable that Zeus, Apollo, or any other Greek god would lower himself to be a servant of the beings they created. Jesus is described by the Bible as the Creator of all things; yet He came to earth and took the body of a man so that He could offer up His life as a sacrifice for the sins of all men. The humiliation, the mental and physical torture and unimaginable horrors that Jesus experienced while completing the process of our salvation, is beyond comprehension. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Many people have an incorrect view of what God requires for admittance into heaven. It is a commonly held belief that those who are “good people,” will be acceptable to God upon their death. No place in the Bible does God state that good people go to heaven. In fact, He has declared that “no one is good, not one.”

Romans 3:10 As it is written: “There is none good, no, not one

Other people believe that a person who “believes in God” will go to heaven upon their death. This is also not true. James once stated that even the demons believe in God–yet no demon will ever see heaven.

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

A third common error that is made by those who are seeking eternal life, is the belief that a person can go to heaven if they keep most of the commandments of God. All persons have told a lie, but not everyone has murdered or committed adultery. Therefore, the liar can gain heaven, while the murderer has no chance of eternal life. This is a also grievous error that prevents millions from gaining heaven. The Bible reveals that those who seek to be righteous by keeping the 10 commandments, will not be acceptable to God.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight

In fact, those who seek to be acceptable to God by the keeping of His law–must keep all of the law. Even a minor violation of a single commandment–such as the telling of a lie–disqualifies that person from gaining heaven.

James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

No person who has broken any law of God–even a single time–will ever gain admittance into heaven. 

1 Corinthians 6:-119 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

There are many people, who over the course of their life, meet an individual who has claimed to be a Christian—who has exhibited behavior that is contrary to their particular belief, and caused other people to discount God altogether.

An enduring fact of life is that one of the leading causes of atheism is Christianity. Not that Jesus is the point of stumbling, but rather those who claim to follow him. Many people attribute the behavior of a person to the character of the God they claim to believe in. Forgetting that the Christian Gospel clearly declares that Jesus came into the world to save “sinners,” not the righteous. It is the very worst of the world that Jesus is most appealing to. The Christian life in following Jesus is frequently imperfect and lacking the basic qualities of love, patience, humility, and forgiveness. Those who are trying to follow Jesus will never be perfect in this life, although they should endeavor, constantly, to be more like Jesus in all their behavior.

It should also be understood that many people who take the name of “Christian,” are frauds. For reasons of personal financial gain or to achieve a position of authority or power, many individuals will label themselves a follower of Christ, without this fact being true.

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COPYRIGHT WARNING

It has always amazed me, the faith that the Centurion displayed before Jesus. The testimony of Matthew is that Jesus marveled at him and said: Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!

The Centurion was a Roman officer who had authority over 80-100 men. This particular officer addresses Jesus as “Lord,” while the leaders of Israel do not. This Roman citizen, who had grown up in a culture which worshipped a multitude of gods, believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah of the Hebrew scriptures. Where did he learn about the Messiah? Who taught Him? What was it that brought his heart to this place of preparation? It may be that he had studied Jesus and the works that He had done, for some time. It is certainly possible the he had a few Jewish friends who had told him about the prophecies of the coming Messiah. Perhaps he had compared Jesus’ words and actions with the Hebrew scriptures and came to the conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah who was promised. Finding faith in the God of the Hebrews while being a Gentile and a leader amongst the soldiers of Rome was a truly amazing event. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

This world cries out for “Peace,” but in all the history of man upon the earth, there has never been a sustained period of time in which peace reigned.

In the last 3,000 years of man’s recorded history, there has only been 286 years without a war. There have been over 15,000 wars resulting in 4 billion deaths.[1]

For the humanist, materialist, and non-theist, this record is a stunning indictment upon the premise that man is evolving into a more civilized and peaceful species.[1a] In fact, the opposite is true. As time progresses, men simply develop more creative ways to kill other men. The Biblical view of man as a fallen being, who is incapable of peace, is precisely what the evidence validates. Unless God intervenes in the history of mankind, we would certainly annihilate our species and destroy the earth.

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COPYRIGHT WARNING

What is the correct role and function of the Christian church in the world today? Upon careful examination of the Bible, we discover that the church has become something far different from what God intended she be. Rather than the political or moral policeman of society, God intended that the church would be His voice to the world–in declaring who His Messiah is and the great love which He has for the world.

Today, many people are greatly offended by the behavior of those who call themselves “Christians,” and for good reason. There have been thousands of atrocities committed by those who claim to be followers of Jesus–which He never sanctioned, nor did He ever intend for His church.

Jesus desire is that His church would become an extension of Himself. The words, actions, and love that He brought to the world 2,000 years ago–should be exhibited by those who claim to follow Him. The problem with the church of Jesus today is that it has become a religious institution–rather than a living organism, a living body, a manifestation of the true person of Jesus Christ. (more…)