Monday, November 22, 2010

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Heavenly Father,

We praise your Holy Name for every good and perfect thing comes from You, the Lord of Hosts in whom there is no shadow of turning. LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, before You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. You alone are the Lord and besides You there is no other. You who made the world and everything in it, are Lord of heaven and earth. You spoke the universe into existence. You measured the waters in the hollow of Your hand, and measured heaven with a span, You calculated the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance.

You are Lord of heaven and earth, and do not dwell in temples made with hands. You are not worshiped with men’s hands, as though You needed anything, since You give to all life, breath, and all things. You have made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and have determined our preappointed times and the boundaries of our dwellings, so that we should seek You, in the hope that we might grope for You and find You though You are not far from each one of us; for in You we live and move and have our being. You knew us and shaped us before we were born. You have known us before the foundation of the world. You know our sitting down and our rising up; You understand our thoughts afar off. Behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. Where can we go from Your Spirit? Or where can we flee from Your presence? For You fill heaven and earth.

You have created us in Your image and wrought eternity in our hearts. You loved us so much that You gave us Your only begotten Son that if we should believe in Him we should not perish but have everlasting life. You are rich in mercy, and because of Your great love with which You loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, You made us alive together with Christ, and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come You might show the exceeding riches of Your grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have saved us through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is a gift from You, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which You prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Lord you said: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.” But we have said, “We will not walk in it.”. Lord You also set watchmen over us saying, “Listen to the sound of the trumpet!” But we have said, ‘We will not listen.’

Most wise and generous Father, we acknowledge and confess our self-indulgence. We have abandoned your paths and we have foolishly chosen a way that seemed good to us. We have looked on your goodness and counted it a small thing. We have trampled on the blood of Your Son and counted it a common thing. We have despised your word and pursued our own desires. We have squandered your blessings and hoarded our own conceits. We are false in our convictions, presumptuous in our speech, insincere in our confessions, artificial in our repentance, tardy in our obedience, and casual in our worship. We have not loved You with our whole heart and have not loved our neighbor as ourselves. Against You, You only have we sinned and done this evil in Your sight— that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge. Father, we humbly ask for Your forgiveness. Have mercy upon us, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies,

Even though we are faithless, You are faithful, and we thank you for all the blessings that you have given us through Your Son Jesus Christ. For all Your promises in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen. Thank you for your unending love, kindness and mercy. Lord strengthen us and keep us, give us a renewed spirit and a clean heart that longs to know You and worship You in spirit and in truth. You have said You will give us one heart, and You will put a new spirit within us, and take our stony heart and give us a heart of flesh, that we may walk in Your statutes and keep Your judgments and do them; and we shall be Your people, and You will be our God. Lord You have said that we will seek You and find You, when we search for You with all our heart. Father draw us closer to You that we may indeed love You will all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength.

Through Your mercies we are not consumed, because Your compassions they fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! You are our portion, therefore we will hope in You. You are good to those who wait for You, to the soul who seeks You. It is good that we should hope and wait quietly for your salvation.

In our distress we cried out to You, and You heard us. We waited patiently for You; and You inclined to us, and heard our cry. You also brought us up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set our feet upon a rock, and established our steps. We sought You, and You heard us, and delivered us from all our fears. Father, let us be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to You; and may Your peace, which surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Father we ask all these things in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ...

Amen and Amen

Friday, August 20, 2010

Christian…do you love ANYTHING more than God?

Christian…do you love ANYTHING more than God? If someone were to look at your life, your actions, your speech, your entertainment…what would they say that you love most? Yourself…your kids…your spouse…your favorite drink? What is it that you boast about the most? Your addiction…your lust…the political or social cause you are involved in? What gets all your time and effort? Are you willing to lay anything down for your Savior or do you only quit doing what is wrong in the eyes of the Lord because you got caught or because the doctor told you it is killing you?

Christian please check this list and see if you love your sin more than you love your God and Savior. If you are PRACTICING these things without a hint of remorse than you need to check your salvation. You CANNOT live in open rebellion to the commands of God and think that you will spend eternity with Him. It doesn’t matter if you SAY you believe in Christ…does your LIFE give EVIDENCE that you are a child of God? If you are PRACTICING these sins you are bringing dishonor to your God and Savior. If you are PRACTICING these sins please do not tell anyone you are a Christian.  We should be mortified and broken over our sin...not boasting in it.

Sin includes…but is not limited to…lawlessness, unrighteousness, blasphemy, heresies, idolatry, unbelief, sorcery, cowardness, pride, proud looks, selfishishness, ambitions, envy, jealousies, foolishness, foolish talking, coarse jesting, contentions, dissensions, sowing discord, drunkenness, revelries, hatred, outbursts of wrath, an evil eye, evil thoughts, evil desire, covetousness, wicked plans, wickedness, running to evil, extortion, theft, false witness, lying, deceit, passion, lewdness, uncleanness, filthiness, adulteries, fornications, sexual immorality, homosexuality, sodomy, shedding of innocent blood, murder. 1 John 3:4; 1 John 5:17; Romans 6:23 ; Romans 3:22-23 ; 1 John 1:8,10 ; James 1:13-15 ; Matthew 18:8-9 ; James 2:10; James 4:17 ; Proverbs 6:16-19 ; Mark 7:21-23 ; Colossians 3:5-7 ; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3- 7 ; Revelation 21:8

Please use the link for a more comprehensive study on what sin is

Our sins are very grievous. They are why the Lord Jesus Christ bore God’s wrath on the cross. Should we really take our sins so lightly? I think not… If you are claiming to be in Christ you were purchased with His precious blood. Is your sin precious to you or is your Lord and Savior?
Chrisitan...please check your heart and see who or what you love more than your God and Savior. Jesus said.."For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."Matt 6:21

Jesus said “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” John said “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Matthew 10:34-39;1 John 2:15-17
Please read the following verses…they apply to you and you need to know what Jesus said…

Luke 6:46-49  “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Luke 13:22-30 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”

Jesus said…Mark 12:29-30 “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”

Jesus also said… Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

John said…1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Examine Yourself

Matthew 5-7; 2 Corinthians 13:5
John MacArthur © 1969-2010. Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Are you a Christian? Many people who claim to be point to some event in the past to substantiate their claim. But inviting Jesus to come into your life in the past is not proof that you are genuinely saved. In 2 Corinthians 13:5 Paul says to the Corinthian church, " Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves (emphasis added)." He wouldn't have said that if some event in the past were obviously the answer. The Bible never verifies anyone's salvation by the past but by the present. If there is no evidence of salvation in your life now, you need to face the fact that you may not be a Christian. You need to examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith. How does one do that? Jesus shows us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

The Distinguishing Mark of a Christian
Before Jesus was born, the religious leaders of Israel had already decided what it meant to live righteously. They had developed a system contrary to Scripture based on self- righteousness generated by doing good works. When Jesus entered the world, He shattered their religious system by upholding the standard revealed in God's Word. He revealed how a citizen of His Kingdom really lives.

If you want to know if you're a Christian, compare your life with the standard Christ presents in the Sermon on the Mount. One word summarizes His standard: righteousness. Examine the lives of many professing Christians, and you'll find no such righteousness. Someone once told me about a woman who said she was a Christian but was living with a man who was not her husband. First Corinthians 6:9 says that those characterized by sexual immorality ("fornicators") "shall not inherit the kingdom of God ." That woman was living in a state of unrighteousness. But righteousness characterizes true conversion.

Matthew 5:20, the key verse in the Sermon on the Mount, says, "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." The scribes and Pharisees went to the Temple regularly, paid tithes, fasted, and prayed constantly. But Christ wasn't impressed with their religious performance. He said no one would enter His Kingdom whose righteousness didn't exceed theirs. Righteousness--living by God's standards--is what sets a person apart as God's child.

Hebrews 12:14 says, "Follow ... holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Second Timothy 2:19 says, "The Lord knoweth them that are his; and, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." Titus 1:16 says that some people "profess that they know God, but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." A person's profession of Christ means nothing apart from obedience and holiness. Some people believe you can come to Jesus Christ without a consequent change in life-style. But God expects a transformation. Second Corinthians 5:17 says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." First John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Being righteous doesn't mean you never sin; it means you confess your sin to the Lord, repent of it, and despise it. First John 2:3 says, "By this we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." In John 14:15 Christ said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." First John 2:9 says, "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now." First John 3:9 says, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."

The Bible makes it clear that those who are genuinely saved are righteous and holy. They still sin, but with decreasing frequency. A true believer hates his sin (cf., Rom. 7:15-25) and repents of it, hungering and thirsting for what is right. He obeys God, loves his brother, and hates the evil world system. No one can be a Christian and continue living the way he did before he knew Christ. Making a decision years ago, going to an inquiry room, walking an aisle, or reading a tract on how to accept Christ is not a biblical criterion for salvation--the issue is what your life is like right now. If sin and unrighteousness characterize your life, there is a possibility you are a disobedient Christian--but there is a greater possibility you are not a Christian at all.

The Proper Entrance into Christ's Kingdom
In Matthew 5:3 Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The Greek text indicates that the Kingdom belongs only to those who are poor in spirit. Only those who admit their spiritual bankruptcy and sinfulness can enter the Kingdom. Being "poor in spirit" speaks of being poverty stricken in one's spirit. Verse 4 shows the result of that inner poverty: "Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted." Only those who are broken and mournful over their sin ever receive salvation. Meekness, produced by the crushing weight of one's sin, also characterizes a person entering the Kingdom (v. 5). When a person is poor in spirit, mournful about his sin, and meek, then he will hunger and thirst after righteousness, and he will be filled (v. 6).

If you didn't come to Jesus Christ shattered over your sinfulness, and hungering and thirsting after righteousness, you are not a Christian. Some people come to Christ as if they are doing Him some great favor. Sometimes Christians reflect that same attitude by hoping some famous person will be saved because of his potential influence. But whoever wants to come to Jesus must come on His terms: mourning over his sin, and desiring righteousness. When someone comes on those terms, the Lord makes him merciful (v. 7), pure in heart (v. 8), and a peacemaker (v. 9). Then because of what he is, people will persecute him (v. 10), revile him, and say false things about him (v. 11). But he will rejoice, because he's a citizen of the Kingdom (v. 12).

Vital Signs of a Christian

A Distinct Testimony
In Matthew 5:13-14 Christ referred to believers as "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world." A Christian's life- style will be easily distinguishable from the world's. Just as salt preserves decaying meat, Christians are a preservative in the midst of a decaying civilization. One reason the prophesied Great Tribulation of the end times will be so terrible is the preserving effect of the church will be gone. Christ compares His disciples to a light set on a hill and salt that has retained its saltiness. Is it evident to those around you that your life is different, or do you do the same things they do? If your life didn't change when you were supposedly saved, then you aren't really a Christian.

An Obedient Life
A child of God is characterized by obedience. In Matthew 5:17-19 our Lord said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Christ's point is this: if you are truly saved, you will be obedient. You will have an overwhelming desire to submit to God's Word. Paul hungered to obey God's Word, even though sin was always tugging at him (Rom. 7:15-25).

Matthew 5:21-32 maintains that if you have really been converted, you will think differently. Apparently the Israelites controlled their outward behavior but not their thoughts. The Lord said to them, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old, Thou shalt not kill and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of judgment; but I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of judgment" (vv. 21-22). A believer doesn't even desire to hurt anyone--let alone kill--because he has a different heart. In Ezekiel 36:26 God promises that when you become redeemed, He "will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and ... will give you an heart of flesh."

In Matthew 5:27-28 Christ says that a Christian is not to commit adultery or even entertain adulterous thoughts. Someone who claims to be a Christian and continues to be immoral, practicing such things as adultery or homosexuality, will never inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Until you are broken over your sinfulness and crawl into Christ's Kingdom hungering for righteousness, you will never know what true redemption is.

In Matthew 5:33-37 Christ discusses perjury and keeping one's oaths. He emphasized that true conversion produces pure and truthful speech, "for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matt. 12:34 ). In Matthew 5:38-47 He adds that a citizen of His Kingdom doesn't retaliate but is kind. He loves his neighbor (v. 43), and even his enemies (v. 44). The goal is for believers to be like God (v. 48).
No one is a Christian because he went forward at a meeting and signed a card, or because a counselor said he was. In fact, a counselor should never assure someone he is saved after that person verbally commits his life to Christ. No counselor can be sure of that. It is the Holy Spirit's job to grant assurance to a believer. He grants it by an inward testimony (Rom. 8:16 ) and an outward demonstration.

James 2:17 says that "faith, if it hath not works, is dead." An unfortunate legacy of modern evangelism is that one's assurance of salvation is attached to a decision. Biblically, however, assurance has nothing to do with the past; it's related to what your life is like right now. Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed" (John 8:31 ). Evidence of salvation is always present in a true believer.

Sincere Worship
A believer demonstrates the right kind of worship (Matt. 6:1- 18). His worship of God is genuine, in contrast to that of the Pharisees, whose only concern was attracting attention to their spirituality. A Christian gives of his resources because He loves God, not because he craves public recognition (6:1-4). His prayers aren't hypocritical but a sincere expression of his heart (6:5-15). Also he doesn't need for others to know that he's fasting (6:16-18).

A Biblical Perspective of Money and Materialism
According to Matthew 6:19-24 the citizens of Christ's Kingdom don't love money: they do not lay up for themselves "treasures upon earth" (v. 19). They refuse to serve money because they know it's impossible to serve both it and God (v. 24). If you have committed your life to acquiring wealth, you are not a servant of God. If you are a friend of the world, you are an enemy of God (James 4:4). If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you (1 John 2:15 ). Matthew 6:25-34 adds that Christians are not to be preoccupied with the necessities of life. They know God takes care of those things vv. 31-32).

An Uncritical Love of Others
Matthew 7:1-12 emphasizes that genuine believers have good relationships. They don't constantly misjudge other people and act pious toward them while ignoring their own problems. Christians are known for loving others (cf., John 13:35 ).

Perhaps after this survey of what Christ taught in the Sermon on the Mount, you are wondering how anyone could ever live like that. If you're thinking it's impossible to do all those things, that's the very response the Lord wants. After confronting a rich young ruler with his materialism, Jesus said to His disciples, "Verily I say unto you that a rich man shall with difficulty enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God " (Matt. 19:23-24). It's impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle! That's exactly what the Lord wanted people to conclude. Verses 25-26 say, "When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who, then, can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." No man has the resources within himself to live up to God's standards. That's why we have to cast ourselves on the mercy of God. The rich young ruler in Matthew 19 wasn't willing to do that. He wanted to enter the Kingdom but on his terms. However, that's like trying to put a camel through the eye of a needle. The only way into the Kingdom is by becoming broken in spirit, mournful, and eager for a righteousness that you can't attain and don't deserve.

Most people don't want to meet those conditions. They want to do things their way. They resemble a man with four pieces of luggage--worldliness, sin, Satan, and self--trying to get through the turnstile into the Kingdom. They want in so they can have happiness and stay out of hell, but they want in on their terms. However, the Lord said, "Enter in at the narrow gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in that way" (Matt. 7:13). Many people enter through the wide gate because they can take their baggage of good works and self-righteousness with them. Verse 14 continues, "Narrow is the gate, and hard is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." The Greek word translated "hard" literally means "compressed." You have to strip yourself of everything to go through the narrow gate.

A Deceptive Illusion of Eternal Life
Notice that the broad way leading to destruction is not marked as the way to hell--it's marked as the way to heaven! People get on the broad road because it doesn't require a change of life-style. You simply have to say you made a decision, were baptized, went forward at a meeting, or signed a card. The sad thing is that many people are on that road. But the way that leads to life is restrictive, and very few find it.

If you still cling to your worldliness and self-righteousness, you're on the wrong road. You may think you're headed to heaven and that your good works will get you in. But someday you will discover what John Bunyan described in The Pilgrim's Progress : that there is an entrance to hell from the portals of heaven. In fact Christ warned people to beware of false prophets (Matt. 7:15-20) because they sell tickets to the broad way; they'll tell you you can get to heaven without changing anything.

In Matthew 7:21-22 Jesus says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father, who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out demons? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Many people won't discover until it's too late that they were on the wrong road.

Christ concluded the Sermon on the Mount by illustrating the destinations of the broad and narrow roads. In Matthew 7:24-25 He speaks of a wise man who builds his house on a solid foundation. Verse 25 says, "The rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock." That man came to God on His terms--he built his house on the rock, which is obedience. Therefore his house stood. Christ continues, "Every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand" (v. 26). The foolish man built a beautiful house; his religion looked good. He is one of those who prophesied, cast out demons, and did wonderful works (v. 22) but never came to God on His terms. Verse 27 says, "The rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

What a disaster it would be to come before Christ on Judgment Day and discover you are sentenced to hell because you didn't come to Him His way! Examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith. As Peter said, "Be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you" (2 Peter 1:10 ; New American Standard Bible ).

Friday, June 4, 2010

Have you believed in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

Dear friend,

We have some very important questions we want you to consider because we care about you deeply. They may be the most important questions you will ever ask yourself. We would like you to consider what it is you believe regarding Jesus Christ. What you believe about Him matters…your eternal destiny depends on it. If you have never considered who Jesus Christ is and why He matters, we pray that you will take the time today.

Dear friend….have you believed in Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Have you trusted in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins?

Whether you’ve been in “church” your whole life, you’ve been a “Christian” your whole life, you were baptized as an infant or you consider yourself to be a “good person” we want you to take a few minutes to consider the following. Your eternity is not based on what you have done, who you are or how you were brought up but on what you believe concerning Jesus Christ. Beloved, 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ came from heaven, took on flesh and died a sacrificial death on the cross. We can’t just ignore that. God demands that we do something about Christ. We have two options: believe that He came to earth to die for our sins or reject it. We want to explain to you that you must make a decision about what you believe. Believing Jesus was just a “good man” or “not wanting to deal with this right now” are not neutral positions. That is called unbelief and we need to show you what happens when you don’t believe in Christ.

The Bible says that we are “saved by grace through faith and not by works lest any man should boast”. Ephesians 2:8

What God is saying is that we need to be saved. We need to be saved and we are only saved by God’s grace. First of all you ask…what are we being saved from? We are being saved from the wrath of God. God hates sin and He has declared that all sin will be punished by death…physical death, spiritual death and eternal death. We need to be saved (rescued) from God. God loves us and He does not want anyone to perish eternally because of their sin. He wants us to realize that we have sinned against Him, we are alienated from Him and that we need to turn to Him for the forgiveness of our sins. But first we must recognize that we are sinners.

God is holy, righteous, merciful and just. He has declared that He hates sin. Sin is primarily an offense against God. It is doing what is wrong (commission), as well as not doing what is right (omission). All of God's instructions are His laws, and transgression against any of them (whether in thought or deed) are sins against God.

The Bible says we have all sinned against God. I’m sure that we are all honest enough to admit that we have all broken Gods laws at one time or another. By our nature we are disobedient. It is not our nature to obey God. It is our nature to disobey Him. Our sins are against God Himself and the Bible says that because of our sins we are alienated from God. We are actually enemies of God. The Bible puts it even more emphatically…it says we are “dead in our trespasses and sins”. Because of this we cannot be with God. We need to be perfect…sinless…holy…to enter His presence. There is nothing we can do to fix this problem of sin and alienation from God. Clearly it would take a miracle. But God has provided a miracle! God has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him through His amazing grace spoken of in Ephesians 2:8.

God comes after us, mercy seeks us, love finds us. Apart from Christ, we are spiritually dead and alienated from God. We are face down in a pool of water dead in our trespasses and sins. But then God comes and rescues us! He grabs us up and breathes His life into us. If God does not save us we will remain face down in that pool of water…dead. You see a dead man can’t save himself…he needs a Savior. Jesus said “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 Without Christ, we are spiritually dead…we must be born again, not physically, but spiritually…and only God can give us that rebirth through Christ.

The bible says that God loves us. “For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 God continues…“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17 And finally…“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18 Jesus said, “If you do not believe I am He you will die in your sins.” You see we are condemned by God already when we are in our sins and unbelief. You see that our outlook is grim. But praise God…He has not left us in our sorry condition. He says we can believe! Our belief removes the condemnation of God. If God says there is something we need to believe or else we are condemned…should we not listen?!

What must we believe? We must believe that we are alienated from God because of our sin and our only hope is to cast ourselves on Him for His mercy and forgiveness. We must believe our salvation rests on nothing else but Him. Salvation from sin is by the grace of God alone. The Bible says that God is our Savior…we can not save ourselves. You see God has provided one way for us to be saved…that one way is through Jesus Christ His Son. God said…“he who believes in Him is not condemned…whoever believes in Him should not perish”. John 3:18;16 We must believe that only Jesus Christ can bring us to God. Only He can give us eternal life. Jesus said..“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”John 14:6 Only Christ can bring us from death to life.

Why Jesus? Well let us explain. As we told you earlier, the Bible is very clear…without exception, every person ever born, except Jesus, has sinned against God. Therefore every person ever born, except for Jesus, needs to have their sins forgiven. The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus is the only man that never sinned. (Jesus was 100% God and 100% man.)

God said He will pour out His wrath against sin. “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23 The only thing that appeases God’s wrath against sin is an “atonement”. Atonement means the reconciliation of the guilty to God by a divine sacrifice. Jesus was our divine sacrifice. God requires a sinless blood sacrifice to atone for sin. Jesus was our sinless blood sacrifice, our substitutionary atonement. In Jesus’ death on the cross, Jesus substituted Himself for sinners and paid the requirement of the punishment for sin which is death. As a result of Jesus’ atonement, our sin is transferred from us to Him, and God then grants us forgiveness. Jesus’ substitutionary atonement is the basis for our salvation. Jesus’ death on the cross satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath against sin. Through Christ’s atonement for sin we who believe are reconciled to God as Father and become His children. We are forgiven the debt of our sin and are now fully acceptable to God.

Only Jesus is able to offer Himself as a sacrifice to God. That is why Jesus came to earth as a man. He came so that He could die a substitutionary death and bear the wrath of God for our sins. He took our punishment upon Himself. Because of our belief (faith) that Jesus’ death was the satisfaction to God for our sins, God will then grant to our account the perfect righteousness of Jesus. We trust in what Jesus has done on the cross as our only basis for acceptance with God. We believe that we need the righteousness of Christ to be acceptable to God and without it we are without hope. We must apply Christ to ourselves. The Bible says “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 The Bible says “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. 1 Peter 3:18 We will never be perfect like Jesus in this life, but God will look upon us as if we were because we have believed in His only begotten Son. Salvation is the free gift of God. It is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.

So friend do you believe you are a sinner? Do you believe you have broken God’s law? Do you believe that you have in your heart broken all the commandments and that you deserve punishment? Is there a burden that you now carry with you? Are you sorrowful for your sins against God and do you now repent of them? Do you believe you need a Savior? If you want saving, you cannot save yourself; can you trust Jesus Christ to save you? Do you look away from everything that is within you our without you to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? Do you now trust His sufferings on Calvary and His whole atoning work as the ground of your acceptance before God?

Then cry out to God to save you. Get this straight today! Cry out to God to be merciful to you, a sinner. Cry out to God for His Holy Spirit. Only through the Holy Spirit will we come to see that we are sinners. God’s Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, the righteousness of God and His judgment of sin. The Holy Spirit enables us to repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior.

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-13
We love the Lord and we care about you deeply. If you have any questions we would love to help you answer them. We have additional free resources that we would be more than happy to provide you with such as Bibles, Bible studies, sermons on CD, etc. Begin to study the bible yourself so that God’s word is planted in your heart. We would love nothing more than to personally sit down with you and discuss the blessings God has for you through Christ.

Take care and God bless!

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If you do not have a church home we invite you to join us Sunday at 10:00 am for worship services at our church…Marimont Community Church 424 W. Walton ~ Pontiac, MI 48340 ~ 248-332-7239

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Which way to Heaven?

click here to listen or read...Which way to heaven?

Which way to heaven....Do all roads lead to God? Not according to the scriptures. Here is a fantastic teaching by John MacArthur on the exclusivity of Christ. You can read the transcript or listen to the mp3.

If you believe that there is access to God outside of personal faith in Jesus Christ than you have not beleived the God of the Bible. I ask you today to go to the attached link and read and/or listen to the sermon. 

Jesus himself said in John 14:6...I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."  Now Jesus was either lying or telling the truth.  You must decide and today is the day of salvation.  Faith in God outside of Jesus Christ will get you to God, it will get you to God as your Judge not your loving Father. 

Jesus said in John 3:35-36 ..."The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”  If you do not believe what the scriptures reveal about Jesus Christ you are under the condemnation of God. 

There is only one way to God and that is through His Son Jesus Christ and Him alone... I pray that you will open you mind to hear the Word of God and repent and believe today!

God bless...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Have you staked your soul on the atonement?

Oh, to know the grand truths of the gospel, and to know them infallibly.

For instance, the grand doctrine of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Son of God—to know it and hold it and say,

"Let others question and quibble,

but I must believe it;

it is my only hope,

it is all my salvation.

I stake my soul upon it: if that be not true then am I lost."

And so with regard to all the other grand truths of revelation, the thing is to know them and grasp them firmly.

Charles Spurgeon "Hold Fast Your Shield," a sermon published in 1875.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lest we forget...We were without God and had no hope...But God...!!

We were dead in trespasses and sins…

We were children of wrath…

We were without God and without hope…

But God…!!

    was rich in mercy…

    loved us with great love…

    made us alive with Christ…

    gave us the gift of salvation through faith…

    we were far off…

  but God brought us near by the blood of Christ!!

Ephesians 2:1-13
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.