Category Archives: Salvation

Do not despair O believer in Christ

Do not despair O believer in Christ,
When many give up on their holy state.
Do not despair O believer in Christ,
When many give up on the narrow gate.

Do not despair O believer in Christ,
Even if all around you isn’t bright.
Do not despair O believer in Christ,
Even if none of your friends live right.

Do not despair O believer in Christ,
For Christ has your salvation won.
Do not despair O believer in Christ,
For Christ is God’s only begotten son.

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Avoiding Spiritual Gray Zones

In your walk with Christ sometimes you got be aware of spiritual gray zones. These are areas in which it’s not clear if something is wicked or innocent. It can also be areas where a teaching is not confirmed to be consistent with the Gospel and the character of God. At such an instance its useful to know what a ‘Gray zone’ means.

Meaning of Gray zone: (Noun) An intermediate area between two opposing positions; a situation, subject, etc., not clearly or easily defined, or not covered by an existing category or set of rules. (Oxford Dictionary)

One might wonder that what is so dangerous about spiritual gray zones. Due to highly ambiguous nature of these things its better to give out a few examples. Here we go:

  1. Mr A, is a Christian guy who wants to do great things for the Lord God. He wants to perform miracles of healing so as to help the sick and dying. Now even after years of going to church, going to Bible studies and having five hours of daily prayer and also, fasting twice a week, he is unable to heal anyone. Suddenly Mr A, gets to know of a secret group that claims to be Christian and say they can teach anyone to heal within 3 days. However their condition is that he donates a very large sum of money to an offshore bank account of  theirs and also sign a no refund clause. Further more, they want him to not discuss with anyone in his local church about this. He thinks whether to do a little ‘sacrifice for the greater good’ or if its wrong to not speak to his church people and leaders about this. He gets a call from an unknown number asking him to ‘not delay his conversion from day-to-day but rather donate in the next 2 minutes or his time of ‘grace’ will depart from him forever’. Mr A is now totally confused since he never took down his preachers phone number.
  2. Miss J, is egged on by her  friends to marry a man who is given to womanizing and drug abuse. They claim the only way for this man’s soul to be saved is by Miss J marrying him and using her influence as a wife to preach the Gospel to him. Miss  J doesn’t like that idea. But her friends tell her that all preachers tried to bring a change in that sleazy man but nothing happened and say that only genuine love will convince that man to accept the Gospel. She is not aware that her friends are promised a fortune by this impious man who knows that by his character itself, he won’t be able to convince her to marry him. Miss J is scared of using marriage as front to preach the Gospel or to let this man’s soul slip into hell forever.
  3. Preacher Z, is approached by people of another church. They say they got a gold bracelet with the name of their church on it. And they promise to send him a generous tithe each month as long he wears the gold bracelet on his right hand. Now preacher Z is in need of some serious funding for his new missionary project in Namibia. He ponders that if it’s all a matter of wearing a gold bracelet without any change in what he preaches, then what could possibly go wrong.

Let me explain the dangers of each of the above examples. In the first example, Mr A stands likely to be scammed big time if he donates a big sum of money abroad. And if he later contacts law enforcement or legal resources there is very little scope to get his money back. Also if he were to hide things from his preacher, then when he gets scammed, even the preacher and the church to which he belongs will be surprised at his lack of vigilance and eventually this can affect his reputation.

For the second example, if Miss J were to marry the womanizer, there is no guarantee he will ever accept the Gospel. Besides, when he eventually will cheat on her, none of those scheming friends of hers will help. And if she approaches her church they will offer prayers and sympathies but will find it difficult to mend their marriage.

And for the third example, if Preacher Z takes the gold bracelet, it can bring disgrace and controversy to his church and denomination at large. This holds true especially if the other church that gave the bracelet of gold, turns out to be a cult or a heretical organisation. People can and will think of him endorsing their false doctrines.

In cases of spiritual gray zone’s here’s what you can do:

  1. Do not act on your impulses but think what could be the long-term consequences. Also think how would you deal with those consequences.
  2. Do not be over secretive that you don’t take counsel from the right person of God as want to hide things from him or her.
  3. Do read the Bible on a regular basis. Read the various parts of it pertaining to wisdom and discernment, instead of only going for your favourite verses. This should help you remember the counsel of the Bible if in case there is a very quick decision to make or you don’t have access to a faithful and wise preacher of the Gospel. Reading the Bible regularly needs discipline and setting the right priorities to use your time, though.
  4. If it’s too good to be real, do not had over money nor time nor your emotions etc to such things or people. Instead research it. If you cannot research it, then like I said earlier don’t be too shy to get counsel from the wise people of God available to you.
  5. Pray about it for clarity from God. This is where you ask God to deliver from all lies because he the God of truth and not chaos.

Just to let you know, I too faced a very dangerous spiritual gray zone around 2009-2010. I would preach and minister to a growing group of teenagers and those in their early twenties. Some prefer to call them youth or young adults. The point is these youngsters had problems of the spiritual sort; false gods, drinking, smoking, false relationships etc. So myself and some of my contemporaries were given leadership over them. And due to various reasons these youth were comfortable to reach to us for their problems and we would help to come out of their bad habits. We would intercede for them, fast for them and when they are with, lead them in praise and worship of Jesus. This caused lots of lots of youth who at time wouldn’t come to church to come to us instead. It was a nice opportunity for myself to slowly and steadily get them attend church without any forcing.

However, this didn’t sit well in due course of time with the main Christian circle I was in. They accused us of ‘meeting the needs of the youth so that they don’t come to the main body’.  They asked to ‘stop preaching the Gospel since that is what fulfills the needs of the youth and this will cause them to reach out to the main body’. It took me a day or two to come to a decision after praying and my reply to them was “Why do you want me to not follow the commandment of God?” So they asked what commandment and I replied “The great commission to preach the Gospel”. Followed by “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16)” They were horrified at my reply and asked me will I reconsider and follow their ‘authority’ in this matter and only do praise and worship with the youth. Remembering some of the youth, who said that the main body was not that effective in counseling them, I said no to the main body and that’s the last they interacted with me. Later I found that almost all the youth never ‘integrated’ in to the main body consisting of married adults. My point is, I had to make a decision to follow God’s commandment or the opinions of man, even if that is of the elders when it was all a gray area to me.

Christ be with you, as you overcome the gray areas of your life!

 

Preach to the lost if you love the Lord God

Most of the world knows the terms ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Christmas shopping’. But what it doesn’t know clearly is the Gospel of Jesus Christ! By world I mean those who are not in the Lord.

As you love the Lord God it’s a good and wholesome thought and action to let others know of the salvation of the Lord. You might have to actually preach the Gospel more in words than action. Because some people don’t understand the meaning of actions unless you tell them. The devil has tricked them into not being able to connect the dots by observing good behaviour alone. The greatest good that a Christian can do for another person is to lead him or her to Jesus Christ by preaching the Gospel to them. This is the good that benefits them in the after life if they receive and hold onto this life. 

There are lost who need healing. Preach to them and pray for them. You can also get them to church so that the preacher and church elders can pray over them. There are the lost who need deliverance from evil. Don’t be scared to declare the victory of Jesus on the cross to them. There are lost who are broken. Speak to them of Christ who cares for you. 

He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)

Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen. (Acts 28:28)

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness

Accept your invite in the Book of Life

[Jesus said;] He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5)

Keep away from preachers who do not actually preach the Gospel

Would you get surgery done for yourself if the person doing it doesn’t actually practice surgery? Would you like to travel in an aircraft driven by a person who cannot even read the route map?  Would you invest your money in a bank which is on the verge on collapsing? If you said no to any of these questions, then why would you learn the Gospel from anyone who doesn’t actually preach it?

I find it very laughable and amusing to see people who flock to preachers who don’t actually preach the Gospel. Yes, these people will come up with various excuses to continue to waste their time on them. They often say ‘we are not to judge’. So going by that logic they wouldn’t mind if their government transfers all of their money to the ‘vacation for ministers’ fund, because they are not to judge if they go bankrupt. They wouldn’t judge if they were given poisoned food by the restaurants. Probably not if they regard for their well being! However these people will keep pushing the ‘do not judge’ Bible verses upon you as if that will turn their precious little preacher into a true preacher of the Word of God.

Some preachers will totally avoid the mention of Jesus in their entire sermons. Perhaps they never heard of him or maybe they are not trying to please him! Either way that is a massive give away to either correct the preacher or leave him. Some people might think that is offensive, I don’t agree to them. Suppose if you wanted your children to swim but the swimming instructor  doesn’t teach them to swim but only talks about his or her swimming accomplishments , do you or your children truly get your money’s worth for the swimming lessons. You’d most possibly get the children out of that swimming class and join a better one or complain to the management to change the swimming coach. Maybe the management would go half way and instead of removing the coach simply apologize and get the coach to actually teach swimming. If such logic applies to swimming, wouldn’t you and your family’s spiritual life in Christ deserve a bit more better?

There are some people who don’t care if the preacher is preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ or not because of an odd reason. They simply and plainly don’t care to read the Bible either. And if they do, they totally ignore the preachers’ misgivings and in turn open the doors of their heart wide to heresy and ignorance.

Now there are some preachers who do preach parts of Gospel such as forgiveness, healing, and love but avoid anything to do with repentance, holiness and deliverance. These try to make the Gospel palatable to people in order to get the number of people hearing them to increase. However, these do not preach Gospel in its entirety. As a result the person who hears such a preacher is not warned of the traps and temptations and sufferings that they might encounter with their walk with Christ Jesus.  So if the person gives in to sin or remains ignorant of how to receive deliverance from evil, do not be surprised at all.

Do not be the one who refuses to love the truth but rather chooses to live in deception, with deceptive preachers and so share in their eternal judgement!

Bible verses to reflect on:

  1. Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:12-14)
  2. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ (Matthew 23:16)
  3. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12)

Ask yourself if you are honouring God

All praise to the Lord God who is worthy of all worship, honour and adoration. Thanks be to God for sending his only begotten son Jesus Christ to redeem us from sin and death. May the Spirit of God lead us in all truth.

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

The personal responsibility to honour the Lord God rests with you alone. No one else can do it for you. There might be others who want to encourage you to love and serve the Lord Jesus. Thank God for such people. 

But you yourself have to know if you truly honour God. Because it’s very easy for others to have a wrong opinion if you are truly following the Lord or not. Some vile people can trick even their religious leaders that they are following Jesus. But all this happens when they are actually in deep sin. Some ignorant people think they are in sin though they are leading a holy life. This is because they are fearful that leaders, family and friends might contradict them. Don’t be a hypocrite nor unsure of your faith and salvation. (Being unsure of your faith may allow heresy or legalism). So check your faith and honour towards the Lord God in your own heart, without any bias to yourself.

Bible verses to reflect on:

Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.(Psalm 4:4)

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.(Psalm 32:3-5)

“How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin (Job 13:23)

Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (1 Corinthians 11:28)

How deep the Father’s love for us (Worship Video)

 

Lyrics:

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

The Gospel is not a mere message of deliverance

The Gospel is not a mere message of deliverance, but a canon of conduct; it is not a theology to be accepted, but it is ethics to be lived. It is not to be believed only, but it is to be taken into life as a guide. (Alexander MacLaren)

Weakness to sin is willingness to it!

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