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Quick Reminder: Live and preach the Gospel

  • There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not seek to save others.(Saint John Chrysostom)
  • For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16)
  • 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 behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
  • But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27)

 

Quick Reminder: Purity and faith are pleasing to God

 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),  and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10)

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)

Quick Reminder: Please Don’t Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

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The (Easy-to-Understand) Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Why Humanity Needs Him

by Hope Wingo

(Hope’s note:  Please feel free to copy and use all, or any portion, of the following message.)

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE (John 3:16).

You may have heard that verse all of your life, but have you ever read the verses that immediately follow it? The next five verses (John 3:17-21) read, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

Do you see what this scripture is telling us? Although John 3:16 is a comforting verse in itself, the message doesn’t end there. It leads into a warning of condemnation to those who refuse to repent of their ungodly ways and it warns of the consequences of unbelief. On the other hand, it teaches that we gain access to everlasting life when we believe in Him and allow our sins to be exposed to the Light (or, made manifest to Him) so that He can forgive them. This Light is Jesus. “I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life” (John 8:12).

So, why do we need this “Light of the world”? Why Jesus? The following will explain humanity’s broken relationship to God and, according to His Word, what we need to do to make it right with Him…

First, the bad news (about us):

Our sins have separated us from a righteous and holy God,

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

and (without repentance) our situation is hopeless; meaning, we are destined for eternal punishment.

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

Being a good person (or doing good works) can’t save us. We MUST be spiritually “born again”.

John 3:3 – and Jesus answered… Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Now, the good news (about Him):

Our holy, Creator God made a way for sin-cursed humanity to be reconciled back to Him by sending His Son to take our punishment for us. Since the consequence of sin is death, and we were all born into sin through our first father Adam, we were helpless to save ourselves from the pending death sentence of eternal punishment. That’s why God sent His Son to us. Jesus stepped out of eternity to die on our behalf; to pay the sin-debt that we owed. He came down from heaven, became one of us, took our sins upon His own sinless body, then paid the death sentence for us on the cross. (2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.)

Then, three days after His crucifixion, Jesus victoriously arose from the dead…

Luke 24:46 – …it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.

and ascended into Heaven to be an intercessor (or, an advocate) for us…

Romans 8:34 – It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

until He returns for those who are “in Christ”. (See verse below.) This much-anticipated, soon-coming event is called “The Rapture of the Church”. The reason for the Rapture is to keep God’s people “…from the hour of temptation (or testing) which shall come upon all the world…” (Revelation 3:10). We are told that Jesus’ return for us will be as a “thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) so we don’t know what day it will occur, but He described many events that would mark the season (or era) of His Second Coming and told us to watch for those signs. He warned us to “…be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44) and to “Watch… and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass…” (Luke 21:36). Today, major prophetic events undeniably point to our generation as being that very generation of which He spoke; hence, the renewed urgency of our “don’t be left behind” plea. The following verse describes this “Rapture” of Christians, both deceased and living. (Also see: 1 Corinthians 15:49-54):

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Now, to explain what Jesus’ death on the cross actually accomplished: Our human efforts, however sincere, cannot make us holy; but “without holiness, no man shall see God” (Hebrews 12:14). The moment that Adam willfully sinned against God, humanity began its descent into physical death and the entire (yet to be born) human race spiritually died. Since all of Adam’s descendants inherited his sin-nature, and one sinner cannot atone for another sinner, humanity’s reconciliation back to God could only have come from outside of Adam’s sin-cursed lineage. Jesus was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23), so He did not come through Adam’s bloodline. He alone carried the holy, sinless blood of His Heavenly Father. Scripture tells us that the blood not only symbolizes life, but that it is life. “The life of the flesh is in the blood: …for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). Jesus paid the ultimate price for the souls of fallen humanity when He offered up His own life’s blood to redeem us from sin.“You are bought with a price…” (1 Corinthians 6:20). There is no greater love than God’s love for us! …and when we repent of our sins and accept Jesus as our Savior, we are redeemed by His blood and become “holy and unblameable in His sight” (Colossians 1:22). One man (Adam) brought sin upon us and one man (Jesus) took it away… “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). Although we are still condemned to die a physical death, the life-giving blood that Jesus shed for us eternally reconciled our souls back to our Heavenly Father. We cannot earn our way to heaven on our own merits (regardless of our good intentions, efforts or works) because we still carry the sin-nature that we inherited from Adam. It is ONLY through our faith in Jesus that we are saved. (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.) Everything in God’s plan of redemption has already been done for us, once and for all (Romans 6:10), through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We, however, must ACT on our faith in order to receive this gift. To do nothing is to reject Him because “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). So… if you would like to accept Jesus as your Savior and trust Him for your eternal salvation, this is how to be born again:

  • Believe that Jesus is the Son of God. (John 14:6 – …I am the waythe truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.) and (John 8:42 – …for I proceeded forth and came from God; …He sent me.) and (John 10:30 – I and my Father are one.) and (1 John 5:12 – He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.)

  • Believe that He paid for your sins on the cross. (Ephesians 1:7 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace…) and (1 Peter 2:24 – Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…) and (Revelation 5:9 – …for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation).

  • Acknowledge that you are a sinner, then ask Him to forgive your sins. (1 John 1:8-9 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness).

  • Finally, tell somebody that you believe in Him! (Romans 10:9-10 – …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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.)

So, how do we talk to God? What do we do now? Hebrews 4:16 tells us to “Come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy”, meaning God is approachable: He invites us into a relationship with Him. That being said, simply talk to Him as you would talk to a friend. Be honest and open. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and to start you all over with a new life in Him. You’ll be amazed at how everything changes when you allow Him to become your Lord and Savior! Also, start reading the Bible. The New Testament books of John and Romans are a good place to start. They’ll teach you the basics. To the believer, reading God’s Word develops a spiritual hunger to learn more and more; and the more we read, the more we grow in the Lord and understand His ways.

A final heartfelt plea… Today is the day of salvation. “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15). When we die, our souls go directly to heaven or hell (Matthew 25:46) based upon whether we have accepted Jesus as our Savior or whether we have rejected Him through unbelief. There is no middle ground. Sadly, Jesus told us that the majority will refuse His gift and will spend all of eternity paying their own sin-debt. He said, “…Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.“ (Matthew 7:14), and “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25). The truth is: Jesus will either be our Lord now, or He will be our Judge in the future. He paid the price for our souls because He loves us, but the choice to accept or reject Him is ours to make. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and His steadfast message is, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). There is no other Way. There is no other God. There is no other Truth. There is no other Light. “Neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12). That’s the pure, biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ, and what we do with it determines our eternal destiny.

Source link for the above article:

www.1way2yahweh.wordpress.com/

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The Holy Scriptures were not given
to us that we should enclose 
them in books, but that we should 
engrave them upon our hearts.(St. John Chrysostom)

Quick Reminder: Avoid self righteousness

* For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

* But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-5)

Do not love sin when trying to escape temptation

temptation

 

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. (1 Peter 4:7)

It’s pointless for anyone to pray to overcome temptation when that person saying that prayer is not willing to stop liking the sin. Yes, there are people who are scared of the eternal consequences of sin but do not care if the temporary pleasure they get offends the Lord God or even defiles their own soul and body. So its best to abhor the sin that tries to entice you and pray for overcoming it at the same time.

 

 

 

Good old repentance

repentance

Matthew 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

The very first words of Jesus when he began his ministry was that the people repent. No blame shifting, no excuses, no blaming your genetics. It was simple, repent. Period.

Jesus came for sinners alright. He didn’t have to come for the righteous. The righteous were always taken care of by God. He came to help sinners out of their sinful ways. For sin kills, sometimes physically but always spiritually. A person may never get caught for stealing but will suffer eternal damnation in hell for that.

Acts 3:18-19 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer.  Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord

Turning away from sin is a big relief. Staying in sin is unbelief. You can’t can call yourself a true believer if you can’t turn away from sin. For that is the first command of Jesus when he began his ministry.

Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

Many people are now very stubborn. They think that they can commit all the adultery and thievery they want in secret, then go to church, feed the poor and all will be well. I have words for them; repent and do not delay. For when the time of judgement comes, it will be anything but well for them.

We all need this repentance which is good old repentance. Not some cheesy repentance. No blaming your past for your sinful present. Just leave your sinful ways and ask God for pardon.

There might be some sins that you know you won’t be doing it. That’s not the point. You need to confess your sin to God. No hiding it from HIM. He knows it but expects humility from you.

Hebrews 3: 7-19

So, as the Holy Spirit says:  “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts  as you did in the rebellion,  during the time of testing in the wilderness,  where your ancestors tested and tried me,  though for forty years they saw what I did.  That is why I was angry with that generation;  I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,  and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger,  ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said:  “Today, if you hear his voice,  do not harden your hearts  as you did in the rebellion.” Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Unbelief is firstly a heart and mind issue. Actions only follow later. You know that God wanted to convict his people of their lack of faith after coming out from Egypt across the Red Sea. For he know that if they harbor unbelief it would eventually lead to sin which when coupled with non repentance proves to be a very bad combination for the human soul, always!

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