Is “Asking Jesus into our Hearts” Biblical? Questioning the unquestionable… We have all heard it taught. It is taught to children in Sunday schools, private Christian schools, and in Christian homes across the land. It is taught as being the Gospel message, the plan of salvation, and in modern times it is even presented to […]Read more
No Chance of Life By Chance
(by Bruce Malone, used with permission)
In the 1700’s, many scientists believed that life spontaneously generated from non-living matter (such as raw meat or sewage). In the 1800’s, using careful experimentation, Louis Pasteur proved this concept wrong and verified that life only comes from previously existing life. Ironically, many scientists have once again returned to the belief that life came from nonlife…in spite of the fact that there is no experimental evidence to show how that could have happened. The reason for the return of this unsupported belief is that science has been defined to eliminate the consideration of the only other alternative—the creation of life by someone who is alive, an intelligent designer, the Creator God.
Even the simplest living cell is an incredibly complex machine. It must be capable of detecting malfunctions, repairing itself, and reproducing itself. Man has never succeeded in building a machine capable of these same functions. Yet, most scientists Read more…
Search for the Truth
(written by Bruce Malone, used with permission)
Western civilization was founded on the realization that an infinite creator God exists. It was upon this basis (that the universe was the orderly product of an intelligent being) that the founders of modern science had the confidence to develop the scientific method and modern science. However, in recent years, this open acknowledgment of a personal creator has been replaced by science as the source of ultimate reality. This viewpoint shift is primarily justified by the acceptance of evolution (both biological and cosmic) as fact. The late Christian philosopher, Francis Schaeffer, put it best, “Modern man has two feet firmly planted in midair.”
In essence, modern man has put science in place of God as the foundation for understanding reality. Instead of the starting point, “In the beginning God created…” we now have “In the beginning hydrogen gas…” However, science can never define reality because it is merely a tool which organizes observations in such a way as to attempt to explain the physical world. Current observations are extrapolated to explain the past (which can no longer be observed) or to predict the future (which also cannot be observed). As more observations are gathered, predictions of science (known as hypotheses, theories, and laws) constantly change. For example, the universal laws of motion developed by Newton in the 1600’s have been expanded by Einstein’s theory of relativity in the 1900’s. This in turn has been expanded to include other discoveries of modern physics.
The realization that scientific discoveries are ever-changing has been incorrectly extended to all areas of life and has led to the conclusion that there is no absolute truth. However, just because scientific interpretations are ever-changing does not prove that truth does not exist. Science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. Furthermore, what we believe Read more…
In studying 1 Samuel you come to ask the question, ‘Can Saul stoop any further down into sin?’ He certainly could and did so. Saul’s sin and rebellion against the Lord led him into greater sin. He continued to spiral further down the path of depravity.
Saul was suspicious of everyone – “you have all conspired against me.” Sin always gives the sinner a warped self-perception, and worldview. Those lost in sin never see or perceive reality. They are spiritually blind to the truth of God, which is reality (2 Cor 4:4).
In Philippians 1:21 Paul stated, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Thus, he gave the Christian view of life and in the second half of the verse he gave the Christian view of death. He continued by stating that physical death, would be a beneficial occurrence. He stated, “and to die is gain.”
The word ‘…gain…’ means “…to profit…” It carries the idea of benefiting from a transaction. It would be advantageous for Paul to die and departed (vs. 23) to be with Jesus Christ. Paul would be the richer spiritually to die and enter into the presence of God.
Furthermore, the word ‘die’ refers to the act of dying or the exact moment of death. The verb tense is aorist, indicating point action. Physical death is a onetime occurrence. If you are a Christian when physical death occurs, your spirit separates from your physical body and you are immediately transported into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle affirmed this in 2 Corinthians 5:8b where he wrote “…to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”
Therefore, the most profitable thing for Paul, as well as for all true followers of Jesus Christ, is to depart from this life into the presence of the Lord. What could be more profitable than being in the presence of the Lord Jesus?
However, if you are not a genuine follower of Jesus Christ, then upon your death you will be immediately cast into Hell, where you will suffer unthinkable agony, torment, which will never cease or lessen in intensity.
Revelation 20:15 “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Every person’s greatest need in this life is Jesus Christ. Every individual must come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They must come to Jesus Christ for salvation. To come to Jesus for salvation you must first recognize who He is! He is the sovereign Lord of all creation.
John 13:13 “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.
Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Then you must come to the Lord Jesus on His terms for receiving forgiveness and salvation. You must repent, that is, you must turn away from sin, you must reject a self-centered focus in life, and by faith focus solely on surrendering to and living for Jesus. You must believe in, trust in, and reply upon the Lord Jesus alone for forgiveness and salvation.
Can you say along with the Apostle Paul “..to die is gain…”? Are you ready to enter into eternity?
From the Apostle Paul’s divinely inspired perspective, to live physically in this world, meant only one thing, to live exclusively for Jesus Christ. The Christian’s sole purpose in life is to live for Jesus Christ. Like the apostle, a Christian’s life should be completely wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ. The Apostle succinctly stated the singular focus of his life, in Philippians 1:21a “For to me, to live is Christ…” The phrase ‘…to live…’ refers to continual action, to a continual ongoing relationship. It refers to living out of one’s life.
He defined the sum of a Christian’s life, when he wrote in Colossians 3:4a that “…Christ…is our life.” He further echoed that single-mindedness in Galatians 2:20 where he declared, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Paul’s divinely inspired perspective on living the Christian life and that of the Bible are one and the same. To be a Christian means that one must know and live exclusively for Jesus Christ. Repeatedly the Scriptures assert that the one professing faith in Jesus Christ must live exclusively for the Lord, and not for themselves.
Matthew 16:24-25 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Romans 14:7-8 “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”
2 Corinthians 5:15 “and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
In truth, the Christian life is a Christ-Centered life not a self-centered one. For the Christian, there is one all-encompassing purpose in life, which is knowing, loving, and serving, the Lord Jesus Christ. Like the Apostle Paul, our lives must be intently focused on the Lord Jesus. Those of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ are called by God to live totally for Him. For the Christian, must be committed to Jesus Christ in this life; you are to live your life singularly and radically for Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ Is Our Life!
The video below is a short introduction to a video series called “History of the modern Gospel.” Instead of watching sports tonight, or home improvement, military history or whatever, please let me encourage you to check out this series. It’s well researched, accurate and about something a whole lot more important than basketball. It is free to view online at their website – CLICK HERE to check it out.
Today, I came across a great article regarding the modern Church’s drive to be missional and relevant in today’s culture, and what effect this focus has had on the understanding of sin and salvation. If you are in a church or church movement with a heavy focus on living “incarnational and missional”, I would highly encourage you to find a comfy chair and take a few minutes to read this excellent article over at Possessing the Treasure – CLICK HERE
Every one should strive to continually improve, right? Well, yes. But we must be very careful when it comes to improving our actions and behaviors, or our avoidance of sins. Are we trying to improve ourselves and cease sinning because we are trying to be in right standing with God? If this is the case, we are rejecting Christ’s work on the Cross! It is the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, the atonement He won for us, that makes us in right standing with God. He paid the fines His people owe (fines dictated by God’s law) so that they would be found righteous in the eyes of the Holy Court. Period. Sin will bring brokenness, grief, conviction and much other turmoil, but if you think that “being better next time” will make you right with God you are worshipping the idol of your own goodness. Saved means saved. Sin should be repented of because of what Christ did, not to finish what He started. In theological language, don’t think your sanctification will lead to your salvation! Don’t think being good will make you saved. That is putting the cart before the horse…and it is idolatry and a rejection of what Christ did for you. Salvation leads to works that are truly good, but good works don’t lead to salvation.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:8-10
Salvation leading to good works = Horse and then cart – GOOD!
Good works leading to (or assisting in) salvation = Cart and then horse – BAD!
Okay – Here’s the challenge… Turn off the cable TV, and watch this video tonight instead. It is a LOT more interesting than it might first appear, and it concerns you greatly. It will open your eyes to many truths about the modern church in America, and in Longview. I strongly encourage you to watch this with an open mind, prayerful heart, and (of course) a Bible so you can easily look up the references to see if these things are so.
If you are currently attending a church similar to the ones discussed here, one that has being “relevant” as its’ highest priority, I cannot stress enough the spiritual danger you might be embracing. Not because they are trying to reach people with the Gospel, but because there is a very high possibility they are reaching people (and you) with a changed gospel. Another gospel. Please take the time to pray and study the Scriptures so that you might know for certain as to whether or not you and your children are being fed God’s truth as opposed to a psychology based morality movement.
The one thing missing from this video is a plain proclamation of the true, biblical Gospel as proclaimed by Jesus, Paul, John and all of Scripture. But before I tell you of the rescue (which is the good news of the Gospel) you must know the bad news, and why all men are in need of rescue. All men have sinned and broken God’s laws (these are laid out in summary form in the Ten Commandments). We have all lied, hated, and lusted. Every one of us has indulged in gossip, wicked fantasies and idolatry. Because of our guilt, obeying the laws of God now will in no way absolve us of our existing guilt. Why? Because God is a just judge, and so a punishment must be handed down. If no punishment is given, justice would not be upheld. Because of this situation, we are all guilty and hopelessly headed for eternal torment. But here is the good news! God stepped in and sent His only Son to be tortured and killed on the Cross, paying our punishment. Repenting of our sins (repenting is a change of mind regarding sin, a turning from our own passions) and clinging to Christ alone, trusting that His work alone is what makes us right with God, we are then made in right-standing with in the courts of the almighty. Upon Him is our sin laid and we inherit the righteousness of Christ. We are saved through faith in Christ alone (not our own efforts… that is why it is called “good news”!!) Christ proved to all His true identity and that His sacrifice was acceptable by rising from the dead. That is the gospel! It is the good news that helpless and wicked men have a savior who has done the unimaginable in order to save His people!