Thursday, December 31, 2009

FALSE TEACHERS DAMNABLE HERESIES APOSTACY

False Teachers – Damnable Heresies – Apostasy



“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:1-3.



I was listening to a radio call in program the other day when a man came on and asked the radio host if he knew anything about a new offer by a college to teach anyone how to become a biblical prophet for a mere $4,000 dollars. In other words they will sell you the gift of prophecy. “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Acts 8:18-20.



The gifts given us by God through His Holy Spirit can’t be bought as Simon found out. They are a gift and they are given to whomever He chooses.



“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:” 1 Corinthians 12:7-10.



Paul tells us that we’re each given a gift, but that those gifts vary. Not everyone is given the gift of healing. Similarly, not everyone is given the gift of prophecy. You can pay one million dollars to become a biblical prophet but if the Holy Spirit hasn’t given you that gift then you’ve just wasted a million bucks. The people that promote this type of heresy are false teachers and the Bible says they will abound in the end times.



We’re also told in the Bible that in the end times the Church will go into a massive and destructive stance of overwhelming apostasy. In my estimation, most of the Church today hasn’t a clue as to what’s happening or that the apostasy is here. The most pervasive and gross attacks on the Christian Church today will come from within the church body itself. False teachers are rarely attacking the Church from the outside. More than anything else the false teachers are standing behind the pulpits.



People know the truth from reading the scriptures yet teach false doctrines for the purpose of promoting themselves and for obtaining financial gain from their followers. “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:” These folks either don’t care or don’t understand that they are receiving their reward now in this life. “And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness...” 2 Peter 2:13.



“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Jude 1:11. There is no greater curse on the earth than empty, vain religion; “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud..., unholy..., lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1, 2, 4b, 5. Many Christians are afraid of secular humanism or atheism or the world. But false teaching is far more dangerous, and sends more people to hell than anything else. These who teach thusly are going the way of Cain, ungodly, greedy, and finally apostasy.



False teachers twist scripture like nothing we’ve ever seen before and all to fit their own fancies. Evangelists have appeared on the national scene many of who the uninformed simple minded folks swoon over because of their appeal and charisma. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” And by the sheer number of email responses I receive from folks who have been taught false doctrine, there must be a great amount of these preachers on the scene today.



I receive letters from folks who tell me the Trinity is a false teaching because the word Trinity isn’t in the Bible. Next they’ll complain because I equate Jesus to God because (they say) everyone knows Jesus isn’t God, even Jesus Himself never said He was God. They continue with the following lie, if you aren’t baptized you’re not saved. Others say if you can’t speak in tongues you’re not saved. Here’s one that really gets me. If you worship on Sunday you’ve taken the mark of the beast. Then of course there are always those who condemn me for teaching on the Rapture of the Church which they see as heresy, and on and on it goes. What in the world are these people being taught? And what does the person who’s teaching them this tripe hope to gain?



God, in His word, isn’t condemning those who honestly misinterpret a verse or make a mistake, but who are open to correction. He’s speaking about blatant and persistent false representation of His word. Lying for the purpose of fulfilling one’s own agenda, such as monetary gain, that’s the heretical teaching God hates.



Heresy is akin to leaven; it only takes a small amount to infect the whole bunch. Heresy spreads beginning from a small misrepresentation and almost without notice this lie begins to grow, and before long it has infested the whole congregation. Then some of those lie polluted people leave that congregation for another and they take the lies they’ve been taught with them. Within a very short period of time the Christian Church becomes replete with heretical teachings and false doctrines.



A friend of mine recently told me of a book he is reading where the author gives all authority for the interpretation of scriptures to the Catholic Church. How many people are going to read this same book and be swayed by the author’s un-biblical arguments? This is just one instance of leading people astray. How many Christians and non-Christians read the Da Vinci Codes and were swayed by Dan Browns attempt at fiction? Millions. Then the movie did it’s best to give credence to this same heresy. The same can be said for the book entitled “The Shack”. A book of fiction, yes, but with horrible misrepresentations of God, and the simple minded are led astray.



These are the times Jesus speaks about “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Matthew 24:4. How many today are following Jesus admonition? By what I see going on in the media and different ministries, not many.



Peter tells us that such teachings are “damnable heresies”. What does damnable mean? The Greek word used here is “apōleia” Which is explained in my concordance as the destruction which consists of eternal misery in Hell. People who teach others heresies are on a one way trip to Hell.



Can you just imagine the snowball effect associated with the promotion of a heresy? Here’s an example to consider, Joseph Smith claimed he was visited by an angel named Moroni . This angel told him that he was giving Smith a new gospel because the original had become corrupt. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9. Paul repeats the condemnation twice, “let him be accursed”. I’ve noticed in the scriptures that anytime something is reiterated twice it carries much more weight.



Joseph Smith was certainly accursed; he soon became involved in a shootout in which he died a horrible bloody death. And of course he is in Sheol awaiting his turn to appear before the White Throne Judgment Seat of God which occurs at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ here on earth.



How severe will Joseph Smiths punishment be? Well he started off with a handful of converts to Mormonism leading people away from the true Gospel and over the years the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has grown into a huge conglomerate, a false religion of which millions of followers are already condemned to Hell. Joseph Smith is responsible for the condemnation of millions of simple minded people who are all perishing because of his false teaching. How severe will his punishment be? We mere humans would probably consider Smiths punishment extreme. But through his own actions Smith condemned himself.



Another man who is awaiting his turn before the White Throne Judgment seat of God and who is even today continually adding more and more severe condemnation to himself is Charles Russell. Russell was the first president of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Russell originally denied the doctrine of Hell, and would go on to reject nearly every other Christian doctrine, as well as add many physically and spiritually dangerous doctrines of his own making. Many of these unique and bizarre teachings were to be found in his six volume series titled, Studies in the Scriptures.



For the year 2000, the Watchtower Society claimed a worldwide membership of over six million (about one million U.S. ) in more than 91,000 congregations in 235 countries speaking 340 languages, and takes in approximately 300,000 new members each year (288,907 in 2000). Charles Russell no longer denies the doctrine of Hell; he has since learned that Hell is a real place. What kind of severe punishment will Russell endure? God knows.



“Denying the Lord that bought them” Peter continues with his explanation of the false teachers and what they can expect as punishment. But what constitutes false teaching? Anything that adds to, or takes away from, or that runs contrary to God’s inerrant word.



When men and women stand before an audience, and deceive that audience for the explicit purpose of monetary gain or some other agenda or write books for the same purpose, those folks are void of conscience. They are reaping their reward here on earth. They should do everything they can to live the happiest life they can because when all is said and done and they leave planet earth for their eternal destination, the fun and games will be over.



“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15. Wolves in sheep’s clothing? In other words they will look like you and I. They will speak words that seem to be so true. They will give great advice and lecture on current societal problems which will make all the sense in the world. But their motives will be selfish. Many will follow their evil ways. They will begin to behave in bazaar manners but they will be recognized as leaders in the Christian evangelical movement. Beware!



Some of these wolves will be debased sexually and after they’ve deceived many their dark secrets will be revealed, but it will be too late for they will have influenced many of the weak minded and biblically unstudied masses. People, this is going on right now in many Christian churches and it needs to be nipped in the bud. We need to make a stand against anyone who stands against Christ in any way. We need to remove leaders who don’t actually believe what they teach, and all who teach false doctrines.



And just how do we know they are teaching falsehoods? We study our Bibles and we learn the scriptures for ourselves. This way no church leader or any other Bible teacher can deceive us with words of deception. If this were the case those who teach false doctrines wouldn’t make it past a sentence or two before someone in the congregation would stand up and call them on the lie they are proclaiming.



The rub is we must study our Bibles otherwise I can promise you, you will be deceived. Whether intentionally or not, false doctrine will creep into your congregation when the flock hasn’t the biblical knowledge needed to confront those heresies. “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:29, 30.



We are held responsible to know the truth, each one of us individually. We are to work out our own salvation as Paul tells us “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12. Paul means to put forth real effort into our Christians lives. This is not to work our salvation in the sense of accomplishing it, but to work out our salvation - to see it evident in every area of our lives, and to activate this salvation God freely gave us. The believer must know God’s word so as not to be led astray.



Only those foolish enough to believe every word someone tells them are foolish enough to be led like sheep to the slaughter. Don’t allow this to happen to your family or to your congregation; don’t allow deceptions and false doctrine to ruin your life and your eternal destiny. Continue to study God’s word, and stay alert.



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

All scripture is from the KJV

Saturday, December 26, 2009

GOD CAME - LET'S CELEBRATE

God Came – Let’s Celebrate



“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7.



This time of year brings great joy to folks all over the world and from just about every walk of life. Admittedly we’ve entered a very festive season, but few recognize the real reason behind all the festivities. As strange as it may seem many folks have no clue that Christmas is a birthday celebration. Christian’s especially enjoy this time of the year because we know whose birth we’re celebrating.



2,000 years ago God came. He entered His Creation and became a man, the man Jesus Christ. The Bible declares it; that should be enough evidence for anyone to believe it, and many do. But many disregard what the Bible says about the birth of the Savior of the world. Hey it’s a holiday, that’s good enough.



God went from being spirit to being a flesh and blood man. A perfect God became a perfect man. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. Jesus is our Messiah, our perfect God, and our Great Savior, and Redeemer. He’s the Creator of the entire universe. He came to set us free.



Most have either heard or read the account of Jesus’ birth. Jesus began His earthly life as an infant. He was born in a manger and His birth was heralded by an angel. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:9-11.



Undoubtedly great joy and celebration erupted in Heaven when the little baby Jesus cried His very first cry proclaiming the beginning of His human life. And here on earth that very night a whole host of angels appeared before those lowly shepherds “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13, 14. Peace on earth? It won’t be long now.



God came as a propitiation for our sins. Those sins began four thousand years before Christ’s birth and they have continued for 2,000 years after His death, burial, and resurrection. Even though sin abounds today there is salvation, there is forgiveness, and there is hope for all who have sinned. And all have sinned. I guess that means there’s hope for some us, right? No, it means there’s hope for everyone. The angel that appeared to the shepherds that night told them that there would be great joy for all people, all people. We are all invited to accept the free gift that God gave to the world that night. When baby Jesus grew into manhood He became the sin offering for all of mankind, “for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.” Hebrews 7:27b



Trying to explain to the lost that God came and that He died on a cross for the sins of the entire world can be an arduous task. Why? Because preaching the cross and Christ crucified is foolishness to most people. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18. They either refuse to believe in a God of the universe, or they believe in God but refuse to believe He could die, let alone die for the sins of man. But He did. “And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, for there is no sin in him.” 1 John 3:5.



Even before Jesus became a full grown man He knew He had an eternal plan to accomplish. That plan was conceived between Father and Son before the foundation of the world and accomplished on an old wooden cross. Jesus’ death was not a tragedy, it was an achievement. Although God the Father and God the Son both knew few would enter through the narrow gate they still went ahead with their plan.



God knew from the beginning that man would fail the test of following His commands to the letter, and was fully aware of what He would need to do to move His children back into a right relationship with Himself. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.



The Pharisees of Jesus’ time believed they could obtain eternal life because of their strict adherence to the scriptures, but Jesus told them “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39. Sadly, many today have the same mindset as those Pharisees of old.



Preachers have been pounding the tops of pulpits for years trying to get the Gospel message out to a rebellious people so they might grasp the truth. Many have succeeded in their attempts, but many more have not. Rebellion is a difficult thing to counter. Moms and dads know this all too well. Children begin to rebel almost from birth. “No” becomes their favorite word in many cases. Whether or not you’d like to admit it folks, that’s rebellion. That’s what God sees in His children, but that’s what He overlooks once we’ve heard the Gospel and believed.



Each year the unbelieving world seek to change the name of this particular season to “winter festival” or some other non-biblical name, anything to take the emphases off Christ and His birth. All those who wish to eliminate Christmas from the season and change the name and the meaning of the 25th of December to “happy holidays” will soon get their wish. Here comes Santa Claus will be the only reference to this particular day in the not so distant future. After the Rapture of the Church there will be no further resistance to changing the name of the season. But there will be nothing to ho, ho, ho about either.



Call it what you will, God came to replace death with life. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. There’s no denying the facts for those of us whose blinders have been removed. Believers could no more deny Christ or the fact that He came than deny the sun shines every day.



But for many lost souls denying Christ is prominent, many times in the forefront of their minds and at this time of year the denial becomes even more extreme. Some of those who deny Christ become abusive and lash out at any reference to God and Jesus during the Christmas season.



But all the denial in the world doesn’t change the facts, God came. The Bible contains many scriptures about the Christ child and His arrival. Go ahead deny the Bible that’s easy, but you must deny truth at the same time. The Bible is true and complete; all of life’s questions can be answered from the Bible. As I’ve stated in previous commentaries the Bible was written as a history lesson in advance. That’s how God authenticates His word.



Reading and studying the Bible brings comfort in the form of truth. The Bible is God speaking to us and His words comfort our soul. This time of year can be especially comforting as we celebrate the birth of our Savior and King, our Messiah, Jesus.



Many people refuse to believe that God came because of what they’ve been taught; a lie that has been handed down from generation to generation is still a lie. People become convinced there is no God and then they choose to remain in their unbelief. Some when they are presented with the truth believe, but many more don’t. However, nothing can stop the forward progress of God’s advancing Kingdom, whether we run into unbelief or rebellion of any kind, God will not be stopped. He’s proved this time and again.



Those who reject the true fact that God came are in for a surprise of enormous proportions. It’s not going to be a pleasant surprise of course, but most certainly enormous. You see, all those who continue in unbelief continue to belong to Satan and they are condemned. God has made it plain that to reject His truth is to stand against Him. All who reject the truth announced throughout the scriptures of the birth, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah of the world are only following their father the devil.



God came, and Jesus is God. This biblical truth is disparaged by various religions as well as the Christian cults. In their case condemnation reigns supreme. But that condemnation can be avoided. How? “...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ...” Acts 16:31a. By believing that Jesus is who He says He is, earth’s populace can avoid condemnation. But many just flat out refuse to believe, thus they remain Satan’s property.



Jesus Christ is the Messiah that came, a descendant from the tribe of Judah , to proclaim salvation to the Jews. The Jews, many still in rebellion to this day, rejected their Messiah. The Gentiles, on the other hand, were excited about their Messiah and embraced Him with open arms and the Church was born. Many Jews heard the Apostles preaching and believed and joined the body of Christ. Many more did not. And to this day have not.



The Church is God’s creation and He had it in His mind to send His Son to begin the Church at a specific time. Yet many still don’t get it, so we pray for them, family members and friends. We pray that the scales that cover their eyes would melt away just as they did from our own, and the truth would become crystal clear.



All those who believe God came, will, one day soon, accompany Him to Heaven. All those who don’t believe will remain behind and life will be very different here for them once the Church is removed. Even though God came and died for all men He’s willing to allow men their freedom and their choice. He’s willing to refrain from interfering with man’s decision of where to spend eternity. You see, it really isn’t sin that sends people to Hell. No, it’s the refusal of God’s free gift of salvation. Jesus paid the price for the sins of the world. All we must do is believe in the Gospel of Christ.



Rebellion is rebellion, some get over it but we are all born with it. Some never get past that childish rebellious nature of saying “NO” so they can come to the truth of the Gospel. If you’re reading this commentary and you’re at a point in your life where you are beginning to feel a tugging on your heart that something is amiss in your life, then you might want to heed these words. The Holy Spirit of God is doing the tugging/drawing and if you’ll let Him He’ll help you remove those old stubborn scales covering your eyes and toss away that infantile rebellion you’ve been clinging onto for all these years.



Well, that’s it, that’s the whole shebang, the whole enchilada. It’s really that simple. God came, showed up here on earth as a little baby boy, grew to manhood, still fully God and fully man. If you believe that fact, if you believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the propitiation for our sins you will no longer be under condemnation, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1.



Christmas is so much more than ho, ho, ho. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.



A Gift Idea:

We are given a perfect opportunity to explain the Gospel to folks who at other times of the year may not be in the frame of mind to hear it. Christmas is a time of joy and many feel the need to give and so why not give the gift that keeps on giving. Give them this gift. Give them the message of the Gospel of Christ.



Merry Christmas, and God bless you all,



Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

All scripture is from the KJV

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

SURELY I COME QUICKLY

SURELY I COME QUICKLY

2 Peter 3:10-12 10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 1.But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10. Who died for us,
that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

KEEP MAKING YOUR LOVE FOR CHRIST YOUR FIRST PRIORITY

Rev 2:4-5 4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.


Deuteronomy 6:5-7 5. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6. And these words, which I command thee, that they shall be in thine heart. 7. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children and shalt talk of them when thou sitteth in thine house, and when thou walketh by the way, and when thou liest down and when thou riseth up.

Deuteronomy 11:1. Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

Deuteronomy 30:16-20 16.In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18. I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20. That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Luke 10:27. And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

DO NOT TOLERATE FALSE DOCTRINE OR FALSE TEACHERS

Rev 2:14-16 14. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. 16. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

HOLD FAST TO THE WORD OF CHRIST'S PATIENCE

Rev 3:10-12 10. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

HOLD FAST THE SAYINGS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK

Rev 21:10-11 10.And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;...

Rev 21:22-27 22. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Rev 22:1-7 1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 6. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

DO ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF CHRIST AND BE BLESSED

Rev 22:10-15 10. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

JESUS OFFERS FREELY THE WATER OF LIFE TO WHOMSOEVER WILL TAKE IT

Rev 22:16-21 16. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 20. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Agape
Craig & Zelma

Thursday, December 03, 2009

MY GOD WON'T SEND ME TO HELL

My God Won’t Send Me to Hell!



“But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee?” Jeremiah 2:28a. Clearly many people create their own god–one which will conveniently suit their personal needs. Basically what they’re creating for themselves is a designer god. “My god won’t send me to Hell!” Here we go.



Why would a loving God, a God who is described as pure love, condemn any of his children to Hell? This is very a common question especially among those who don’t believe the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or who have little to no Bible knowledge. Believe it or not even Christians ask this question, and few are able to give a sound, Biblical answer.



A common statement from non-believers is “My god would never send anyone to Hell, he’s a loving god. Only an evil god would create people and then send them to Hell.” Good point, but since these folks are non-believers their god is Satan. And his main modus operandi is to convince man that he is god and that he would never send anyone to Hell. Well he certainly isn’t God, but he is very efficient and persuasive when it comes to promoting his lies. After all he’s been at it for 6,000 years give or take a year or so.



What I tell these folks is that my God wouldn’t send any human being to Hell either. Now this really throws them for a loop and even some of my readers might be scratching their heads right about now.



Here’s what I tell these doubters. Since I’m a believer “In Christ” my God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. My God is the God of the Old Testament and of the New. My God is the Lord Jesus Christ, God Almighty, Creator of the universe and everything in it. There is no other God. Now they’re saying “Well, your God sends people to Hell; He’s not my god. The God of the Old Testament was a horrible and gruesome God full of hate for the very people He created.”



So, what do we tell a person such as this? They don’t want anything to do with the God of the Bible because they assume He sends people to Hell. They’ve made up their own god, thanks to Satan, to associate with and to accommodate them in this life. Then they classify and condemn God, God Almighty, the one and only true God, as evil, unloving, and uncaring.



To obtain a little knowledge can be useful but sometimes a little knowledge of the Bible can be dangerous, even destructive. This is exactly how cults get started. People try reading the Bible without any discernment from God and they usually begin in the Old Testament and find scriptures where God condemned whole cities. Or they read where God would command his people to go into a particular city and kill all inhabitants. But because they don’t understand what God was doing in those instances they look at God as an evil and maniacal God, completely out of control, and certainly without love.



“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. Arguably the most quoted verse in the entire Bible. If God loves the whole world why does He condemn some people to Hell? How can this presumed hateful God of the Old Testament be the same God of the New Testament?



There are many picture types of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament; Bible teachers will claim Jesus Christ is on every page. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39. When Jesus made that statement to the Pharisees the only scriptures in their possession were what we call the Old Testament. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1.



Clearly Jesus the Messiah is the God of the Old and New Testament. The writer of Hebrews tells us “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8. So God never changes and since Jesus is God and always has been He must be the same God, Old Testament and New.



How can that be? Jesus is very loving when we read about Him in the New Testament. Jesus never changes He was as loving before the foundation of the world, when He and the Father came up with the plan to save their Creation from destruction, as He is today.



Now that we’ve established that Jesus Christ is the God of the Old and New Testaments let’s get back to the question at hand. Why does God send people to Hell? The simple answer is He doesn’t.



“Wait a minute, you’ve told me that if I don’t accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, if I don’t believe He died for my sins and repent then I will go to Hell when I die.” Yep, that’s what the Bible tells us. “Well I’m not going to believe in who you call your God so why am I going to Hell if your God doesn’t send me there?”



Wow, you’ve just about got it. God, in His word, gave us the keys to entering Heaven. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. God Almighty tells us that only through Him (Jesus Christ) may we enter Heaven, and that any other means of getting there which we perceive is a possibility is actually just foolishness. “My god would never send anyone to Hell!” Nor would mine, but the question remains, who’s your god?



You don’t want to believe the truth so you’ve made up your own personal god who won’t send you to Hell no matter how you live your life. This is exactly what Satan promotes. You might want to rethink placing your faith in some nonexistent god. Here’s what has happened, you’ve accepted the following lie from the enemy. “God will never send me to Hell, I’m a good person” While it’s true that God doesn’t send people to Hell, we can see the lie of the enemy in that statement, “I’m a good person”. “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” Mark 10:18.



People who want to believe they can get to Heaven just by being good are horribly deceived. Many people live an exemplary life and are convinced they’re going to Heaven because of how they’ve lived, how generous they are, how loving they are, how respected they are. The cults will confirm this same lie just to get you into their fold. But it’s all still a lie, and a very destructive one at that.



Being sent to Hell only comes from one entity, you. You are the only one that is responsible for your eternal destination. God made it easy. “...believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:29b. It’s not very difficult, it only takes faith. But then again so does belief in your designer god, or no god. If you think you can get to Heaven by being good and nothing else, that my friend, still takes faith, albeit your faith is in a lie.



Many have said they just don’t believe this salvation thing can be that easy, there must be more to it than that. They just can’t get their minds around the fact that God had to die a horrible death on some old cross so the rest of us could go to Heaven instead of Hell. That unbelief is the condemnation that people just don’t understand. A hardened heart will never get it, and Satan is diligent in his efforts to keep you in that state of mind.



God made it easy for His creation to believe and be saved. But it was not easy for Him. He had to stand by and watch as man spit, beat, and humiliated His Son. Then surely the tears flowed as He watched man drive spikes into the hands and feet of His only begotten Son when they placed Him on that cross. God’s creation was instrumental in placing Jesus the Christ on that cross. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.



Nope, it couldn’t have been easy for God. Yet, He loved us so much He was willing to watch from the sideline as His Son died. Now the awesome part is God (the Lord Jesus Christ) arose from the grave three days later. That accomplishment (prophesied throughout Old Testament Scriptures) is what it took to redeem mankind in God’s eyes. The only thing we must do to be redeemed (saved) is to believe that He did what He said He did. “...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...,” Acts 16:31. Yes, it must have been hard for God and we may never understand just how hard but God doesn’t ask us to attempt to understand His pain. He only asks us to believe.



People, you can believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior or choose not to believe, but you can’t blame God for sending you to Hell. He did His very loving part in sending His Son Jesus our Messiah to die for our sins. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and we must do our part, and accept that fact as truth. God’s free gift of everlasting life is not costly; His free gift of salvation is not a hindrance. He did all the work. We get to enjoy all the benefits of eternal life without paying a cent, or being nailed to the old rugged cross ourselves, which, by the way, should have been our punishment not Jesus’.



You may be steadfast in your unbelief but that rebellious attitude will not diminish the fact that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world. My God, Jesus the Christ, will not send you to Hell. Only your unbelief can do that. God made Hell for Satan and his minions of evil, it was not meant for mankind. But it’s there and wide open to anyone who chooses to follow Satan and enter that realm for eternity. Satan and all those angels that fell from grace with him prefer Hell. By the way, there’s no truth to annihilation, and there isn’t any truth to the Catholic concept of purgatory, both of those doctrines are unbiblical.



You’ve made your choice to continue in your rebellion to God, to live your life in unbelief and spend eternity in Hell. Remember this, when you die in that state of mind there’s no going back on that decision. There will be no reprieve from the governor, or the president or any other earthly leader. There will be no commutation of your sentence or any time off for good behavior. Once you’re there, you’re there for eternity.



If you’re not a believer today, right this minute, God says you’re already condemned. “...he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18b. God’s not condemning anyone to Hell with this statement. He is, though, making it quite obvious what the consequences are in rejecting His free gift of salvation. Those who are condemned are so destined because of their unbelief. Consequently, those folks are sending themselves to Hell because of their own foolish rebellion. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18.



This foolishness doesn’t need to last. You can come out of that lost state and believe the truth. Your life doesn’t need to end in rebellion. Just say yes to Jesus Christ right now. Become born again. Place your faith and your trust, even your very lives, completely in His hands. If you would still rather not believe in the God who saves instead of the god who destroys then your destination is already set, Hell it is. My advice–choose life.



So go ahead, you keep your god, because he won’t send anyone to Hell and I’ll stay with the one true God, Jesus Christ, who similarly will never send anyone to Hell, but who will allow you to make your own decision as to where you would like to spend eternity. I can tell you this, only one of us is right. Are you willing to stake your eternal existence on a god which the enemy planted in your brain and who is completely nonexistent? Eternity is a very long time, without end.



The last thing Satan wants is for you to believe in the God of the Bible. He’s working overtime trying to get you to see things his way. He uses many deceptive devises. He convinces men who’ve hardened their hearts against the God of the Bible to promote his schemes and many are more than willing to do so. He wants you to either believe in a god that doesn’t really exist or, better yet, no God at all. Either way you lose.



Choose Christ and live.



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

All scripture is from the KJV