What has love got to do with salvation?


Truthfully, it was love which sent Jesus to the cross to pay for your sins and mine. Love has everything to do with even the possibility of your salvation and your eternity. Without love, there is nothing. Without the Love that God shows to us each day when we wake up and begin a new day, we would not have that day. There are so many in the world who look for love from friends and acquaintances and from their family as well and yet there are many who can’t find the love that they seek. Why is that? Actually, it is because the Love that our soul craves doesn’t come from friends or family or anything that we can buy or get on our own. The Love that our soul craves is the Love of God through Jesus Christ.

Until we find that…until we find Him as our Savior, we feel empty and hollow without hope and miserable in our search. Why? Because, as I said, the Person of God’s Love is Jesus the Christ and until we ask Him to come into our lives and make us into the person which God already knows we can be that hollow, empty feeling will remain. It won’t matter if we gain wealth or fame or anything which the world would accept as proof of our success…if you don’t have Jesus as your Savior then none of that matters at all.

God values your soul more than all of the wealth in the world. In today’s economy that would amount to, as a guess of course, about twenty to thirty trillion dollars. I don’t know the amount of ALL the wealth in the world but that number sounded big enough to me. If you could imagine having that much wealth, what would you do with it? What good would it do if you acquired it today and you died tonight? Not one little bit of good at all actually. Money will not buy the stairway to Heaven and even if it did you wouldn’t have the key to get in.

The key to gain entrance into Heaven is Jesus. If you don’t have Him as your Savior and Lord believing in Him for your salvation then you will be judged for your sins and sent to Hell. It doesn’t matter if you feel you have been wronged or how much money you gave to the poor and needy, if you don’t have Jesus as your Savior before you die then your eternity will be in hell. I ask that you make sure of your destination while you can because there is no second chance after death. Hell is not going to be an eternal party like Satan has told many people. There will be punishment there which lasts forever.

Which way do I go?


It depends on who you follow in this life. If you are more interested in doing your own thing and just living for today, then your eternity may not matter much to you, at least right now.

If you have felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit at any time in your life and feel that you should give your heart to Jesus regardless of your personal preferences now, then eternity may have a real surprise for you.

Why have I done this post in this way? Because it truly is your decision in this life which determines your destination in eternity. Many people seem to think that when they die, they are buried and that is that. Some people think that they can influence their destination by their own actions in this life. The problem with that kind of thinking is that it is wrong.

According to God’s Word, our works and our influence have nothing to do with which eternal destination will be your home. The only determining factor is whether you have believed in Jesus and His atonement for your sins for your salvation. If that saving belief is not a part of your life at some point before you die, then you may not be in the worst part of hell but you won’t be in heaven.

All of us come to a crossroad at some point in our spiritual life on Earth. Both paths look similar when you are given the choice and at least one path may look easier to follow. The other may look a bit narrower and possibly require a bit more work to follow spiritually, but the choice is still there: which one do you choose? Can I choose one and then move to the other? Sometimes it works that way if you choose the easy path and then find that it is leading you to a place you really don’t want to go. If you aren’t truly sincere about your choice and you choose to follow Jesus on a trial basis then you can move over to the easy path later if you wish.

Why am I pointing out these different choices? Because everyone on Earth comes to this crossroad at some point and it really is your choice today which will determine your eternal home. Why is the narrow pathway harder and more difficult? Because you have to follow Jesus and that requires a commitment on your part. One which is deep and true, like a marriage. Because when you commit to following Jesus, there really shouldn’t be any second thoughts about your decision. You can feel it in your soul and you know that it is True.

Mother’s influence


2 Timothy 1:3-5
3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

Abraham Lincoln said, ”No one is poor who had a godly mother.” He went on to say, ”I remember my mother’s prayers, and they have followed me; they have clung to me all my life. All that I am and hope to be I owe to my angel mother.”

With today being Mother’s Day, I want to salute all of the mothers here. Not just because you came to church this morning but because of all of the different roles that you fill in the lives of your children and this church. Bookkeepers, taxi drivers, teachers, nurses, comforters, friends, a stand-in for Dad (sometimes), a leader in the home and at church, but most of all an example to those around you.

All of us are here because of our mothers so we thank you for bringing us all into the world. God knew each of us before we were ever born into this world and He knew the influence that our grandmother and our mother and father would have in our lives. Our family relationships, broken though some may be, tend to shape us individually into the men and women that we become. So whatever you are right now and what you may become is influenced by your mother first and your family second.

Mom has a role to fill and it has always been an important one. Regardless of the amount of “community” help you may or may not need or want in the raising of your children, God has gifted the women who become mothers with many talents.

I once read that if a woman was paid a wage for all of the jobs which she has in the home and in raising her children, their salary (which few could afford by the way) would be in the six-figure range. No matter how hard it may have been when you were growing up or even how hard it is today,

Mom always seems to find a way to make the ends meet and to make a good meal out of whatever may be in the kitchen or the fridge. So, let’s give thanks to God for our mothers and make sure that they know how we feel about all of the things, big and small, that they do or have done for us.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for our mothers because without them we wouldn’t know how much You love us. We would not have an example of the love that you instill in them which is a reflection of how You love each of us every day and all of the time. We can’t say enough about our mother’s love and compassion and how it has influenced our lives in so many ways. You placed each of us in her care so that we would learn and grow into the people that you knew we could become and without her influence in our lives, we would’ve likely turned out very different. I pray that you would bless all of the mothers here and elsewhere and help their children to know and appreciate all of the good things which they have because of their mother’s influence.  Amen

Your future…


Have you ever thought about your future? I mean in eternity, not next week or next month. We are not guaranteed tomorrow or next week or next month but eternity for your soul is guaranteed. In either hell or heaven with God. It doesn’t matter whether you believe that there is an eternity ahead of you or even whether you believe that God is our Creator…eternity is still in your future.

Our works or our belief of God’s Word, whether it is true or not, has no bearing upon your eternal home. Just as your belief in gravity has no effect on its effect on you, whether you believe in God or not does not erase His Presence in your life and in your eternal home. While it is true that you must believe in Jesus for your salvation and repent of your sins there is no way that your lack of belief will get rid of the punishment if you don’t believe in Him!

God loves His creation and we are all His creation but if you choose to do things your way and live the way that you think is right for you and you choose to walk on your own pathway…God will let you do that too. Why? Because it is your choice to believe and be saved through Jesus Christ! God will not force you and you do have that choice but what will your eternity be like if you do live apart from Him? You don’t have control over eternity. You can’t raise yourself up from the grave. You are not god.

Why did I add that last sentence? Because there are some who actually believe that they are or will be a god. The operative word in that is “a”, you will not be God. He doesn’t share His throne with anyone besides the Trinity of Himself, the Son and the Holy Spirit because when one of Them is on the throne ALL of them are there! God loves you and the Creation which He has given us and He will raise you up on the last day. If you are a Christian, you will be with Him forever in Heaven but if you never accepted Jesus as your Savior you will be shown all of the times when you had a chance to accept Him and you did not! Then you will be sent to hell.

Being saved is not a choice that you make it is a calling from God Himself. He touches your soul and convicts you of your sinful life and when you feel it and know it then you seek out the only One Who can save your soul and heal that wound. There are no amount of works or money which will bring you into heaven because without Jesus as your Savior, you will be going to Hell. There are no gray areas or holding cells for those who haven’t made up their minds yet. You either are saved or you are not.

Only Jesus can save you and He is God!

No one is an accident…


We are not accidents

Psalm 139

1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, a God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them, my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

God doesn’t cause accidents in His creation and each of us is a person that He caused to come into being for a reason. He has a purpose for you and for me and for all of those on the Earth. What that purpose is only He knows. He has given each of us gifts and abilities to be able to glorify Him and to be useful to Him in His Kingdom. So we need to start acting like we have a place in His Kingdom. If you don’t want to have a place in His Kingdom, that is fine. He doesn’t force anyone to be a part of His design and His will for His creation. Our God and Savior is the only pathway to Heaven, there is no other. Seek Him while you can find Him because when the shout comes and the dead are raised incorruptible and the church rises to meet Him, the easy time of coming to Jesus will be over. The time of “Jacob’s trouble” will be upon the world and giving your heart to Jesus will carry a death sentence soon after. I pray that all of you will be counted among those who rise to meet Him in the air. Amen

Our purpose as Christians


Romans 12:1

I beseech you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God…

We are supposed to sacrifice our lives to God each and every day until He calls us home. While we do this in this life we are supposed to be useful to God as witnesses of His grace and mercy. God has made each of us a new creation when we have given our heart to Jesus because at that point God’s Spirit came to dwell in our heart. We are new people when we have given our hearts to Jesus. We live in His strength and by His power to be Christians. We are not the same people as we were before becoming a child of God. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit as His adopted child, with all of the gifts and treasures which come with that position.

Our holiness comes from Jesus the Christ and is not our own because we cannot be holy without His Spirit to cause us to be holy and able to do His will and learn from His Word. Without His Spirit, which seals us and equips us to be better than we were before He came into our life, we are weak and stuttering and helpless in the face of Satan’s assaults. But when we live our daily lives as a true living sacrifice to God and His Word every day, not just once a week or once every month, we have His Strength and Power and His Word to back us up in everything that we do for His Glory and not ours.

God can use our weaknesses and our insecurities to allow us to get at least one person to listen to His Story. That may be all that you are intended to do in your ministry and if that is it then you have done your part. But…should you quit at that point? I don’t think so because your life can have an impact for eternity on many more people than just one. So…don’t sell yourself short and don’t quit working at your calling which God called you into. Just because things are down a bit doesn’t mean they will stay that way.

Will you be ready?


On that day when the Trumpet sounds and the dead in Christ rise from their graves, will you be ready or will you watch it on the news later? The parable of the ten virgins tells the story:

Matthew 25

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

1At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take along any extra oil. 4But the wise ones took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

9‘No,’ said the wise ones, ‘or there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10But while they were on their way to buy it, the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut.

11Later, the other virgins arrived and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’

12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’

13 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Will you be ready and watching for Him to come?

Are you looking for your Savior?


The Lord will seek you out as well, but if you know that you need Jesus, don’t wait! Seek Him! Our world is rapidly moving toward the time which is described in the book of Revelation known as the Tribulation. Will people come to know Jesus during this time? Yes, they will, even though it will be dangerous for those who choose to worship Jesus. Because, during this time most will choose to worship the leader of the world, the Anti-Christ. They will choose because of his charismatic nature but also because if they do not take his mark and worship him they will be killed by beheading.

 

Why is this happening? 

This is happening because it was foretold in God’s Word. It is happening because we have pushed God and prayer and the Bible out of our children’s education and out of many homes. It is happening because even though we, as Americans, call ourselves “Christians” we don’t live as Christians. We claim to know God and we do know about Him but many in our country don’t attend church except once or twice a month or even twice a year or so. And then there is the fact that many people don’t read the Bible. Some have read a little of it at church or when getting ready for a Bible study, but I am speaking of daily reading and studying it. You can never find God’s will for your life if you don’t read the Bible because His will for every Christian is contained in His Word.

Are you seeking your Savior?

Have you felt God’s Spirit touch your soul and convict you of the fact that you need Jesus? Do you want Him in your life or will you just ask Him to leave you alone and decide that you can live your life just fine without Him? Our world is doing exactly that today. Many people try to read it and they can’t make sense of it but without faith, without Jesus in their heart, God’s Word is nonsense. It can be clear to you but unless you are looking for Jesus and seeking Him, you still may not understand it. There are times when we “act” like a Christian and go to church and read our Bible but playing a part, acting like a Christian doesn’t bring you salvation. Nothing that we do on our own can bring salvation into our lives.

Jesus is the only pathway to Heaven. Belief in Him and giving your life to Him along with repentance from our sinful ways is the only way to be forgiven and gain His righteousness to get into Heaven. Being a born-again Christian is not hard to do IF you allow Jesus to enter your life completely and change you from the sinner that you were into the child of God that you can be. It is only with His Spirit in your heart that you can be a Christian in the truest sense. You can’t do it on your own. There is no amount of money or work which will accomplish the change for you. Only by surrendering your heart and your life to Him to allow a total change in your being can you really live as a Christian.

Seek Him as your Savior and trust Him to save you from your sinful ways because only then will your life change because you have changed from the inside out. He paid the price for your sinful life so all you need to do in order to receive your new life is to believe in Him and grow in your faith after receiving Him.

Amen

Is your culture Christian?


In some areas of our country and in some other countries, there are cultures which have had access to a church or a Bible for most of their lives. But, just because you have heard sermons and had access to a Bible, either at home or at church, for most of your life does that really translate into you being a Christian? In America those of us who live in the “Bible belt” of the South seem to be culturally “Christian” just because we have grown up in the church, regardless of the denomination. We have heard sermons and watched crusades on TV and may even watch Christian television occasionally. But are we more like Christ or do we have more in common with the priests and Pharisees of Jesus’ day?

Are we truly Christians or do we just know about Christianity and its trappings?

Reading the Bible at church and singing the worship songs is great but does it mean that you or I are Christians? Have we accepted Jesus as our Savior because we know that we can’t get into Heaven without faith in Him? Or are we just going through the motions because that’s what we’ve always done? Jesus condemned people who think they are Christians and yet they really aren’t. Read it here:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name,drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!’” (Matt. 7:21–23)

Performing good works and going to church and praying “in Jesus’ name” doesn’t mean that you are saved! Giving your life and your heart to Him and repenting of your sinful ways and then growing in that faith is the only real proof of being saved and born again into the family of God. By your faith and your growth in your faith after you accept Jesus as your Savior is the only proof of salvation. Just praying to God every day or so or reading the Bible occasionally is proof of nothing except that you know Who He is and that you have read the Bible.

Satan knows every word written in the Bible and he knows Who God and Jesus are, but he won’t give his life to them or serve them. He can be the best religious attendee at your church or mine but he will cause a rift in the church eventually. He can appear as an angel in light and speak the words of the Bible in your ears but he is not serving God. He is trying to get you away from God and your salvation.

Beware the “feeling” of the experience in a church service because it is deceptive. It can make you feel as if you felt something, but what did you feel? Emotions don’t produce salvation or true repentance from your sinful life. If the Holy Spirit has convicted you of your need for Jesus, please seek Him out at a Bible teaching church or a friend who can lead you to your Savior. Don’t turn away from Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s calling in your life. Just because you have been in church all of your life doesn’t mean that you are saved, it just means that you know about God and Jesus and Who they are. I pray that anyone seeking Jesus will look for Him in God’s Word diligently and make sure of your salvation while there is still time to do so.

I’ve been reading…


Lately, I’ve been reading a couple of good books. One which was written by many different authors over thousands of years. God’s Word. The Bible. The other book is one by a brother in Christ by the name of Phil Robertson called “The Theft of America’s Soul“. I am putting the link here not because I get anything from it but because it is a good book and it is one that needs to be read by many Americans, whether they are Christian, Democrat, Republican, liberal or whatever they are calling themselves these days.

Both of these books point us toward our Savior, Jesus Christ, and He is the only answer to our world’s problems. You can agree with me or not, but our founding fathers knew it and most of America has either forgotten it or they just don’t want to hear it anymore. Life in the time which we are living in today is not hard like it was many years ago. For some, it may be, but for most in America, their lives would be considered luxurious compared to the living conditions in China or North Korea or in many places in Africa. There are many other places where life is tough in more ways than any of us know about but in reality, we have it good here.

Why is it that people are so much against our laws and the Bible on which most of those laws are based on? In the last decade, I’ve noticed that many who live here would rather turn America into a socialist country or a Communist country than to be proud of the Democratic Republic we are supposed to be!

The Christian principles which guided our country for so many years have been torn apart in the last three decades or so. America isn’t the same country now that my parents and grandparents grew up in. The principles which God placed in our hearts and in His Word are the only principles which will bring our world, not just America, back from the edge of destruction. I ask you to please pray that our country and many others that claim to be Christian will turn back to God and His principles before it is too late.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.