Thursday, March 18, 2010

What is a Christian?

Years ago, if someone said that they were a "Christian", you'd have a good idea of what that meant. Without someone explaining it to you, you knew that meant that they believed in the God of the Bible and that the Bible was the overriding authority used to determine what was "of God" and what was not.

Not any more.

Sadly, the "New-Agers", "Universalists" and the "Emergent Church" have "hijacked" the term "Christian" and have twisted and contorted it to mean whatever it is that makes them happy...

You see, the Bible wasn't written to make you happy... Really... The Bible was written so that you'd have Gods words to help you address HOW to worship Him and HOW to understand just who He is.

Now I understand there are those who don't believe in God, and I pray for those people. I also reach out to them with an ongoing Christian Outreach Ministry that I run for the Glory of God. So if you are one of those who hasn't yet figured out HOW to have a relationship with God yet, you're in the GREATEST DANGER of "False Christianity" I have ever seen.

If someone tells you that, "Jesus is love" or "You've got a God-Shaped hole in your heart that only Jesus can fill" or if they tell you, "God is totally forgiving and loving and there's nothing you need to do but trust in God" then all they're doing is the work of SATAN.

The bottom line, is none of that New-Age mumbo jumbo is IN THE BIBLE. Those people think they're doing Gods work, but they're only doing it for their own self-glorification OR unknowingly for Satan. There's no two ways about it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those "fire and brimstone" preachers, but the bottom line, is if the Bible says it, it's true. That doesn't mean you throw common sense away, it just means that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE you don't know everything and MAYBE you need to do some homework.

I've had people ask me, "Do you believe in Slavery? Because God sure does." That's just ridiculous. Yes, the Bible makes reference to slaves going all the way back to Genesis. It also says, "Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." In other words, don't worry about it, that's Gods job.

In the US today, too many people are worried about "worldly" things. And I understand why. People say, "Who's going to pay the bills? " or "Who's going to clean the house?" or "Who's going to do this or that, if I don't do it?" I agree. Some things require US to take care of certain things. Other things do NOT. Worrying about slavery or equal rights or homosexuality or any number of other worldly things is a waste of our time. We should each be taking care of OUR responsibilities and let God take care of His.

It says in, "Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind." We can't all be right if we all have our own viewpoints about Christianity. In my opinion, Religion gets in the way of our relationship with God. In my lifetime, I have never seen religion UNIFY people, it only separates us further. (unless you're talking about terrorists. religion seems to unify them)

As I see it, Christianity is "Jewish Lite". Oh yeah, allow me to explain....

1. Jesus is Jewish, right? (yes)
2. Jesus said, "Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.", right? (yes)
3. Jesus reminded us of the 10 Commandments from God, right? (yes)

If I stop at just those 3 examples, let's ask a question: Did Jesus come to teach us Christianity? No.... As a child, Jesus taught at the Temple. What did he teach? Scripture! What's "Scripture"? The same "Word of God" that ALL CHRISTIANS learn as part of the Old Testament AND the teachings that are in the New Testament. At the beginning of Jesus' Ministry, he goes into the Synagogue and reads from ISAIAH! Judaism and Christianity are NOT mutually exclusive of one another, they are EXACTLY the same. The only difference, is that the Jewish majority refuses to accept Yeshua as the Messiah. Who can blame them? To admit that Jesus is/was the Messiah would put them in a very bad position. Was it not the Pharisees who had Jesus (an innocent man) murdered by the Romans? (notice that I did not say "the Jews") The day that the Jewish majority stands up and admits their wrongdoing, for utterly failing to identify and worship the Messiah, THEN and only then, will Jesus return. The sad thing, is they don't really need to admit it, GOD TOLD THEM THAT THEY WOULD DO IT 3,000 years before it happened! But still, "not one jot or one tittle"...

But I digress, I'm somewhat off topic.

Some have told me that I have no compassion. HUH? Why? Oh yeah, because I remind people about the law. That makes me a "Legalist", right?

NO, it does not.

A legalist is someone who believes that, "they are saved BY the law". I don't believe that. I know better. All Christians should, but they don't. It's that pesky "religion-thing" getting in the way.

What did Paul say, "Romans 2:12 - For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law." So what does that say? It says, Whether or not you care about the law, if you sin (which you will), you're going to be judged by the law and you're going to PERISH. You know, die, cease to exist, move on, etc...

Well that stinks, right? But wait, what else did Paul say, "Romans 3:19 - Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." What does that mean? It means, God gave you a way to KNOW when you're sinning and if you'll just shut up for a minute, He'll explain it to you. Don't believe me? Read the next verse, "Romans 3:20 - Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

So what does all of this mean? Paul says, "Romans 3:31 - Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law." Getting it yet? Ok, here's the bottom line, "Romans 7:7 - ...I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."

Get it now? How can you possibly "know sin" without the law? YOU CAN'T! Man isn't wise enough to know sin with their mind or their heart, just look at what God said here, "Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" Using your "feelings" to determine right and wrong can never work, because everybody has their own opinions at to what is right and wrong.

One of the greatest lines in the whole Bible is here, "2 Timothy 3:16 - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

How much more simple could God have made it?

ALL SCRIPTURE, not some.
ALL SCRIPTURE, not just the parts you like.
ALL SCRIPTURE, not just the parts that don't convict.
ALL SCRIPTURE, not just the parts that don't judge.
ALL OF IT will, "thoroughly equip the man of God.

So back to my point.... As far as I'm concerned, you are free to believe whatever you want to believe. Free will is oft misunderstood as "the ability to choose whatever you want". But that isn't really what it means, it's "the ability to choose whether or not to believe in God".... God created us to worship Him. If he had created a bunch of people "pre-programmed" to love Him, what joy is there in that? He gave us the freedom to choose. How happy would you be if people CHOSE to love you, not because you made them, but because they had the freedom to choose?

In conclusion, if you don't believe that the Bible is the Inerrant Word of God, don't call yourself a Christian. If you don't believe that Jesus meant what he said, don't call yourself a Christian. If you don't like what the Bible says, don't call yourself a Christian. If you think you can "earn your way into Heaven", PLEASE don't call yourself a Christian.

As a Christian, you are saved by Grace alone, through faith alone. Yes, it is said that faith without works is dead, but someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works...

Paul summed it up here: Romans 11:6 - And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Don't be...

Paul was just saying that, "If you're saved by grace, then you're not saved by works; if you're saved by works, then grace is no longer grace. And if you're saved by works, then you're not saved by grace; because then Gods grace is no longer grace..."

Get it now?
If not, pray and the Holy Spirit will reveal it to you...
Without the Spirit, most of the Bible won't make sense...
Why do you think there's so much debate? lol...

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