Tag Archive: covenant


Saved by Faith, or by Works?

‘Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, STRIVE to enter in at the strait gate: for MANY, I say unto you, WILL SEEK to enter in, and shall not be able.’  (Luke 13:23-24)

Notice Jesus doesn’t just say ‘many won’t enter in’.  Instead, He says ‘many will SEEK to enter in but won’t be able’.  These are not just worldly, indifferent people–they are people who WANT to enter into Heaven.  What is the difference between those who seek to enter in but can’t, and those who strive to enter in and are able?

‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY*.’  (Matthew 7:21-23)

According to Strong’s, those who ‘work iniquity’ are those who do ‘anomia’

iniquity = anomia (G458)

1) the condition of without law

..a) because ignorant of it

..b) because of violating it

2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness

 

This passage separates between those who DO the will of the Father, and those who don’t–and further clarifies it as those who live by His law vs. those who don’t.

Now, we know that as Christians we are not bound to the Mosaic Law.  But we ARE expected to follow the Ten Commandments (and the four restrictions in Acts 15:20).

‘ . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’  (Jesus, Matt. 19:17)

According to Matt. 7:21-23, the difference between eternal life and damnation is whether or not you follow God’s Commandments.  NO, we do not OBTAIN salvation by following the Commandments, or any other thing that we might do.  There is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.  But when we become Christians we enter into a blood covenant with God, and our part is to do His will.  If we aren’t doing His Will, then we aren’t ‘abiding’ in Him.  If we aren’t doing His will, then we are walking in the flesh.  Christianity today is misrepresented as a free bus ticket: we say a ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ and then get a free ride.  But that’s never what God intended.  His will is to have

‘ . . .  a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:’  (1 Peter 2:9)

When God made the first covenant (the ‘Old’ covenant) with the people of Israel, Moses gave the people The Law

‘And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.’  (Exodus 24:3)

Then a blood sacrifice was made, to seal the covenant.

We are heirs to a better covenant.

‘But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.’  (Jer. 31:33)

Not only does He write His law in our hearts, He gives us His Holy Spirit, to will and to perform it.  This covenant was sealed by the blood of Jesus.

In return for being redeemed from the bondage of sin and judgment, we are to yield ourselves as living sacrifices to Him.

‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’  (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.’  (Romans 12:1)

To simplify it,

‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’  (Matt. 22:37-40)

And how do we find the love to fulfill these two commandments?  We walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. The Holy Spirit is the love of God, living in us, and flowing through us. The Holy Spirit will work in our heart to desire to do, and to perform the will of God.  The Holy Spirit will not lead us into sin.  The Holy Spirit will keep us on the path.

‘Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;’  (Titus 2:12)

The Holy Spirit works in conjunction with the Word of God, to change us from the inside out.

‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’  (Romans 12:2)

‘ . . . Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.’  (Ephesians 5:26-27)

How do we walk in the Spirit? We say ‘no’ to worldly lusts and ungodly temptations, thereby ‘crucifying the flesh’–because if we are walking in the flesh, we are not walking in the Spirit.  And we pray and read the Word of God . . . and then we live what we learn.

‘For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.’  (Matt. 11:30)

His yoke is easy, and His burden is light–but we must CHOOSE to walk on the narrow path.  We must STRIVE to enter in.  That striving is not a ‘work’ . . . it is our flesh and our will we strive with.  But if we say no to the flesh and yield ourselves to Him, His Spirit will lead us into all righteousness.

‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou [art] my God: thy spirit [is] good; lead me into the land of uprightness.’  (Psalm 143:10)

There is much confusion about ‘works’, but  here’s what the Bible says, in a nutshell:

‘For BY GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.’  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

‘Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.’  (Galatians 2:16)

But

‘What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? . . . faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone . . . I will shew thee my faith by my works.’  (James 2:14, 17, 18)

‘But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.‘  (James 2:20-24)

Saving faith produces ‘works’ in keeping with that faith–and that is God’s will for us.

‘Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’  (Titus 2:14)

‘And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works’  (Hebrews 10:24)

‘That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.’  (2 Timothy 3:17)

‘[This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.’  (Titus 3:8)

‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’  (Ephesians 2:10)

Who are the ‘saints’?

‘ . . . they that keep the commandments of God, AND the faith of Jesus.’  (Rev. 14:12)

There really is no contradiction at all, except in the minds of those who don’t consider the full counsel of the Word of God.

The Once Saved Always Saved doctrine is a deception–a very dangerous one. So is the ‘seeker-friendly’ movement. Jesus said to count the cost before making a commitment. How much more, before entering into a blood covenant! (Yes, HIS blood seals the deal when you accept his gift of salvation.)

‘For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.’ (2 Peter 2:20-21)

You are not doing anyone a favor by soft selling them the gospel. A person needs to know what they are getting into, before they commit to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

‘When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.’ (Deut. 23:21)

‘If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.’ (Num. 30:2)

‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for [he hath] no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better [is it] that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl. 5:4-5)

God is not a ‘friend with benefits’. Becoming a Christian is a COVENANT . . . like marriage. Today’s ‘Christianity’ is more like ‘shacking up’ with God.

‘And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it], all that behold [it] begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:25-33)

(Jesus wasn’t interested in having a large number of half-hearted followers . . . He wanted followers that were FULLY COMMITTED, however few that might be.  This is quite the reverse of the seeker-friendly paradigm of modern ‘Christianity’.)

It’s true that it costs you nothing but faith to enter this covenant–Jesus paid for the wedding–but staying married to Him will cost you your life. Are you putting a stumbling block in front of others by promising them a one-sided gospel, where all they have to do is receive?

We Are Not Married Yet!

Most of us know that marriage is a covenant.  We do not become married by being faithful . . . or by loving, honoring, and cherishing the other person.  To become married, we must enter into a covenant.

Likewise, becoming a Christian is entering into a covenant with God–a blood covenant.  We do not become a Christian by faithfully serving God, being devoted wholly to Him, or keeping His commandments.  We become a Christian by repenting and accepting Jesus’ blood, that was shed on our behalf.

But few would argue, that although we do not become married through faithfulness, or loving, honoring, and cherishing our spouse, that is how we remain married!  If we fail to do the things we have promised, we make the covenant of no effect.  The Scriptures make it clear that if we are not faithful to our spouse, unless they choose to forgive us and give us another chance, we have irretrievably broken the marriage covenant.

Likewise, although we do not become a Christian by faithfulness, and obedience to God’s commandments, that is how we remain in covenant with Him.  Although He hates divorce . . . although He is longsuffering and forgiving . . . if we break His covenant and fail to repent, we eventually reach the end of His grace.

Although a couple is not considered married until the covenant is entered through the proper ritual and before witnesses, from the time that a woman accepts the man’s proposal of marriage, the covenant is entered into, and its standards are expected to be upheld.  The engagement period is a probationary period, so to speak.

What wise person would proceed to marry someone who was unfaithful to them during the engagement period . . . or who became neglectful or abusive?  But, if they loved the other person very much, and had hopes that their behavior would change, they would postpone the marriage until they were certain that the other person had matured enough in character to be able to uphold the covenant.

If a wise and forgiving man loved a harlot very much, and wanted to have her as a loving, faithful wife, he would have a long engagement and would work with her (or have someone else work with her) to bring her to repentance, and to train her in the ways of faithfulness and love.

We are very much like that harlot, and the Lord is like a forgiving man who loves us very much.  But He is wise.  He knows that for us to have a marriage of love, faithfulness, and contentment, someone is going to have to work with us, to train us in the ways of righteousness and faithfulness.

While we are here on Earth, in these mortal bodies, we are engaged to our Lord.  When we become a Christian, we  have accepted His marriage proposal.  We know that He is longsuffering and forgiving . . . that He is committed to us . . . that He will do whatever He can do to mold us into a faithful, loving bride (but we have a role to play too).  But He is wise enough to know, that if we will not commit to being faithful and obedient to Him, there can not be an eternity of peace and love together.  If we prefer others to Him, we will not be content to be in covenant with Him alone for eternity.  If we do not share the same values . . . if we are not willing to be obedient to Him and accept His standards . . . then for us, an eternal covenant would be a prison.

The role of the Holy Spirit is to prepare us, during this engagement period.  He works in us daily, to bring us to repentance when we sin . . . to sanctify us  . . . to teach us to set ourselves apart in holiness for the Lord.  He works in us to teach us the ways of righteousness . . . to mold us, and to conform us to the image of God . . . that we might be a fitting bride for His Son.

‘ . . . even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.’  (Ephesians 5:25-27)

If we submit to the Holy Spirit, if we allow Him to work in us, He will see to it that we are ready . . . spotless and blameless . . . a beautiful bride who is prepared for her husband-to-be . . . when the wedding day arrives.

‘ . . . be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.’  (2 Peter 3:14)

People who believe that we are eternally saved the moment we profess our faith do not understand this essential process.  Although we are expected to uphold the covenant and live by obedience during our earthly ‘engagement’ period, we are not married yet.  To believe that we are now married to a perfect God, yet can live any way we please, is utter foolishness!  God is wise–He will not allow Himself to be unequally yoked!  Jesus is in no hurry.  There will be no wedding until the bride has been prepared!

If, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us . . .  we begin resisting Him and fighting against Him . . . if we cease to uphold the covenant despite repeated pleading and warning from Him . . . we will eventually exceed the grace of God.  We will prove ourselves unfit to be His bride, and we will find ourselves on the outside, looking in, when the wedding takes place.

There was a time, in America, when most people were well aware of God, and gave Him the respect He deserved.

 

‘Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse’  (Romans 1:19-20)

 

Yet, there were men among them

 

‘ . . . that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.’  (Romans 1:21)

 

Rather than thank God for His bounty and blessings, they sought to accumulate wealth and power for themselves.  In their cleverness, and with the help of fallen angels, they devised many captivating inventions.  They used these inventions to draw others away from God, and into their ways of thinking.

 

‘Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,’  (Romans 1:22)

 

Before long the people, and their children, withdrew from the beauty of God’s creation and began spending more and more of their time indoors, partaking of a world of fantasy and vain imaginations.

 

‘And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.’  (Romans 1:23-25)

 

Having grown up in this world of fantasy, it became the reality of those who were trained by it.

 

‘And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness;

full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity;

whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:’  (Romans 1:28-31)

 

‘ . . . God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.’  (Romans 1:26-27)

 

Eventually, even those who claimed to walk in His ways

 

‘Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only [did] the same, but [had] pleasure in them that [did] them.’  (Romans 1:32)

 

Their judgment was not far off, for God judges nations . . . once they have known Him . . . by whether they continue to walk with Him, or whether they turn aside from His ways.  As He warned long ago . . .

 

‘ . . . it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God . . . that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

Cursed [shalt] thou [be] in the city, and cursed [shalt] thou [be] in the field.   Cursed [shall be] thy basket and thy store.  Cursed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.  Cursed [shalt] thou [be] when thou comest in, and cursed [shalt] thou [be] when thou goest out.

The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.

The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.

The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.  And thy heaven that [is] over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee [shall be] iron.  The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.  And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray [them] away.

The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.  The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:  And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save [thee].

Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof. Thine ox [shall be] slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass [shall be] violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep [shall be] given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue [them].  Thy sons and thy daughters [shall be] given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail [with longing] for them all the day long: and [there shall be] no might in thine hand.

The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:  So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.  The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.  The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.  And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.

Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather [but] little in; for the locust shall consume it.  Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress [them], but shalt neither drink [of] the wine, nor gather [the grapes]; for the worms shall eat them.  Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint [thyself] with the oil; for thine olive shall cast [his fruit].  Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.  All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.  The stranger that [is] within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.  He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.

Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:  And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.  Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all [things]; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all [things]: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, [as swift] as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;  A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which [also] shall not leave thee [either] corn, wine, or oil, [or] the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.   And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.

And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:  [So that] the man [that is] tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:  So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all [things] secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.

If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, [even] great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.  Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.  Also every sickness, and every plague, which [is] not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.  And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.

And it shall come to pass, [that] as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.  And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, [even] wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:  And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:  In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.  And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy [you].’  (Deuteronomy 28:15-68)

 

Many would argue that this only applies to the children of Israel, that we are Gentiles who are not under The Law.  Are you sure about that?  There are scholars who have traced the movements of people over time, who have studied the prophetic blessings in Scripture . . . who can demonstrate that the people of the ‘Western World’ are primarily the descendants of the ‘lost’ tribes of Israel, who were long ago taken into captivity for turning away from their God.  History repeats.

Are you ‘Rapture ready’?  If you are an American Christian–most likely not.

I think most Christians have heard about the false prophet, Harold Camping, whose latest prediction for ‘The Rapture’ and judgment day did not happen.  But, rather than laughing at those who set dates, and who have probably put their lives in order, you should take inventory of yourself.  After you hear what I have to say, I believe you will thank God that judgment day was NOT May 21st!

The American Church is not ready for a ‘Rapture’!  American Christians behave themselves like the people around them–and in America, you really don’t want to behave like the people around you, trust me.

America has become a nation of  spiritually filthy, idolatrous, greedy people.  Sometimes it’s hard to see it from ‘down here’ among them–after all, we were all made from the same ‘dust’.

We tend to see ourselves in the context of the people around us, or the people on TV.  We probably look pretty good, compared to a lot of people–but God sees things very differently from ‘up there’.

Thankfully, God has given us the Bible, so that we can examine things ‘down here’,  according to His standards.  The standards God judges us by are holiness . . . perfection . . . blamelessness . . . and purity.

When Jesus returns, these are the people who the angels will gather to Him:

  • those who are spotless
  • those who have been purified
  • those who have been refined
  • those who are blameless
  • those who are  holy
  • those who are without stain, wrinkle, or any other blemish

As the Scriptures say:

‘Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked . . .’  Daniel 12: 10

‘So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.’ 2 Peter 3: 14

‘Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.’ Daniel 11: 35

. . .  Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.’  Ephesians 5: 25-27

‘ So far, so good” you say?  ‘I think I’m doing alright.’  Hmmm.  Let’s look a little closer.  Lets use the ‘magnifying glass’ of Scriptures that talk about sin.  But first, lets be clear:  If there is willful, deliberate sin in your life, which you have not repented of–Christ’s blood is not covering it.  The only way to apply the blood of Christ to your sin is to confess and repent!

‘If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know [serve] him who said,  “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”  and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.‘  Hebrews 10: 26-31

This passage is specifically speaking to Christians.  The God of the Old Testament, who judged His people, is the same God of the New Testament, who made a way of mercy.  But don’t think you are going to fool Him.  If you want to live outside of His covenant of mercy, then you will pay for your own sins.  He will judge everyone who lives outside His covenant of mercy.

If your pastor tries to explain this passage away–woe to him!!

When you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you made a covenant with God (sealed with His blood) to live a life of holiness–to be set apart from the world.  If you do not fulfill your part of the covenant towards Him, He is not under obligation to fulfill His part towards you (protection, provision, and eternal life).

In other words, if you are no longer living a life of holiness, set apart from the world, then you have broken the covenant of His mercy.  It is cancelled . . . null and void . . . powerless to save you.  You have, in effect, divorced God.  If that is the case, you need to renew your covenant with Him!  That begins with confessing your sins and repenting.

‘ . . . “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” ‘  2 Timothy 2: 19

‘No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.’  1 John 3:6

The whole doctrine of ‘The Rapture’ is that Jesus will return for His people–those who are in covenant with Him.  If you have broken that covenant, then you are no longer in covenant with Him–you are no longer His.  (The only thing that can separate you from God is your willful sin. )

Which brings us to another topic that pastors seem to avoid these days:  sin.  (Woe to him who is politically correct, for he denies the truth.)  Here is a [partial] list of things that the Bible specifically says will keep you from inheriting the kingdom of God.

  • sex (including sexual touching or nudity) before marriage  (sexual immorality, fornication)
  • sex (including sexual touching or nudity) outside of marriage, after being widowed or divorced  (sexual immorality, fornication)
  • sex (including sexual touching or nudity), while married, with someone besides your spouse  (adultery)
  • watching or reading pornography (sexual immorality)
  • making pornography  (sexual immorality)
  • prostitution
  • homosexuality
  • sex involving animals (sexual immorality, bestiality)
  • watching or reading pornography  (sexual immorality, adultery)
  • fantasizing about sex (including sexual touching or nudity) if you are not married
  • fantasizing about someone besides your spouse (adultery)
  • fantasizing about homosexuality
  • fantasizing about sex with animals (bestiality, sexual immorality)
  • praying to or trusting in ‘saints’  (idolatry)
  • praying to or trusting in Mary  (idolatry)
  • giving homage to the pope or other religious leader (idolatry)
  • worshiping the bread or wine as being, or becoming, Jesus’ body (idolatry)
  • kissing the black stone  (idolatry)
  • trusting in luck, or lucky objects  (idolatry)
  • calling Allah, or any other, ‘God’– our God is Jehovah  (idolatry)
  • paganism, nature worship, etc.  (idolatry, witchcraft)
  • practicing wicca, or black or white magic (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • astrology/horoscopes  (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • numerology  (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • palm reading  (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • psychics  or channeling  (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • seances  (magic arts, necromancy, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • yoga and eastern practices  (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • ouija board, etc.  (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • witchcraft, sorcery, wizardry, or vampirism
  • games  that give you a window into witchcraft, sorcery, wizardry, and/or vampirism
  • books  that give you a window into witchcraft, sorcery, wizardry, and/or vampirism
  • TV shows that give you a window into witchcraft, sorcery, wizardry, and/or vampirism
  • movies that give you a window into witchcraft, sorcery, wizardry, and/or vampirism
  • fantasizing about  witchcraft, sorcery, wizardry, and/or vampirism
  • aspiring to wealth and possessions, envy (greed)
  • stealing, conning, swindling  (theft, swindling)
  • participating in $$ schemes that you know will transfer others’ money to you–through their ignorance, trust, or misfortune  (theft, swindling)
  • lying to obtain money or benefits, fraud  (lying, theft)
  • getting drunk  (drunkenness)
  • ‘recreational’ or illegal drug use (drunkenness)
  • abusing others with words, verbal abuse  (slander)
  • attacking others with words  (slander)
  • filthy talk, profanity, cussing  (slander)
  • filthy talk, sexual innuendo  (lewdness, sexual immorality)
  • body gestures and movements with sexual innuendo  (lewdness)
  • wearing sexually suggestive clothing  (lewdness)
  • murder
  • abortion, ‘morning after pill’  (murder)
  • influencing someone to have an abortion  (murder)
  • influencing someone to kill someone  (murder)
  • fantasizing or role playing murder (murder)
  • lying
  • giving false testimony, perjury  (lying)
  • deceiving, omitting, or misleading, with regard to the facts (lying)
  • falsely accusing  (lying)
  • telling ‘little white lies’  (lying)
  • withholding the truth  (lying)
  • being ‘politically correct’ instead of honest  (lying)

A lot of you may have started reading the list, grown weary, and just skimmed the rest.  True, a lot of Christians don’t do a lot of those things, so I’ll recap a few that seem to still be popular among Christians:

  • sex (including sexual touching or nudity) before marriage  (sexual immorality, fornication)
  • fantasizing about sex (including sexual touching or nudity) if you are not married
  • praying to or trusting in ‘saints’  (idolatry)
  • praying to or trusting in Mary  (idolatry)
  • trusting in luck, or lucky objects  (idolatry)
  • calling Allah, or any other, ‘God’–our God is Jehovah  (idolatry)
  • dabbling in paganism, nature worship, etc.  (idolatry, witchcraft)
  • dabbling in wicca, or black or white magic (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • astrology/horoscopes  (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • psychics  or channeling  (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • seances  (magic arts, necromancy, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • yoga and eastern practices  (magic arts, sorcery, witchcraft)
  • movies, TV shows, books, or games that give you a window into witchcraft, sorcery, wizardry, and/or vampirism
  • aspiring to wealth and possessions, envy (greed)
  • getting drunk  (drunkenness)
  • abusing others with words, verbal abuse  (slander)
  • attacking others with words  (slander)
  • filthy talk, sexual innuendo  (lewdness, sexual immorality)
  • wearing sexually suggestive clothing  (lewdness)
  • abortion, ‘morning after pill’  (murder)
    influencing someone to have an abortion  (murder)
  • lying
  • deceiving, omitting, or misleading, with regard to the facts (lying)
  • telling ‘little white lies’  (lying)
  • being ‘politically correct’ instead of honest  (lying)

Here are several passages in Scripture to back up what I’m saying:

‘Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:  Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ‘ 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10

‘But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.’ Revelation 21: 8

‘Outside are the dogs [male prostitutes], those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood [those who hate truth and liars].’ Revelation 22:1 5

You may notice, in these passages, that several other things are mentioned:

  • being cowardly
  • being unbelieving
  • hating truth

These are not sins, per se–but they will cause you not to endure to the end.  And it is imperative, that we endure  . . . to the end.

‘Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.  You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,

“He who is coming will come and will not delay.

But my righteous one will live by faith.

And if he shrinks back,

I will not be pleased with him.”

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.’    Hebrews 10: 32-39

‘ . . . if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us . . . ‘  2 Timothy 2: 12

Speaking of end-time Christians, Revelation says:

‘This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.’  Revelation 13: 10

‘This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.’  Revelation 14:12

It is not enough just to believe, not enough to endure for a while–we must endure to the end!  Here are Jesus warnings to us, concerning the last days:

‘All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.’  Matthew 10: 22

‘Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.’  Matthew 24: 12-13

‘All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.’  Mark 13: 13

If you are on a basketball team, and the team makes it to the championships, and you are in the last quarter of the last game . . . and you quit . . . you cannot say you won, when the team wins the championships!  You will not share in the trophy, or the victory celebration.  You will be kicking yourself because you did not endure to the end.  All you did, up to the point when you quit, counts for nothing!  You are not a winner!

Conversely, if you are injured at the beginning of the season, and you have to spend the majority of the season on the bench–you are still a winner at the end . . . because you did not quit!  Even if you’re injured, you still have to show up for practices, you still have to wear your uniform, and be present at the games.

Injured or not, if you simply stop participating and doing what is required of you, you will no longer be on the team.  So it is with Christianity.  It requires your participation, and your endurance . . . to the end.

But here is what is going to be the undoing of many people in these last days.

‘They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.’

2 Thessalonians 2: 10-12

The only remedy for this is to hate wickedness and develop a love for the truth (pray too, that God will grant you a love of the truth).

If you do not fight wickedness in your own life, if you don’t turn away from sin . . . you will not love truth . . . because truth exposes sin.  In order to have victory over sin, you must love truth.

‘This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. ‘  John 3: 19-20

‘Walking in the light

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all  sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.’  1 John 1: 5-10

For Christians Who Are Struggling Spiritually

When Is The Rapture?

It’s Not Going To Happen The Way You Expect

But don’t Jews, Christians and muslims all worship the same God?  NO!!!  And this is the very basis of our differences!  There is NO common ground between islam and Judaism, or islam and Christianity!

Christianity has Judaism as its foundation, and we worship the same God.  (After all, Jesus Christ is our Jewish Messiah!!)  But the god of islam is not the God of Jews and Christians.

This should leave no doubt:

"GOD BLESS HITLER" placard

"GOD BLESS HITLER" placard, held by a Muslim protester

Indeed, the muslim god ‘allah’ would be proud of hitler!

But it should go without saying, that a god who could be called upon to bless hitler for his atrocities towards the Jews, is not the God worshiped by Christians and Jews–not the  God that claimed them as His people and made a covenant with them that He sealed with HIS own blood!

And, lest you think this is just a few people, or a recent phenomenon, consider this . . .

[During World War II] “The Arab leader from British Palestine, the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, was actively allied with Hitler. The numerous meetings between the Mufti and Hitler, as well as the Mufti’s radio broadcasts urging Muslims to fight alongside the Nazis, are well-documented.”

Quoted from:  http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=655

In today’s Middle East, admiration for hitler still goes hand in hand with muslim hatred towards Jews.