MAY I OFFER SOME SOUND SPIRITUAL ADVICE REGARDING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
By: Frank "Biff" Clement
Hello friend! You know, even if I should live to be 100, I cannot stress or overemphasize enough the importance that our hearing and having the one true Gospel plays in our salvation. Please allow me to show you (using God's own Word) the difference between "The Genuine Article" and "The Counterfeit"...
But first: If you are like I once was concerning your own spirituality then chances are that you have a (gullible) tendency to believe and do what anyone; including your church or some "qualified" religious leader tells you is the Gospel Truth, without your even bothering to check it out first with what God had already said in the Bible. In fact, I'll bet you hardly ever read the Bible! (Am I right?)
And, if you are like I once was then you just blindly follow the crowd, figuring that: "Hey, if it takes four or more years to earn a seminary degree in order to become a qualified religious leader approved of men; and if this many people go through the motions each week to practice it, then it must be alright for me to go along and practice it too"! (Am I wrong?)
On those notes some serious questions come to mind...
Ask yourself -- "Would you be so terribly gullible as to simply dump the life of your dearest loved one into to the hands of some quack to care for without at least doing a little research on the guy and his practice first?" Of course not!
Ask yourself -- "Would you knowingly choose to give away all you own to an organization of ill repute without at least bothering to do a little checking on them first?" Of course not!
Ask yourself -- "Would you be willing to invest your life's savings in some stock that you knew was going to bankrupt you in a week without at least doing a little research by looking into the long range forecast first?" Of course not! You wouldn't be so ... "Gullible"!
Then what, in heaven's name, would ever cause you or I to blindly and gullibly trust the safe-keeping of our most precious possession: our very own soul ... over to any man or religion to run it for us without our at least first comparing the Bill Of Sale they're handing us with what God already said to MAKE SURE that they jibe?? Do you see what I am saying?
All I'm saying, and all I want you to realize, is that just because someone or some religion says it's so, doesn't make it so. It doesn't matter if that person or religion "claims" that it is the way to heaven. We have "God's Word" to tell us that! Therefore... "ONLY what God says makes it so!"
Understand that I am not out to attack anyone, everyone and/or any or every religion or denomination or church fellowship as being "bad" or "false," but I sure am out to make you aware of the dangers out there of not heeding what God already said ... and said clearly. It's something everyone needs to know!
That needful something to have and to know is how absolutely imperative it is to make sure that you are standing ONLY upon the SOLID ground of God's Word if you intend to go to heaven. Heaven is paved with God's words! His Word (Holy Bible) is its foundation!
For instance, what if God were to say: "Don't make an image (Exodus 20:4) of anything in heaven; including me -- neither bow down to it (Exodus 20:5)."
Well that is exactly what "God" (not what man) did say! Are you taking Him seriously? Or, are you bowing down to and praying to images made to try and resemble God, saints and/or angels? If so then this is the result of your taking what some "religion" does and doing what "they" say and do (no matter who "they" are, or what "they" claim, or what "they" do) seriously.
Do you see the importance of what I am saying? What you are doing may be pleasing to the masses, but it may well be a serious insult -- even -- serious offence to God. If God says "NO," He means "NO!" There is no way around this.
It is written:"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 16:25)
So... If you are depending (i.e. 'trusting') in any way, shape or form upon your trying to obey what your priest, pastor or religion says in order to get to heaven, and/or in your trying to keep the law of Moses in order to save you, help save you, or help keep you saved in any way, then you had best brush up on exactly 'Why' Jesus demands that we all must first be born-again (See: John, Chapter 3), and then compare this to what it is that you are doing and why.
Why do I say this? Because by building, bowing before and praying to "statues/images" of any kind (which is what the pagans did) only goes to show in your heart of hearts that you are honoring these "dead inanimate objects" and have confidence in these "things" to protect and watch over you and to hear you in time of need! In this way "The One And Only Living God" is left out of the picture and relegated to the sidelines, replaced by idols that can neither, see, walk or talk.
(For example, look at the vast amount of idols that the RC church lights candles to and has made images of in order to bow before, worship, pray to and set their hopes on, and you can't help but to know exactly what I mean.)
"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me." (Isaiah 46:9)
Did you ever hear what God says about these idols?!:"To whom will ye liken me to, and make me equal with, and compare me, that we may be alike? Such as lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, they hire a goldsmith, and he maketh it a god; they fall down, yea, they worship it. They bear it upon the shoulder, they carry it, and set it in its place, and it stands there, and it shall not be moved from it's place: yea, though one may cry unto it, yet it can not speak nor answer nor save him out of his trouble." (Isaiah 46:5-7 )
In the end all of these "things" we have surrounding us will not help save us but insure our destruction instead. It all so obviously goes to prove that we lack faith alone in Christ alone!
Did you ever realize that the way to be saved is not by being "good," but by admitting just the opposite?! Jesus came to seek and to save the lost sinner, not the righteous [i.e., trying to be "good"] (See: Matthew 9:13).
You see, in God's eyes, "there is none good but one, that is, God alone." (See: Matthew 19:17). Saying it a different way ... no one is righteous but God, which means everyone is a sinner and Jesus is the only One who can save them. I hope you can see this -- it is so important to understand.
We must see and admit that we are sinners through and through first -- then we can turn away from our idols of unbelief, along with our prayers to them and trust in them, and reach out and depend upon Christ alone to save us, apart from trusting in ourselves or in our imperfect keeping of the law to do so.
It can't be both "you and/or your idols and/or your trying to keep the law + Christ and His Grace alone"! It's either, or -- 100%. There is no mix and match! There is only belief (followed by the proper action of repentance = turning away from sin and turning to God) or Unbelief (followed by the improper action of us continuing to try and work out our own sins through membership in some religious organization, our own "goodnesses" and/or our "trying" to keep the law.).
Understand that the law/commandments and/or the keeping of them will save no one! It was never meant to. In fact, it was given to have just the opposite effect, to make us more aware of our sins and sinfulness, and that we (of ourselves) can do nothing to change or better our sinful condition. The harder we try and keep the law; the way God gave it to be kept, the more we learn that we cannot! Why? Because it must be kept perfectly at all times! (Which is impossible to do!). That is how God made it.
Therefore whenever we break the law; instead of us getting sympathy through it by our trying hard to be good afterwards or make up for it with some good deed, the law instead will curse and condemn us every time. There is no mercy in the law! It condemns everyone who does not keep what is written in the book of law and all who breaks even the least commandment ... (the way that God intended for them to be kept: perfectly).
We are commanded to keep the commands of God, YES ... but NOT as the means to our salvation! They can only be kept through a new spiritual rebirth anyway, not through our trying to keep the dead letter of the Old Testament law. But now is the time of pleasing God by receiving His Grace freely. It is not a time of thinking you're pleasing God by keeping the Old Covenant - Old Testament law. Today ... God is only pleased through faith in His Son, apart from the works of the law! That's why it's called the New Covenant. It's not a covenant of "doing" to please God -- it's a covenant that gets satisfied by believing - by trusting ... and with the believing - the trusting - comes the power from the Holy Spirit to obey God's commands as proof of our love for Him which the Old Covenant never provided and never could, because God never intended it to anyway. He was saving the best for last -- the New!
God's Saving Grace comes only by 'faith' in Christ, not by keeping the law. It is a FREE gift -- Freely given (without charge) to those who hear, believe, trust and come to Christ alone to save them -- Freely given to those with nothing held in reserve for doing thus trusting in other things/works: (in order to save or help God save themselves, and that is precisely why they do them).
... Like going to or joining a church - any church - any denomination, keeping church dogma, doing penance or an act of contrition for your own sins, getting water baptized, belief in purgatory for sin purging, confessions, wearing of scapulars, saying the rosary, giving to the poor, tithing, repetitious prayers or prayers to statues or dead saints, indulgences, novenas, etc.
None of this saves. "Jesus alone saves!" Doing these "things" will save nobody. If you believe and hold to these things to save or help save you, you're going to be in for one huge shock! Only having and holding Jesus in Spirit and in Truth is what is necessary for ones salvation. You must be spiritually born again! (Please read John 3:1-8 if you have never heard what I'm telling you).
God doesn't say: Believe on Me "PLUS" do some, or all, of a bunch of other things as well ... to become saved. Instead He says: "Whosoever believeth in me should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:15). He also said: "And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3)
To KNOW God is to BELIEVE, and visa versa ... and to KNOW Him is to LOVE Him - thus DO all that "He" says -- not do what He doesn't say. Do only what God has recorded in the New Testament to do. If it doesn't clearly say to do it ... don't do it! If you are doing "religious things" He doesn't clearly record in the New Testament Bible to do to get saved ... the Bible makes it very clear you are doing the "religious things" the devil wants you doing to keep you and others confused and spiritually blinded ... and to stay partially or fully blinded to the Truth of the New Covenant that will set people free to serve God out of a greater love than they've ever known, or could possibly ever know otherwise.
I do hope you know what it means to be "saved." If not, it means to have your sins forgiven by God so your sins won't send you to hell, which they are going to, if God doesn't "save" you from His wrath for committing them.
If just one lesson needs to be learned here it is this: "To be Saved, or get Saved -- Salvation is a FREE Gift from God that cannot be earned ... won ... or bargained for!!!" And anyone trying to "earn it" or trying to be "good enough to deserve it" will only incur God's wrath in the end for their unbelief!
This means that "IF" anyone is also depending; "in any way," upon any of these man-made "righteous works and efforts" of theirs to save them, or help save them, then they are doomed. Why? Because they haven't come and given Him full recognition for finishing the job. They're still striving to help save themselves out of fear not to!
In their unbelief they seek to "add to"; thus end up taking away from His finished - completed work! They blindly believe that He left some of the work of saving them behind for them to earn and achieve. I pray that you do not believe and obey this lie?!
Jesus (God in the flesh!) came to pay for our sins ... ALL of them ... ALL of them but one: the sin of ... UNBELIEF! He is the only One who can save you or I - and He will save us when and if we (under the conviction of the Holy Spirit) see ourselves as the lost sinners we really are, repent of our sin and come to Him with all our heart and give Him alone the full thanks and recognition that He alone has earned and deserves. This ability to hear the Word, turn away from our sin and turn to God, thus receiving it as The Gospel Truth is called... "Faith"!
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
In other words the kind of "faith" needed to save us is a "Hearing with Faith" that begins the moment one hears (i.e. "Understands") what they are hearing concerning what God has to say -- what must be done about it -- and what Christ came to do!
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) [In other words, "boast" of any claim that he/she could come up with what they think is a better or different way of obtaining salvation other than Jesus (God in the flesh Himself) shedding His very own innocent blood on the Cross for the sins of all ... and all of our sins. ALL ... except our sin of unbelief of refusing to believe His sacrifice on the Cross was sufficient to pay for our sins, if we continue this unbelief].
"IT (The work of salvation) IS FINISHED!"(See: John 19:30).
There remains only One "WORK" which must be done:
Then said they unto him, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said unto them, "This is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE ON HIM whom He hath sent." (John 6:28-29)
Therefore, what saves a man is faith alone (plus nothing) in Jesus Christ. PERIOD.
What makes a man righteous is faith alone (plus nothing) in Jesus Christ. PERIOD.
And the kind of faith I speak of is the kind that HEARS the Truth, UNDERSTANDS the Truth, LOVES the Truth and does it!
Finally ... "ADDING" something/anything that "WE" may do to add to our faith in order to save, or help save, or to help keep us saved, proves that we do not really believe in nor trust upon Christ and through His singular finished work on the cross and resurrection, alone.
Instead - what this shows is how much we depend on ourselves doing certain "OTHER" things to save us as well!! (Otherwise "WE" wouldn't be depending upon and/or putting trust and hope in ourselves nor in our doing these "OTHER" things we do to save or help save us at all!)
So... what "Real Faith" does is to come and lay hold of Jesus -- and it is because of this "laying hold of Him by faith" (therefore 'Working the work of God') that the person becomes empowered with a New Life enabling them to: "Keep His Word" -- not in order to save themselves, but because in knowing Him as they now do they have been given this absolute living assurance and confirmation by no less than God Himself, that they have truly been saved without a doubt and have found eternal rest for their souls in Him (See: John 14:27). For them and them alone it (the work of Saving them) is truly FINISHED... and they KNOW this!!! Do you know this "absolute, unwavering, assurance of the faith" as well?
This BLESSED ASSURANCE occurs simply because the person has heard and believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and through it has received Him, the Son of the living God. Therefore it becomes absolutely imperative that a person hears, understands and thus believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ and obeys what He says to do ... not by their own power but by the power of the Holy Spirit who brings them to new life in Jesus Christ and empowers them to obey Him!
If you don't carry that rock-solid, God-given, absolute assurance of faith in you, (and please don't try and kid yourself, because either you KNOW Him very personally as The Way, The Life and The Truth and obey Him or you don't (Read: 1 Corinthians 2:9-16 for awesome clarification). And if you don't, then it's time that you seriously consider what is being said and act accordingly!
We all need to know God personally! If you have heard that Jesus went to the cross to lay down His precious life for sinners as ourselves - for YOU personally - then believe this Wonderful News with your whole heart, fly to Him and begin to praise and thank Him for what He has done, but especially for who He is.
Invite Him to come into your heart - calling upon Him - The Living Word of God - as both Lord and Savior of your life... and you shall be SAVED... and KNOW most assuredly that you are ... because He wants you to have absolute confidence!
Do yourself a favor and THINK about what I've said here! You eternal destiny depends on it!
May every blessing in Christ be yours,
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
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JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT!
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JESUS DID IT! - or - JESUS DID IT!
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Staff Note: You can go to Biff's ministry website by clicking on the following link: http://www.intergate.com/~subi/
We also encourage you to read his powerful and touching born again testimony. You can click Here to read it.
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