Articles written by editor to challenge non-Christians and help those in the faith.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Faith by Grace or Faith through Works – you be the judge.

This post is a result of a number of conversations with people who prefer to “make their own mind up” regarding God, sin, judgement, the way of salvation, heaven, hell and where they will or won’t spend eternity. (Whatever you choose - Eternity does NOT go away).
36“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39“For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” ACTS 2:36-39
5And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6as well as... were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9“If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10“let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11“This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” ACTS 4:5-12
The parable of the sower is found in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, Luke 8:4-15
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”
Regarding this parable Mark tells us: He [Jesus] said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?”

This is an important question for us and requires an honest appraisal of our attitude towards God and His sovereignty on the one hand, and the condition of our heart on the other.

Right now, people in our society are trying to make anything, written or spoken, that would prick the conscience, a crime. To say homosexuality is wrong, that marriage can only be with a man and a woman, results in people being taken to court. Their crime – pricking somebodies conscience. Current trends in government are to pass laws suppressing anybody that would say or do anything, no matter how innocent, that would prick another persons conscience. Laws surrounding abortion are another case in point. Just because the baby is in its incubator, though it is alive, it has no right to life, and by writing this I become a criminal merely for having an opinion!

In any activity, be it sport, work, games, socialising, there are rules (written and unwritten-ruled by conscience) to keep the activity workable, enjoyable, actionable etc. When the “rules” are broken, the game or the activity falls apart – oftentimes leaving people hurt. THAT IS WHAT SIN DOES! It hurts people, and it does not happen by accident. If you say some evil force made me do it, you may well be right, but somewhere, somehow, you gave into that evil – YOU sinned!
Sin is not cleansed by removing the notion of it. Neither will that remove the sense of guilt. There are two reasons to be considered here:
  1. Jesus speaking of the Holy Spirit - 8“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement: 9“of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10“of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11“of judgement, because the ruler of this world is judged. John 16:8-11
  2. 1Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-3

Here we see Holy Spirit (God) convicting one group of people in order to turn them form their waywardness, while another group cannot be convinced under any circumstance. It is this second group that is pulling our children down their path through the twisted “safe schools” program, gender bending material like “The Gender Fairy” book and teaching them to rebel by taking a time off school to jump up and down about some cause they have been ill-informed on. I cite these real life examples as they show what the says is true.

Sin is rebellion against God.

The wages of sin is death – it hurts, even kills others, and unless the SINNER repents, there is no escape from this.

Mark my words – ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus, the Christ, is on offer. For those who refuse it, the only thing available is to remain in that death – FOREVER! You choose.

Hebrews 10:10 tells us “Christ died once for all.” Does this mean ALL people are automatically saved? The verses after this answer very clearly – for example:
29Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:29-31
Hebrews explains how SIN was dealt with for the believer. We see that it was not glossed over, but instead was placed on the true sacrificial lamb, the one spoken of in Isaiah 53, the one we celebrate at Christmas and Easter, the one who will soon come to rule with iron rod as King of Kings, Lord of Lords. It was He who bore our SIN. It is because our SIN was DEALT with through the torture He went through on the cross, that we who have appropriated the GIFT OF GOD, that sacrifice on our behalf, that we no longer need be weighed down by a guilty conscience, but rather, carried into the everlasting arms of our Heavenly Father, seated with Christ in Heavenly places with a CLEAR conscience...

22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:22-25
Our conscience is a barometer for the soul. Like any barometer, it needs reference points to give a meaningful measure. We see a certain group of people using the Quran as the reference for their soul, and what carnage results! I see many Christians working (for example) amongst the poorest in the nations delivering healing, justice, wholeness to others in Jesus’ name because they have a right heart with God, and their souls are referenced against scripture (the Holy bible). I also am grateful for the many Christian men who fought alongside their fellow countrymen to keep our nation free from invasion and died even for their allies far away.

Doing away with conscience only makes it necessary to make more laws. Having a new heart given by the one who made us, and a right Spirit is the way to a clear conscience and a straight walk along the narrow way. Jesus said few would go that way.

28Then they said to Him [Jesus], “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28-29
P.S. for Atheists and alike...
Remember when you was a little child, you would play hide and seek – you cover your eyes and say “you can’t see me”.
          GROW UP!