Author: Idd Company

"I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily." - 1 Corinthians 15:31

Do you truly believe in God, or are you full of bologna?

bolognaLove and obeying God and belief are all united. When a person who is saved says, “I believe in God,” it means something totally different than when a false convert says, “I believe in God.”  The actual believer means that they love God and their highest goal is to obey Him in love. That’s actual belief.

On the other hand, the false convert says he believes in God, but doesn’t actually have Christ inside his heart reigning supreme. The false convert doesn’t actually want to obey the Bible simply because his love for Christ is the highest authority in his heart.

So true believers and false converts both say, “I believe in God.” The difference is that if you actually search deep into their motivations and desires and hearts, you will find that only the true believer actually believes and loves and obeys God because he knows God and is forever indwelt the Holy Spirit. Therefore the true believer will persevere until the end, and always grow stronger from persecution and struggles and failures and weaknesses.

Meanwhile, the false convert doesn’t actually believe or love or obey God from a heart forever ruled by Christ. That’s why under persecution and struggle and failures and weaknesses, the false convert falls away and recants his belief in Christ and the Bible, and abandons the truth, and eventually seeks out a lifestyle that makes sense to him – like the world and sin.

It’s something else, you know, when you meet those people who say, “I believe in God too” or“yeah, I’m a Christian too.” And inevitably they follow up with the self-exposing words, “but I don’t go to church” or “but I don’t read the Bible” or “but I don’t pray.” I’m like, “Really? You’re a Christian who doesn’t follow Christ?” That must be some new form of Christian that the devil invented.

When a person claims to be a Christian, yet lives a sinful lifestyle that is totally void of any actual fruit and love and obedience and belief in God and His Word, and his life is characterized by the world, worldly lusts, worldly desires, worldly motives…. then, chances are that person is full of bologna.

Follow up with a few statements from the Bible, and see if their attention suddenly drops. Quote Christ a few times, and see if they suddenly lose their interest in the conversation . Ask them their testimony and see if they even have one. Ask them the Gospel and see if they even know it. Ask them who Christ is and see if they say God. It usually doesn’t take long to discern that they desperately need a full-on Gospel presentation and that their wild lifestyle isn’t merely circumstantial, but rather a direct result of their choices and desires to follow sin instead of Christ.

There is a reason people don’t know the Bible, and it is usually because they have spent their whole lifetime choosing to read anything else, and the Bible is the least important thing to them. Be discerning people, there are lots of false converts out there, and instead of teaming up with them, we should be evangelizing them and avoiding their misdirection. We need to be discerning and test our friends, family, loved ones and peers. We shouldn’t be naive, but rather we should be diligent and wise and prayerful and sober-minded.

If people are complicating the Bible, and complicating their lives and missing church and missing Bible study and missing fellowship and missing accountability and missing enthusiasm to obey Him, then it’s likely not just a coincidence, but rather a giant redflag about them.

People who don’t actually like something or love something, over-complicate matters and make excuses and miss meetings and have a hard time showing genuine enthusiasm. Contrastly, when people do actually like something or love something, then they make it simple and take responsibility and show up early and get excited to participate and even seek out additional related things.

Like, a person who wants to go to the store might say, “It’s just a block away, we’ll be there and back in no time. Let’s go.” See, easy. There’s like 1 step involved and plenty of enthusiasm and simplicity.

But, a person who doesn’t want to go to the store might say, “It’s dark and dangerous outside, and it’s raining, and the store is all the way down the street, and we have to put on our shoes, get dressed and find our raincoats, and find my wallet and keys, and then get into the car, and maybe dirty up the floorboards, and maybe stop and get gas, and then hope that they aren’t closed, and…”  See, difficult. Complicated. Lots of steps involved. No enthusiasm. No simplicity.

I always ask myself when I’m dealing with a person who claims to be a believer, which one of these people do they become when I am talking to them about God. Which person are they when extra events are introduced into the conversation. What about Bible study, and fellowship groups, and opportunities to serve, and evangelizing strangers? Are they at least trying to find way to obey and serve Christ, or are they making things complicated and trying to increase the number of steps involved? My question is, what are their actual desires about God and the Bible and belief and obedience and love? Because those things come in a cluster. If you love, you also obey, and also believe. So without all of those, then a person isn’t really believing at all. They are just saying they believe They’re lying to themselves and others.

If I told you I believe that my house was on fire, but I just sat in the house calmly and didn’t do anything about it, then it would be hard to convince you that I am telling you the truth.

But, if I told you that my house was on fire and I jumped up and ran outside fast as lightning, then WOW! You’d really be convinced that I believed that.

Same concept applies with actual saving belief in God. If a person actually believes, then God’s Word, the Bible, won’t be a table decoration. The person who actually believes because he is filled with the Holy Spirit and ruled by Christ, knows God and is highlyconcerned with Him and obeying Him and learning about Him. Anyone who is actually saved knows exactly what I am talking about. True Christians are hyper-aware of their sin and they have a genuine desire to please God, because they know that the Almighty GOD is reigning and orchestrating every single detail of life!

True Christians KNOW that the all powerful God is able to answer prayer and control everything in the universe and they are aware and conscious of Him and therefore, because they actually know that to some extent, they are overwhelmed by that truth and are forever changed by that heart-piercing reality. You can’t meet God and then be the same afterwards. It’s impossible to be transformed, given the Holy Spirit, born again, and then like… I don’t know… somehow forget God is right here watching and listening to everything you do. That’s not something that you can walk away from the same as you were before.

It is the most important and supernatural and extraordinary thing that has ever happened in your life. It’s more important than your wedding, the birth of your children, your graduation, your first kiss, anything. There is nothing more amazing then having your eyes opened to the truth of God and your own depravity, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, and loving and believing in God for the first time. It is the single most important and radical thing that has ever happened. So, how can a person say they “believe in God” and yet have nothing to say in terms of a testimony or the Gospel or some change in their heart or anything?

It’s just crazy what some people will accept in a profession of faith. How many people are out there who call themselves Christian, and yet are the farthest thing from it? Too many. And many have even been baptized! They have never admitted their helplessness or repented of their sins or believed in Christ with saving faith or understood the Gospel or submitted and committed their lives to God. They have never truly loved God or believed in Him, and they will walk away from God as easily as they supposedly chose Him.  They call themselves Christians and believers, for all the wrong reasons.  They are Hellbound and in desperate need of the true Gospel. Be discerning, brothers and sisters. There are many false converts out there saying, “I believe in God” and claiming to be Christians.

The Good People

Good-People

There are so many people who want to say they’re good. They always want to say they are “good people.” It typically implies that in comparison to “bad people.” The problem is their level of contentment with their own condition. As a “good person,” which basically means they don’t lie, cheat or murder, that they’re doing all they need to do to feel comfortable with themselves and their lives. They would go through life, being that “good person” and doing whatever they think is right.

But, what about growth? What about progressive sanctification? What about learning and understanding and being more and more obedient to the Word of God? What about the thoughts they have and the feelings they have and what goes on in their hearts? Not merely an external assessment, but also a complete internal assessment of every moment they live publicly and privately. But instead of lust, they judge themselves based on adultery. Instead of greed and envy, they judge themselves based on stealing. Instead of gossip and resentments, they judge themselves based on murder. They examine the outside, but not the inside. They examine behavior, but not actual holiness and purity. They examine their surroundings, but not God and the Bible.

The “good people” rarely compare themselves to Christ. Instead, they compare themselves to the people around them. Instead of the Bible, they use society as their measuring stick.

Love is a chief concern for most people, yet without obedience to Christ they’re cannot be loving. A person cannot disobey God and somehow think they are still loving others.  Anyone who is disobeying God is not loving you or being a “good person.” It’s so easy for people to pretend to be “good” and “loving,” as long as God and the Bible are not the standard.

It’s a lie. That’s what I’m saying. The idea is a lie, that people are “good and loving,” yet they don’t need to apply more Bible and obedience to God’s Word every day, and they haven’t even examined their hearts and minds against the Bible and Christ. They’re not really goodat all, and their lack of interest in pleasing God and assessing daily their hearts with God is the first redflag.

People who aren’t constantly updating and disciplining themselves, applying biblical obedience, examining and re-examining their hearts, comparing themselves to Christ, comparing themselves and their lives to the Bible, are not even in the realm of good or loving. Holiness and purity are hard work! We have to constantly assess ourselves, our motives and our thoughts and behaviors. Christ said if you love Him you will obey Him. That doesn’t mean just the parts you want to obey, that means everything He has said and recorded in the Bible; and anyone who loves Christ is going to be seeking greater obedience to Him. They are going to love pleasing God and have a powerful desire and attraction to God. You don’t have to convince Christian people that they aren’t doing enough for God, because they already know they’re not good enough and are struggling to some degree to improve and evaluate themselves all the time.  Remember to elevate Christ’s perfect life and sacrifice and His Holy Word the next time you encounter “the good people.”

But, watch the defensiveness rise when you approach a “good person” about a flaw or error. They will fight tooth and nail to prove they are “good people.” They take every hint of advice or admonishment or reproof or rebuke or encouragement as an attack on their “goodness.” But, placed next to Christ, how does that really look? If we’re going to be good, then we need all the help we can get and we should trust others and invite and welcome all the insight and advice we can get. We should be seeking out accountability from others, and not avoiding the confronting of sin in our lives. Sin is the enemy, and loving God means hating sin. We should accept any assistance at locating and destroying sin in our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

Robin Williams: The Dark Fall of a Bright Life

Robin Williams 2014The star of two of my favorite movies – Good Will Hunting and Aladdin. Yet, there seems to be no indication anywhere that he was a believer in Jesus Christ. In fact, after searching for a few hours, it seems that most people figure he was probably an atheist. He was a brilliant mind. He knew comedy and delivery better than most people on earth. In his movies, he was warm and personable. But his stand up comedy was very raunchy and often he mocked God and religion. Foul language and extremely graphic skits were typical for his stand up sets. And now with a quiet ending to a very busy life, the vanity of this world rings loud and clear to believers, especially this believer.

I consider a life like his, with that level of talent and brilliance, to be a prime example of the simple truth that God’s grace touches all mankind, if even just for a moment. But greater than this life, is the life to come. Eternity infinitely outweighs this world we live in now, and forever is only a blink away. This life is a snap and it’s over, and we have no excuse to live without hope, love, grace, mercy, compassion, selflessness, and joy. We have no excuse because Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, the Prince of Peace, was slaughtered so that we can taste this world and enjoy the things of this life. But, our ultimate purpose is to glorify God. Our ultimate purpose is to deny ourselves, deny our lusts, deny our flesh, and follow Christ even if it kills us.

As those with faith in the Lord persevere, counting all things as loss, struggling to maintain their first love, moving forward even under persecution and intense tribulations, we can looks around us and see clearly that not everyone is conscious. Not everyone loves God and believes in His Son, yet we are called to witness to them, and to reach the lost and spread the good news of salvation. We don’t have to live that life. We don’t have to pretend that a person dying in unbelief doesn’t hurt us, because the moments we stop telling them the truth are the exact same moments that others are passing. This life is too short!

US President Barack Obama said Robin Williams was a “one of a kind,” and that he “ended up touching every element of the human spirit.” For me, this is one of the most heartbreaking truths of life. That brilliant men and women, and talented and caring people, can live a full life and die without ever embracing Christ and putting their faith in Him and submit to Him alone. It happens every day.

Matthew 7:14 says, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” We know that everyone is unique in some way. Most people have a tender side and a gentleness at some point, and yet that isn’t salvation. That isn’t faith and that isn’t the path to everlasting life. Jesus said unmistakably, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

There is no entrance into Heaven apart from Jesus Christ, and not a single human being on the earth is exempt from this. It’s a tragedy to know that people are dying, not just in Hollywood, but all around us who don’t know Christ as their Lord and Savior. There are people all around us who have no genuine grasp on Christ. They don’t have that grasp, because the only way to truly embrace Christ is through faith alone. We are broken in to pieces, and we abandon ourselves, and we are poor in spirit, and we know that we are wrong and hopeless without Him, and when we are convicted like that and reach out to Christ with a true faith that lasts forever, then we are saved. When we commit to Him as our God. That’s when tragic death is avoided. For a believer in Christ, death is not a tragedy, because Christ has graciously given us eternal life through faith in Him.

There is a reason to rejoice and be glad and know this, that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).

We have dead people dying all around us. We are surrounded by death on all sides. There is no way to avoid the fact that we will die, and therefore right now is the time to stop being hardened and stop being deaf and stop being blind, and wake up and listen to the truth and stop wasting life without Christ. Cling to God’s Word only and never think twice about this world’s precepts, because “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). His purpose, not ours. We only have one life, and every second you spend away from Him and without Him as your Master is a second wasted.  A second that has eternal consequences. There is no such thing as a genuine peace and eternal salvation apart from the love of Christ, and faith in His Word.  Change!  Instead of death and hopelessness, cherish Him and never let go.

Your First Pledge Should Be to Christ

Pledge-of-allegiance-girlThe views and opinions expressed in this post are my own personal views, and are not necessarily the views of anyone else I know. 

The United States Pledge of Allegiance. 

Essentially, we can make a valid argument for the pledge. I mean, who doesn’t want to support “liberty and justice for all?” Who doesn’t want to be patriotic and submit to the authority of the government? I mean, it’s biblical to be a submissive and supportive person of the government. There’s just four problems I have with this process of indoctrination, and they are (1) the massive ideological understanding that precludes a genuine pledge of this magnitude, (2) the darker history that prompted the pledge, (3) the current nature and definition of the flag in the United States Flag Code, and (4) the lack of necessity to subject ourselves to all these explicit and potential dangers.

1. The first objection lies in the fact that the people who are most likely to recite the Pledge every day, small children in schools, cannot really give their consent or even completely understand the Pledge they are taking. Children, who cannot vote or make any sound decisions for themselves of a ideological nature, are indoctrinated by reciting these words according to the United States Flag Code,

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

Notice that the words “Flag” and “Republic” are capitalized. I ask you, what does that mean “to the Republic for which it stands?” Do little children know? Do they ask them if they know before they start indoctrinating them? Are they required to understand, or are they merely required to be indoctrinated by reciting these words over and over? What good is a pledge that isn’t understood or sincere?

It’s a very sad, sad place where all the children pledge allegiance to flags and none to Christ. As Christians, we understand that children cannot even pledge to Christ without fully understanding and believing in Him, yet in America they superficially indoctrinate children as they recite pledges that they not only don’t understand but they also don’t deeply agree with to the extent of a genuine pledge. It’s just as bad as forcing them to say “sorry” when they don’t really mean it. Most children aren’t even aware that they have the option to refuse to recite the pledge, and are coerced and indoctrinated without ever having an opportunity to think for themselves.

Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_with_the_Bellamy_saluteParents and teachers who teach children to comply and pledge to deep ideological concepts that they don’t first fully understand are teaching them to be foolish and naive. If a 5 year old doesn’t understand deep ideological concepts such as committing to Christ, how do we expect them to understand deep ideological concepts like pledging allegiance to a flag that is considered a “living thing?” Kindergartners shouldn’t be reciting a pledge they cannot even comprehend. There is a serious ethical problem with indoctrinating children. They are being trained to “pledge first and ask questions later.” That’s extremely foolish behavior. Even as Christians who desperately desire for our children to believe in Christ, we don’t have them recite every day, “I believe in Christ” until it comes true. Why? Because if they don’t really understand and believe, then they are LYING. That’s the same ethical problem with getting children to repeat something like the pledge. It’s brainwashing and it’s lying. It is repeated exposure to a thing until they psychologically accept it to be true, whether or not they consciously choose it while practicing sober discernment.

pledge7It’s similar to reciting the sinner’s prayer. Just because someone repeats it over and over, that doesn’t mean diddly squat. It’s just foolishness if you don’t believe it or understand it. It’s a lie, a deception, a fabrication. Without understanding, it’s a puff of smoke from a magician. We shouldn’t want to teach children to say things they don’t mean. That’s not Christian-like at all. The Bible doesn’t teach us to, “say it until you mean it.” The Bible teaches us, “above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment” (Matt 5:7; James 5:12). We are supposed to be sober-minded and shouldn’t commit to something unless we fully understand and agree with it. We shouldn’t say it unless we mean it, and we can’t mean it if we don’t understand it.

2. The second objection is in the darker history of the pledge. For instance, do the children reciting this pledge have any idea what it’s original purpose was at all? Do they understand it was created with a socialistic, nationalistic agenda? Do they know anything about Francis Bellamy and his reasons for writing the original pledge? Before they begin their recitals, do they know Bellamy wanted to the national government to be in charge of everything? Do they know that is precisely what Hitler did as well? Did they know beforehand, before they recited the pledge, that these same tactics were used by Hitler, and that after the war began and Hitler and his tactics were demonized, the country pulled back from the socialist and nationalist agenda and then we were left with the pledge, an afterthought of what was meant to happen? Do they know anything about the pledge at all, or are they merely reciting something they are clueless about?

3. The third objection is about the way the United States defines “the Flag.” The first thing a person pledges allegiance to in the pledge is “the Flag” – an inanimate object. What’s the difference in bowing to a statue or any other object of idolatry? The US Flag Code states, “The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing” (Section 8j). The flag is considered a “living thing?” If we do not agree with this definition, why would we still volunteer to pledge allegiance to this so-called “living thing?” And to bring back the first objection, are the children at all aware and understanding this and the ramifications of this?

pledge_allegiance_oldsalute4. The fourth objection is in regard to the voluntary nature of the pledge as stated in the United States Flag code. Legal challenges started in the 1950’s when Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs prevented them from swearing loyalty to any power other than God and who objected to policies in public schools requiring students to swear an oath to the flag. They objected on the grounds that their rights to freedom of religion as guaranteed by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment were being violated by such requirements.

Today, the United States Flag Code states, “the Flag Code serves as a guide to be followed on a purely voluntary basis to insure proper respect for the flag. The Supreme Court has ruled that politically motivated violations of the Flag Code are protected by the First Amendment. The Flag Code has no provision for enforcement. No fines, no penalties. There is nothing law enforcement can do when the Flag Code is broken.”

In other words, there is nothing that forces anyone to even say the pledge, and as controversial and idolatrous and foolish as it is, why on earth would we say the pledge, much less send children to blindly pledge their lives to this “living thing?” Why if they cannot reasonably pledge their lives to Christ do we expect them to voluntarily pledge their lives to the flag? Why do teachers and leaders and guardians not explain to children their rights and ensure that children fully understand the history, ramifications, nature, and ideological controversies of the flag? If we consider the massive weight of this subject, it’s no wonder Bellamy originally design this to be perceived as “easy and simple” and wanted it be be recited in a mere 15 seconds. It’s as easy as it could be to make this pledge. In fact, we know you don’t have to understand it at all to make it.  As far as the US is concerned, if you’re old enough to form the words with your mouth, then you’re old enough to pledge your life.  It is infinitely more easy to recite than to understand and explain.Those are very off-balance proportions, and they deserve far more inspection than most are willing to give.

At the very least do your homework, have your children do their homework, and discover the truth about who is Francis Bellamy, what were his intentions, what the pledge was originally intended to be, and what that government has to say about the flag and the pledge today. Know your rights and teach your children to have integrity and practice discernment by knowing and understanding these things in full before they decided whether or not to pledge.

Comments welcome – sharing encouraged.

Here are some USEFUL RESOURCES for researching the Pledge:

1. Flag Code for Congress

http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf

2. Pledge of Allegiance on Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

3. Flag Code at USHistory.org

http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagcode.htm

4. John Weaver 2-Part Sermon Series titled, “The Pledge – History & Problems” on SermonAudio.com 

http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakerWithinSource=&subsetCat=&subsetItem=&mediatype=&includekeywords=&keyword=John%5EWeaver&keyworddesc=John+Weaver&currsection=sermonsspeaker&AudioOnly=false&SpeakerOnly=true&keywordwithin=pledge

In Jesus Name

jesus in your heart

“You know, you could say to a guy, “Well I wanna go to Chicago” and you could say, “Well there’s no way to Chicago, you can go any way you want. Just start off in any direction.”  Well, that isn’t true. If you’re going to go to Chicago there’s a direction. And the same thing is true in terms of God. If you’re gonna go to God, God says, “Here’s the way.”  It isn’t that God is trying to be unkind or unfair or narrow-minded or picky – it’s just that He wants to tell the truth.  You know, I could say, “Well, I’d like to tell anybody just do what you want, you’ll be alright.”  But that isn’t the truth, so you don’t do a guy a favor to tell him that.” – John MacArthur, 1979

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). 

Let us pay extra close attention to the definite article “the.” Jesus did not say, “I am A way, and A truth, and A life; there are many ways to the Father.” Rather Jesus said something exact, and He gave very articulate and precise directions. He said, in exclusion to all other ways, that He is THE way, and THE truth, and THE life; no one come to the Father but through HIM.

This is as profound and exact as the statement, “In Jesus’s name.”  Too many people think that “in Jesus’s name” is some sort of superstitious incantation that they can rattle off at the end of their requests and sentences and that it somehow gives supernatural power to their words. That’s not what “in Jesus’s name” means. If you are going to be “in Jesus’s name,” then you have to be in His way, in His truth, and in His life. To be “in Jesus’s name” means to be under His authority and in His family and in His will and obedient to Him.

But people are so defiant and ignorant, and they are so deluded, that we have this epidemic on our hands where millions of people think they are Christians and it’s all based on a few words and superstitions and misdirection. The only way to God is through Jesus, and that means the exact same thing as “in Jesus’s name” or “in Jesus’s family” or “in Jesus’s way” or “in Jesus’s truth” or “in Jesus’s life.” They all mean that you are following Him and that you have faith in Him and that you are obedient to Him. You cannot get to God by being foolish and self-controlling and going some way other than Jesus.

If you are going to be in Jesus in any way, then you must have faith, you must obey Him, you must follow Him down His path that He chooses, and you must leave your self-will aside and totally submit to Him. That’s what it looks like when Christ saves a person. He doesn’t save people and leave them in some other way. The saved are in His way. He doesn’t save people and leave them in sin and lies. The saved are in the truth. He doesn’t save people and leave them in death. The saved are in life. He doesn’t save people and leave them the same. The saved are completely transformed, inside and then out.

And speaking of the outside transformation, Jesus Christ has full authority to lead you wherever He chooses! You are no longer your own! If you are Christ’s, then you have been bought with a price and you are now His. If He leads you through hardship and struggle and tribulation, then you follow Him. If you are His, and if you are “in His name” then you are going to be obedient to Him. We should not hesitate for one second, and we should allow Him to command us as easily as sheep are controlled by the shepherd.

John 10:3 says, “he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
John 10:4 says, “he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him.” 
John 10:9 says, “if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved.”
John 10:14 says, “I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father.”

That’s it. There’s no question about the Lord/servant, Master/slave, Shepherd/sheep relationship and intimate correspondence between Christ and His that He has bought and given His Holy Spirit to lead them into obedience to His Word which is written out in the Holy Bible.

If you don’t have this obedience driven relationship with Christ that is clearly described in scripture as a shepherd/sheep relationship, then what are you waiting for? Asking Christ into your heart means nothing if He doesn’t enter in it. How do you know if He entered into your heart? This intimate relationship of obedience, this intimate knowing of Christ, as He said, “even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father” displays Christ-likeness and holiness and purity just as Christ’s intimate relationship with God displays God-likeness and holiness and purity. Your love for Christ and your relentless desire to serve Him should look like His love and relentless desire to serve God.

If you are truly filled with the Holy Spirit, which all saved people are, then you have a full-time, forever kindred and relationship with Him that catapults you to actually live “in Jesus’s name” with everything that Jesus represents and loves becoming everything that you represent and love. Pray for THAT. Pray for Him. Pray to actually be saved and that you would actually go through Christ, which means submission to Him in obedience and love. Pray “in Jesus’s name” by actually conforming to who He is, just as He conformed to the Father, and just as sheep conform and follow their Shepherd wherever He may go with no more regard to your own way. Because that’s what the Holy Spirit inside you does to you! The Holy Spirit’s presence within a person is not an idea, it’s a life-transforming reality! If this has not been the reality of your life, and you think you are a Christian, then you are mistaken. Pray to Him and Pledge your allegiance to Christ, the only way to God.

You cannot have saving faith without truth, and you cannot have faith in the truth without conforming to it.

I’m very scared for those who believe they are “good people,” yet they have no empowerment from the Holy Spirit and they have no transformation and hey have no commitment to obedience, and they are not following Christ at all and they have no intimate relationship with Him and they are not overwhelmed with a sense of urgency to follow Christ.  The reason they don’t have all of those things  is because they don’t have the Spirit of God inside them. 

The number of deluded people going to Hell is high! They have been lied to, and they lie to themselves, and they believe all the wrong things. If we love these people, we must do something and we must say something. And we need to make it as clear as possible and fully biblical.

Irresponsible Grace

responsibility

 

I believe that instead of calling it “hyper-grace” we should refer to that movement as “irresponsible-grace.” Because whenever I talk to advocates of the hyper-grace movement they try to sound biblical by using Gospel terminology to release themselves from their responsibility in sanctification.  They speak of Christ’s work on the cross as if it accomplished their entrance into Heaven 2000 years ago, but has no effect on their lives today.  They speak as if Christ died to give them a right standing before God, but claim that His work has no effect on their current heart, behavior and purity.   They deflect all responsibility and redirect to Christ’s work 2000 years ago, and they seem to have no regard for Christ’s work inside of the hearts and lives of believers right now in this day.

 

“Irresponsible-grace” is a grotesque misrepresentation of who Christ is, what He has accomplished, and how He sanctifies and builds His people throughout their lives.  Where in Scripture has Christ ever allowed His Church to use Him as an excuse for irresponsibility and sin?  Christ said, “Go, and sin no more.”  And that command was not a heavy burden!  Christ’s work on the cross saved us, and He ascended into Heaven, and He has given His people the Holy Spirit to comfort, sanctify and purify them more and more until we are finally glorified; and the means by which He does that is by infusing in us a loving, thankful responsibility and obligation to follow the many commands and heed the many warnings in the Holy Scriptures.  Christ did not die to make you irresponsible.  Christ is not irresponsible; Christ’s grace is not irresponsible; and neither are Christ’s people ever given an out to justify any irresponsibility.  We are responsible for following His commands and heeding His warnings in Scripture.  There is nothing about Christ that indicates any irresponsibility whatsoever.  Christ did not stop working with His people the day He died on the cross.

 

Christ is alive and sitting at the right hand of God and He is directly involved in the lives and hearts of every single believer; growing them and transforming them and giving them hunger for obedience and renewing their minds and steering their hearts and controlling their affections and strengthening their assurance and motivating them and driving them to holiness and increasing their responsibility and widening their understanding and developing their maturity and emptying their self-will and turning them towards Him and increasing their love for others and purifying their motives and heightening their awareness of sin and directing their steps and conforming them to His Word and He is still actively preparing His Bride!

 

Don’t you dare leave Christ on the cross!  He is not impotent and He has not abandoned His Church whom He loves perfectly!  Don’t you dare accuse His grace of being lazy and without effect!  You are in direct violation and conflict with God’s Word every time you invoke “irresponsible-grace.”  His grace is fully responsible, and we are fully obligated and dutiful for our lives in Him, and He is worthy and His love is active, present and endures forever within the minds and hearts of those that belong to Him.  Every time a professing Christian rejects responsibility for his life and sanctification, he casts reproach on God and accuses Christ of being irresponsible.   yYou are obligated to take responsibility for yourself and take responsibility for your neighbor and lovingly grab hold of the power of the Holy Spirit with thankful, faithful obedience to the Word of God! 

 

Taking responsibility right now and struggling for excellence and holiness are manifestations of the Spirit of Christ within you, and they are the inevitable consequence of His work on the cross in the lives of those who have faith in Him.  Apart from faith in Christ there is no salvation, and faith without works is dead.  If you are not encouraged by Him and His work and death and resurrection and ascension, motivated by Him and His work and death and resurrection and ascension, and enduring with Him because of His work and death and resurrection and ascension; what makes you think you even know Him or have any relationship with Him at all?  If Christ is not your Lord, then you cannot possibly be saved.  No more irresponsible-grace!  There is no such thing as irresponsible-grace in the Bible aside from the false ideology which belonged to the liars and false converts.  The Biblical example of grace is extremely active, responsible, potent; and it is continuously transforming the minds, hearts and lives of all that are His.  His grace is constantly driving them to take responsibility for themselves and relentlessly calling them to action., and this is precisely the same thing He does with true believers today.

Romans 12:1 – The Worship Verse!

worshipWhat is #worship?  Worship is not defined as raising your hands during a song service.

Sometimes the Bible gives undeniable, explicit and very precise prescriptions on practical issues we deal with every day.  In the case of Romans 12:1 that’s exactly what we find.  The Bible tells us precisely what worship is, and it is extremely clear.  Read this verse,

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1). 

See, worship is not a song service. In other words, worship is not singing 5 hymns then moving on to something else. Worship is something we do 100% of the day, and we do so through total sacrifice, which means a selfless lifestyle. We can sing unto the Lord, and singing can be one single form of worship in our day, but worship is not defined simply as singing – it is a lifestyle. Worship is a sacrificial lifestyle enslaved to Christ. If the only time you “worship” God is during song services, then you are not truly worshiping Him properly at all.  And for Christians, that’s a HUGE deal!  For those of us who love and follow Christ, we cannot shrug His Word away.  We crave to obey Him.

We are not called to run down a checklist and perform a certain number of good deeds per day. We are called to totally empty ourselves and become permanent slaves of the Holy Spirit of God – that’s biblical worship. We are called by the mercies of God, that special grace by which we are saved. God showed us eternal mercy, and saved us from damnation by sending His Son to be crucified so that we may live. With that life we are called to now be a continuous living sacrifice sold out to the Spirit of God as slaves. We are now living slaves of the Spirit instead of being dead slaves to sin as we were before salvation.

1. “by the mercies of God” • The mercy God has shown us when He crucified His Son to save us from sin and death.

2. “present your bodies” •• Our whole bodies, starting with our minds which includes hearing, vision, speech, and thoughts.  Then also the rest of our bodies as well, because as saved person’s our bodies are not our own, but are God’s. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:19-20).

“Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you” (Romans 6:13-14).

“Thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness…For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification” (Romans 6:17;19).

3. “living” ••• We were dead in sin, but have been made alive in Christ. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:4-6).

4. “holy” •••• God’s holiness is entirely foreign to this world. We are to be holy, as He is holy. Paul Washer has asked which is more like God, an angel or a maggot? He answers, “neither.” Both are equally not like God – only He is holy. We must possess His holiness. “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16).

5. “sacrifice” ••••• Total self-sacrifice that willingly offers one’s self to God as His slave.

6. “acceptable to God” •••••• “Without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Romans 12:1 – that’s worship. Are you doing it?  Have you EVER truly worshiped God?