Friday, March 28, 2008

Do good deeds for salvation, be with Christ.......Not!

Here's a little conversation that took place over at Doorman-Priest's blog between myself and a guest host (Mimi) at his site. My comments in blue and Mimi's in red.

Mimi - May I call you Mimi?

You said - “We are saved; the whole creation is saved,” by the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, whom the God of love called forth from the grave to give us new life.Could you clarify that for me please? What do you mean 'we are saved'?Are you speaking of Christians only? or, everyone?What does it mean for all of creation to be saved?


Waynedawg, of course you may call me Mimi.

The passage that comes to mind to help explain what I mean is from Romans 8:18I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. (Mimi cites Romans 8:18-25)

In my humble opinion (my opinion only, that of a simple pew warmer), when Jesus established his kingdom he included the whole of creation, not just humans.

By "saved" I mean that we were brought into the kingdom, the not yet perfected kingdom, in which we see only "through a glass darkly" until the kingdom in its fullness and perfection is realized in all its glory, the new heaven and the new earth, the dwelling place of God.

Jesus calls us to join with him to work to bring about the kingdom of God in the present, because the present is all we have. By our words and by our deeds, he calls us to live out the two Great Commandments, to love God above all and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He reminds us often in the Gospels of our role as servants in the present kingdom. He asks us to serve, rather than wait to be served.

I believe that the the kingdom will not be exclusively "Christian", in the conventional meaning in which the label is used - whatever conventional meaning you choose for your own.I hope this answers your questions, Wayne. I wish to make it clear that these are my views, not Doorman-Priest's views.I thank you for your questions, because answering them helped me to clarify my own thinking.

Mimi - Thanks for the response!

I'm not able to get on-line as much as I would like over the past week or I'm a little late reading your response.

I love that verse of Scripture. It's ashame that all of creation became a burden to our sin and that creatures have to 'groan' because of our sin nature.

I agree with your comments until you said...."I believe that the the kingdom will not be exclusively "Christian", in the conventional meaning in which the label is used - whatever conventional meaning you choose for your own."

I'm not sure really what that means...but I have always understood the term 'Christian' to mean 'Little Christ' or 'One who follows Christ'.

I mean that in the sense that the person is 'Born-Again like Jesus said we must be in order to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. The Holy Spirit now lives in the changed person and now he desires not to do the things that are contrary to the Word of God.To be a Christian is to have a longing to be with Christ, fellowship with Him and in all one does, to bring glory to Him.

Wayne, I believe that anyone who lives a life of self-giving, a life of loving selflessly, a life of service to others, a life of sacrificing for others is Christ-like and a follower of Jesus, whether they know it or not, or whether they proclaim it or not.

It's not so much about proclaiming to be a Christian by words, as by demonstrating a Christ-like way of life.I believe that the kingdom of God is much broader than we can ever imagine.

If that is so Mimi, then we make Christ out as a liar and Scripture is in error.

Wayne, then we disagree, and I will not engage in further argument with you.

Peace to you.

So, in essence, Mimi concludes that a follower of Christ is not someone who has been Born-Again as Jesus say’s one must be in order to inherit the Kingdom of God (John 3:3), rather, she say’s that all one has to do to go to Heaven and be saved is to lead a life of self giving, lead a life of loving selflessly, a life of service to others, sacrifice for others and, whether they know it or not or proclaim it or not, they are a Christian.

Wow –

It’s the same as saying, “my good works and deeds are enough to earn me a spot with the Master for eternity.”

Isaiah 64:6 immediately comes to mind here……But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Filthy rags. Actually, the correct translation would be likened to a menstrual cloth that women use when they are on their period. (Sorry for the image you just imagined, but now you understand how disgusting our unsaved ‘works’ are to God when we try to merit salvation based on our deeds.)

It’s only God’s grace that saves us and nothing else folks (Eph 2:8-9). These people that think doing good works will earn salvation will hear some very disappointing words on Judgment Day…..

Matt 7:21 - “Not every one that says unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but one that does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

What is the will of God for those seeking salvation?

2 Pet 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God wants us to repent and trust the Gospel (Matt 3:2, Matt 4:17, Matt 9:13, Mark 1:15, Mark 6:12, Luke 5:32, Luke 13:3, Acts name a few)

Once we repent and put our trust in Christ to save us, He will. He will turn a blind eye to all who try to buy their way into Heaven with their good deeds and works. He will look upon their deeds as filthy, dirty and disgusting rags and will cast them into the Lake of Fire.

Be not deceived.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The moment after our friends say we are dead

(J. R. Miller, "Glimpses of the Heavenly Life"

1908)No earthly language is adequate to describe the blessedness, the joy, the happiness of heaven! Perhaps no human word gathers and holds in itself so much of the truest meaning of heaven—as the word "home".

Home is a place of love. It is a place of confidence. We have nothing to hide or conceal from each other, inside home's doors. We know we are loved. Our faults may be seen and known—but we are dear in spite of them.

We find there sympathy with our sufferings, and patience with our infirmities and shortcomings. Heaven is our home! Into it, all God's children will be gathered. It is a place of glory, of beauty, of splendor, a holy place—but, best of all, it is a place of perfect love.

As we read the wonderful description of the heavenly life in the book of Revelation, we find that all heaven's glory comes from Christ!

"Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne!" Revelation 5:6 Whatever else heaven may mean to us, it will, first of all, mean being with Christ! Here we see Him only by faith, ofttimes dimly. We long to see Him as He is. Our hearts hunger for Him. "We would see Jesus!" is our cry all our days.

But when the veil which hides heaven from our sight is torn for us—and the glory is suddenly revealed—we shall see, first of all, before we look upon any of the splendors of the place—Him we have loved—our Savior and our Friend, Jesus Christ! And He will wipe away every tear from our eyes! Being with Him—we shall need nothing else to make our blessedness complete. Seeing Him—we shall be satisfied.

Seeing Him—we shall be like Him, changed fully into His image! Seeing Him—we shall then be with Him forever! This dull bud will open—and a glorious rose will unfold in all its splendor!

From this poor, feeble, struggling earthly life—will emerge a child of God, in glorious beauty! If only we could have a glimpse of ourselves—what we will be the moment after our friends say we are dead, could we go on living as if we were made only for the earth!

Let us not grovel any longer! Let us who have this glorious future—not creep in the slime and dust! Let us live worthy of our exalted honor. When we see Christ, we shall be made like Him!

"We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is!" 1 John 3:2

This hope of heaven should strengthen us to overcome all earthly discouragements. No matter how hard the way is—the end is glorious! No matter how great . . . the fierceness of the battle, the weariness of the struggle, the bitterness of the sorrow, the keenness of the suffering,glory is the final outcome!

"And so we will be with the Lord forever! Therefore comfort and encourage each other with these words!" 1 Thess. 4:17-18

My wife slaps me everytime I say this; I can't wait to go home!!! I really can't. I long to be home with my Lord and Savior. Not because of the street of gold; although that will be awesome. Not because of the jewels that garnish the heavenly things; although that will be awesome.

No, I long to be there because my Lord is there. I will finally be free from this vessel of sin that keeps me bound. This world will no longer have its grip on me......truly then I will be free at last; free at last.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

False-Conversions Worse Than Less Conversions

False-Conversions Worse Than Less Conversions

Quoting James White . . .

The thing that people should biblically fear more than a lack of conversions is the existence of false-conversions, because there is nothing more difficult to deal with than a religious hypocrite.

And when we, by our [church] programs, and our lack of patience, and our lack of a biblically balanced understanding of ministry, create the whetted unregenerate, we are going to answer for that.

I am not what I once was!

I am not what I once was!

(William Plumer, "Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness")

In his old age, when he could no longer see to read, John Newton heard someone recite this text, "By the grace of God I am what I am." He remained silent a short time and then said: "I am not what I ought to be. Ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be. I abhor that which is evil, and I would cleave to that which is good. I am not what I hope to be. Soon, soon I shall put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection.

Though I am not what I ought to be, what I wish to be, and what I hope to be; yet I can truly say, I am not what I once was--a slave to sin and Satan!

I can heartily join with the apostle and acknowledge--By the grace of God I am what I am!"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!

He Is Risen

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.

Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

He is not here, but is risen!

Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.

But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened. - Luke 24:1-12

Happy Resurrection Day!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Substitutionary Atonement Day!

Since I have become a Christian, it has always been ironic to me that we call today ‘Good Friday’.

Good Friday is the day that Christians celebrate, in some way or another, the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Celebrate…the word almost makes me shudder. How does most of the world celebrate Good Friday? Well, here in the States, most folks get the day off from work. I would, and could, argue that most of the folks off from work today never give a second thought about what actually happened on the day they call ‘Good’ Friday.

What did happen?

Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb and God’s Son, was brutally and horrifically beaten and then hung on a cross.

Why? Why did this happen? If He was God’s Son, why did this happen?

Jesus, was being punished.

For what?

For your sins.

What sins? What sins do I have that Jesus would have to be hung on a cross for?

You have broken the Ten Commandments (1 John 3:4) and breaking any one of the Commandments (James 2:10) puts you in the cross-hairs of a perfect and righteous God.

Because of your sin (transgressing or breaking the Law) you are now condemned to death (Rom 6:23). The Bible says that you will be punished for breaking God’s Law….

Luke 12:5 says… Fear Him (God) who, after He has killed, has power to cast into Hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

Who goes to Hell?

Rev. 21:8 - But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

1 Cor 6:9-10 also say’s … Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

If you have told a lie, you will go to Hell. If you have stolen something, you will go to Hell. If you have taken the Lord’s Name in vain, you will go to Hell. If you have committed adultery, you will go to Hell. If you have made an idol of something, you will go to Hell. The list goes on and on.

Once you have broken just one of God’s Laws, you have a one way ticket to Hell for punishment; eternally.

You have to pay for your own sins…..or have someone pay for them for you.

What? Someone can pay for my sins beside me?

Yes. This is called Substitutionary Atonement. In other words, someone could stand in your place and take your punishment for you. But there’s a catch. You knew there was.

This someone has to be perfect and sinless. You see, God will only accept a replacement as long as that replacement has no spot or blemish. This person must be perfect in word, thought and deed.

Who is worthy and who would be willing to stand in your place for your sins?

Are you ready for this?

God will do it. In fact, He already did it.

2000 years ago, God stepped out of Heaven and clothed Himself in human form. He walked and lived a perfect sinless life (He was God, He could do that). He allowed Himself to be taken by man and was horribly beaten and then crucified on a cross.

He died on that cross. He died in a most horrific manner for your sins, my sins, and the sins of the world. He took all the consequences of Hell for us, because of our sins. He did that because He loved us (John 3:16). They took Him down from the cross and put Him in a tomb that no person had ever been before.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Three days later, God raised Him from the dead so that you COULD have forgiveness of sins and life eternal in Heaven.

It’s like this…you broke the Law and Jesus paid your fine.

Jesus became our substitute offering to God. He became our ‘scape goat’, if you will.

The question now becomes; how do you receive this free gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God?

The Bible say’s you must repent (Mark 1:15, 6:12, Luke 13:3, Acts 3:19, 17:30, 2 Pet 3:9). The Bible says that there is no forgiveness of sins without repentance (Acts 2:38). To repent biblically means to have a godly sorrow for your sins and to turn from them.

After you repent the Bible says you must trust in Jesus to save you from God’s wrath. If you were on a plane that was about to crash and there was a parachute under you seat, you just wouldn’t believe in the parachute, you would put it on.

In the same way, you must put on the Lord Jesus and He will save you from your sins.

This, my blogging friends, is what today is all about.

Happy Substitutionary Atonement day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This incomparable book!

This incomparable book!

(Thomas Brooks, "Apples of Gold" 1660)The whole of Scripture is but one entire loveletter, dispatched from the Lord Christ, to His beloved spouse!

Oh! the mysteries, the excellencies, the glories which are in this incomparable book! There are none so useful, none so needful, none so delightful, none so necessary to make you happy and to keep you happy--as this!

Ah! the Word of the Lord is . . . a light to guide you, a counselor to counsel you, a comforter to comfort you, a staff to support you, a sword to defend you, a physician to cure you!

The Word is . . . a mine to enrich you, a robe to clothe you, a crown to crown you. bread to strengthen you, wine to cheer you, a honeycomb to feast you, music to delight you, a paradise to entertain you!

Oh! therefore, before all and above all: search the Scripture, study the Scripture, meditate on the Scripture, delight in the Scripture, treasure up the Scripture!

There is . . . no wisdom like Scripture wisdom, no knowledge like Scripture knowledge, no experience like Scripture experience, no comforts like Scripture comforts, no delights like Scripture delights, no convictions like Scripture convictions, no conversion like Scripture conversion!

I exhort you to a speedy, serious, diligent, and constant study of the Scripture. Ah! you do not know how soon . . . your blind minds may be enlightened, your hard hearts may be softened, your proud spirits may be humbled, your sinful natures may be changed, your defiled consciences may be purged, your distempered affections may be regulated, and your poor souls may be saved . . . by searching into the Scriptures, by reading the Scripture, and by pondering upon the Scripture.

Ah! if you do not in good earnest,give yourself up . . . to the reading, to the studying, to the pondering, to the believing, to the practicing, to the applying, and to the living up to the Scripture--Satan will be too hard for you, the world will be too hard for you, your lusts will be too hard for you, temptations will be too hard for you, deceivers will be too hard for you, and in the end you will be miserable!

Good gosh........

The thunderous applause was still ringing in his ears when the state's new governor, David Paterson, told the Daily News that he and his wife had extramarital affairs.

Ringing with applause?

Now you can get applause and kudo's these days for just admitting that you're a lying cheating and adulterous person.

Oh, come quickly Lord Jesus!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

It is an interesting thing to see God at work.

It is an interesting thing to see God at work.

No, I’m not talking about the Earth spinning at over a 1000 miles per hour while traveling around the Sun at 67,000 miles per hour inside a Solar System that’s blistering along at 558,000 miles per hour within the Milky Way; although that’s pretty impressive.

Pretty impressive? No….amazingly impressive? No….I having a problem coming up with the right adjective here. Astounding? Astonishing? Incredible? Miraculous?

Incredibly miraculous?

Sorry, I got sidetracked.

It is an interesting thing to see God at work.

What could that mean? Well, it could mean lots of different things. What would it mean to my neighbor across the street? The lady that cleans the office? The Eskimo that looks up at the Northern Lights? The homeless man starring at his last few quarters? The mother as she looks upon her newborn baby?

What does it mean to me to see God at work?

What does God look like when He is changing a person? How does that person reflect his Maker while God is changing him? If God was changing a person, how would that person react to the change? Would he fight it or would he embrace it? Would he struggle with the change or adapt to his new features?

If God were changing a person, how now would that person look to others who knew him before God started changing him? Would they see a change in that person? Would they talk among themselves about how this person, whom they thought they knew, was now radically different than he used to be? Would they have to ask the person what was going on or would that person be bursting with excitement from the change? Would they beg the person to tell them what’s different or would that person be so burdened with the change as to tell them before they asked?


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

A brother in Christ shared with me today those very words as if they were just profoundly spoken by the Lord Himself to him personally. This brother in Christ is actually fairly new to the faith although he has pretty much grown up in church. I’ve known this person for more than 17 years and had seen him baptized well more than a decade ago. But something happened. He realized a short while back that he was lost. He came to the realization that he was not born-again as Jesus said one must be to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He realized that Christ did not come 2000 years ago to condemn him, but rather, he was condemned already. He came to a very personal realization that his sins did more than just separate him from God, his sins condemned him to a real hell for the punishment of those sins. He recently repented of his sins and now has his trust in Christ to save him from God’s wrath on the Day of Judgment.

But, even more than that, he is working out his salvation until it will be made complete when he leaves this world for his home with the King of glory. It’s an incredibly miraculous change that is evident to all who know him.

Now those words of John 14:6 mean something very personal to him. In fact, they are more than just words; it’s a narrow path that leads to his Savior.

Yes, it is an interesting thing to see God at work.