Today’s post is unusual because I had been working on it when a friend wrote something on Facebook, that is in exact harmony with the first portion of the article. I don’t believe that has ever happened before.
I write about the Christian experience in much the same way I write about all subjects. With passion and conviction. That doesn’t mean that I think I am never wrong, only that I work hard to get it right. In the case of Christianity, it means more than all of the other subjects combined. I realize that many of you are taught and believe, that anybody who questions religions that are based on the Bible and Christianity, is someone who is not in keeping with that Bible and the way a Christian should behave. I certainly agree that it is not my place to judge an individual who says they are Christian, and question their salvation. It is however Biblical and proper to “call out” false prophets and to act as a sentinel. Christians are in fact called to do so.
There are a series of so-called ministries who earn their living, convincing Christians, be they born again Christians or just those who think of themselves such, that God and God’s Word is all about gaining financial wealth. No matter where those preachers preach from in the Bible, it seems to always be about profiting financially. The most preached Biblical subject from these ministries is that if you pay your tithes and make your offerings (they hope to them) generously, you will be repaid in kind. They are actually telling the truth, for the wrong reasons.
Most of these groups are seen on independent non-Christian TV channels and they are in the business of suggesting to you, that if you give your money to them, you will be blessed by God with unimaginable financial success. You will truly be blessed for supporting your own church and others, because of your desire to help seed the Word of God, not to make yourself rich.
When you tithe and make offerings, to what is truly God’s Work, for the reason of worshipping God and furthering His teachings, you will be Blessed. It will not necessarily be financial, but it can be. Your purpose should be I would think, to bring God to others, and help the unsaved become saved. If it is merely a business investment to you, I would think you will receive little. Especially if that money is invested with a group of con-artists, whose goal is to enrich themselves and profit from the greed of others.
Please do understand how important it is that you give to God’s Work, when that work is done by genuine Christian Churches, who actually follow and preach God’s Word. Sow and you will reap but only as God commands. With all others, save your money.
In my opinion, any Christian ministry should be preaching from the pulpit, or discussing in Bible classes, the end time prophesies that are so prevalent in God’s Word. That has always been true, but never so much as now. The start of those ancient prophecies actually happening, was in 1948 with the reforming of the Nation of Israel, as it is called in modern times. Today, we are at least in the time of the Church of Laodicea. The lukewarm church, and the church of manmade doctrine instead of God’s. A time when evil will often win over good. A time where we will be told that everything bad is good, and everything good is bad. Look around you, it is happening while we watch. In most cases, while all we do is watch. Christians are to “always” fight against what is wrong.
Over the centuries, so-called Christian groups and other religious groups have predicted the end of the world. It’s pretty obvious that they have been wrong. Every one of them. Groups today who preach the end of the world, whether they call themselves Christian or not, are charlatans or just foolish. It matters not whether they are of Satan himself, or they are sadly unbalanced, they know not what they say. There is no end of the world, or of this planet in the Bible. Even Armageddon is not the end of the world. It will be rearranged and in a sense fixed or cleansed, but this old Earth is not going anywhere. In fact, the end times with all of its pain and horror, will ultimately lead to paradise. We are to call attention to the evil that is now and will tomorrow exist, but realize that perfection, love and glory will eventually reign. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, and if you repented of your sins, you only have reason to rejoice. If you have done so already, you will not even suffer the pain of the Tribulation. What if you miss this chance and come to God until after the tribulation begins? There will still be an opportunity for ever lasting salvation, but personally I would not wait.
Churches who only teach white fluffy clouds and puppy dog tails, or that your blessings and favors from God only come from your own personal good works, or who don’t teach about the history of sin, where it began, what it has done to us, and where it will end, and the true story of Salvation from the Cross of Christ, are not Christian.
Conversely, churches who teach fire and brimstone without the story of God’s Love, who teach sin without redemption through God’s Grace and Love, who teach death without life, who teach angst without Hope, are not Christian.
Never give up hope, God Loves you and wants you in His Kingdom. He is always waiting for you, no matter your past.
The most important job on this planet right now is teaching God’s Word and all that goes with it. Don’t settle for anything less even if it means going someplace else. God will eventually deal with false teachers, but you can deal with them today.
From a study that allowed the responders to remain anonymous, taken I believe almost 20 years ago, it was learned that almost half of all American Bible School teachers/professors, consider themselves devout atheists. About 40% said they were agnostics. The rest (maybe 10%) were Christians. They often held degrees in world history. Some just wanted a job, others wanted to make sure that anybody who attended the class they taught, would not leave believing in the Bible. Today, they could take that survey openly and the answers (my opinion) would be even lower for true Christians. Most religions that call themselves Christian, and have denominational Bible colleges, are well aware of who is teaching in their schools.
The students that attended those schools 20 years ago are the pastors of today. Some of them are now teachers themselves. That doesn’t mean that many of those students who were truly called by God, did not survive the hate and sadness of atheism, to go on to do God’s Work, but which ones and how many?
Just because there is a Cross on the church, and they open a Bible during a sermon during Easter, and they mentioned Jesus once, doesn’t make them Christian. Pretty ceremonies that make you feel good do not in and of themselves, make for Christians. It‘s not about feeling good for 20 minutes on Sunday, it about eternal salvation and joy. It’s knowing the Holy Spirit every day. If you are an adult of healthy mind then you are responsible for your own spiritual discernment, and for rightfully dividing the Bible. That responsibility comes with free will as God has given it. We all need help, but be careful where you cast your lot. God will deal with false teachers, but you still need to reside over your own spiritual health and make good decisions.
Please never think that I am saying that I have all the answers. In fact, I personally have none. They live in the Bible when you know how to look for them. I am the lowest of servants and of minimal knowledge, I am quite sure. I can however tell you this, I believe what I say, and I do not do it for personal reasons. In some respects, it would be much easier not to write posts like this. I have reasonable faith in my sources of knowledge, and divine faith in God. I only want to share with you, what is the best news imaginable. Eternal salvation really is simple, in the sense of not being complicated.
Romans1:18, 19, 20
18. For the Wrath of God (how God feels about sin), is revealed from heaven ( anger and judgement against sin originates with God), against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (to be true to His Nature, God must be opposed to all sin. He cannot allow Himself to be untrue to His nature.), who holding the truth in unrighteousness ( man’s truth is false, if man will not recognize Who and What God is).
19. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (the knowledge of God the Creator, is known to some degree, to all mankind), for God has showed it unto them (it is seen in His Creation).
20. For the invisible things of Him from the Creation of the world are clearly seen (reiterating verse 19) being understood by the things that are made (Creation demands a Creator), even His Eternal Power and Godhead; so they are without excuse (the Creation shows all of us, God’s Everlasting Power. There is no excuse for not seeing it).
I would be derelict in covering the theme of this post, if I did not state that which Bible you use matters. I have found bibles with slight changes in the wording of a verse, that changed the meaning of that verse 180 degrees. Readers will ultimately believe the exact opposite of what God meant. There are however many good Bibles, but I am only familiar with a few. Personally I use the King James Bible with concordance. I do not use the latest version of it, and that is intentional. Using the internet, at times I attempt to work backwards from words in specific verses to ascertain what the original Hebrew, ancient Greek or Aramaic meanings are. Reinserting that meaning into the verse, can be very helpful. I always read verses in the context of first the other verses around it, then the other chapters, then other books and eventually the meaning I think the verse holds, in keeping with the whole Bible.
Two easy examples of word meanings are found below.
The word wine taken back to Hebrew can mean fermented grape juice, non-fermented grape juice, or a grape spread. Its most common meaning in the Bible is likely non-fermented grape juice. That might say something about the intent of Jesus when he turned water into wine. The truth is I have no idea which kind of wine the Bible means, but for centuries humans have used that story of water to wine as a reason to justify drinking alcohol. It pays to at least know that in many translations, there are multiple meanings of any given word.
The word kill in the Ten Commandments can, and likely does mean murder, or to kill with forethought and malice.
Under any circumstances, the Bible should never be interpreted to say what you want it to say. Unfortunately most non-Christians and many who call themselves Christian, including many pastors, do just that.
As is always the case with posts that are not about photography, this one will be moved to a group of posts that reside in mid-August, 2015, at some point within 24 hours after publication.
Have a special kind of day and may God Bless, Wayne