Thursday, April 14, 2011

No second chances..Are people saved after death?”

We want to present this great article from the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry that presents a solid answer in response to the questions above.( click here to read full article)

"Answer: Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, caused quite a bit of controversy, even before its official release.  The early criticism it received was due in part to advance copies of the book being issued to various church leaders who took it apart in their reviews, and in part to some controversial promotional videos Bell made and interviews he gave during his publicity tour for the book..."  ( click here to read full article)

Hbr 9:27 NKJV - And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Hbr 9:27 NLT - And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with our sins again. This time he will bring salvation to all those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Test the Spirits

Christians, we have the best owner's manual ever, the Bible! "
2Ti 3:15-17 NKJV - and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

We also have the best Teacher ever, the Holy Spirit! 
John 14:26 NKJV - "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 14:17 NLT - He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all Truth. The world at large cannot receive Him, because it isn't looking for Him and doesn't recognize Him. But you do, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.

God's Word is to be our only Source of Truth. Yes, God does bless believers with Spiritual Gifts and those gifts are meant to be used to build up and encourage the body of Christ. (That is a topic we can delve deeper into at another time.) The body of course, is what we know as the "church" or the assembly or gathering of fellow believers in Jesus Christ. The gifts we most encounter in "church" would be that of Teaching and Pastoring. Every Sunday or whenever there are Bible studies, gatherings, special meetings, and such, we pretty much always encounter a Pastor (Shepherd of the flock) and/or the Teacher. Even though teaching is a Spiritual gift and pastoring is as well, Pastors are usually also the teachers. Only once in twenty plus years, did I attend an incredible church that had a Pastor and a Teacher. The gifts were clearly defined and it showed. In fact many churches, have Pastors, that are wonderful Shepherds, and they m ean well but do not necessarily have the gift of teaching. It seems to be a task put upon all Pastors by the churches that recruit them. Perhaps in other continents, this is not the "tradition." 

We are to always line up what we hear with Scripture. In fact a couple of the other Spiritual gifts are: discernment, words of knowledge, prophecy, tongues and interpretation of tongues. We can know if fellow Christians, Christian leaders, teachers, writers and journalists, and such are speaking God's Truth to us. Bottom line, do not follow human wisdom and teaching, but God's Word and those you know beyond all doubt, that are gifted by the Holy Spirit. Don't be lead by emotions, signs and wonders, and warm fuzzies, for they can be false - test every spirit as we are told in:
1John 4:1 NLT - Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

Personally, we believe that God's Word is Truth, absolute, and that the Holy Spirit is our number One Teacher of the Word. We assume that we are not alone, hence the intense "discussions." There are Christians, ourselves included, deeply concerned about others, bearing the title "Christian," who are doing exactly what we have been warned about in God's Word:

2Ti 4:2-5 NKJV - Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Itching, in the original Greek text is the word 

knēthō, which means:
1) to scratch, tickle, make to itch
2) to itch
3) desirous of hearing something pleasant 

A Time is Coming When Everything WIll Be Revealed...

Mat 10:26-31 NLT - But don't be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ears, shout from the housetops for all to hear! "Don't be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.

Mat 10:32-39 NLT - "If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before my Father in heaven. But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before my Father in heaven.  "Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, I came to bring a sword.
 I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  Your enemies will be right in your own household! If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it.

Mat 10:40-42 NLT - "Anyone who welcomes you is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. If you welcome a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will receive the same reward a prophet gets. And if you welcome good and godly people because of their godliness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded."

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Psalm 139:1-18 NLT - For the choir director: A psalm of David. O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away.  You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know! I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,  even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night--  but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.  You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!