A prayer from the penitent heart.

its

A prayer from the penitent heart.

Dear Lord, I did, “it” again. I feel so pathetic and weak. I hate that I don’t even fight that hard against, “it.” I hate that I do, “it” over and over again. Each time I come to you in my failure, asking your forgiveness again. I don’t even think about your suffering on the cross when I do, “it.” If it does come to mind I push it out. I let the temptation take hold. Then it rushes into my mind to fill it. It becomes a compulsion. I can’t stop, “it” from being my only consuming thought. At the time, I know, “it” is not good, and I willfully choose to do, “it” anyway. I have a mortal idea of what, “it” cost you on the cross, but I disgustingly disregard it so the sinful compulsion can run its course. I know that after, I’ll come groveling to your feet again like some worm, some unreasoning beast, who has no self-control. Why don’t I have victory? Why can’t I stop, “it?” Is it because I am trying in my own power? Is there a lesson I’m supposed to be learning? Am I being humbled? Is this sin to keep me from being proud? Or am I truly saved? Am I a false convert? How can I have assurance? None of my Christian friends are dealing with, “it.” They all have it together. I never see them struggle. Lord! Help me! I’m so sick with, “it.” Sick of, “it.” I’ve prayed and prayed for you to take, “it” away from me, yet, “it” remains. I can’t take, “it” anymore. I just want to be completely obedient to you, but I can’t. “It” won’t let me. It keeps assaulting me over and over. I keep giving myself to, “it” when all I want is to be yours. Please forgive me again?

Have you ever felt like this? Replace, “it” with whatever sin it is that you are constantly being overcome by. We hear lots of things as Christians that can cause us doubt. Many different voices speak into our lives. Some of those are lying, some are accusers, some are genuine convictions. There is unhealthy shame and there is good shame. One shame leads to a legalistic self-flogging over and over again that is never good enough. One leads you to the feet of the one Who took the floggings and the wrath that you deserve. He can justify you once and for all time. He can make right every, “it” you’ve committed, and every, “it” you will commit. I it sounds weird to think about Jesus paying for sins you haven’t even thought of committing yet. He is God in the flesh. Like it says in John 1:1-14, He created everything there is and ever will be. Don’t you think that God would know everything that you would do?

Justification is a fancy theological word that means God has made your record clean for all time. He paid for all of your sins.  On judgment day, He will see His own perfect righteousness when He looks at you, instead of your, “it” that you are so ashamed of. That, “it” is gone! That is what you are free of. He has nailed it to the cross and by faith you have been crucified with Him. Your old self loved the, “it” all the time. You never gave God a single thought. You didn’t care what He thought. If you have come to a place where you do care, where you have been broken over how disgusting, “it” is, where you care about Jesus’ suffering for you on the cross, and it has caused you to hate the, “it” like the person praying that prayer above, if you have turned from your love of all the, “its” in your life, to love Jesus for His work to save you from the punishment that all the, “its” make you deserving of then through repentance and faith in the work of Jesus who loves you, you are justified! You are saved, once and for all, and Jesus will keep you saved, He will keep saving you like a cleansing rain pouring over you continuously, for the rest of your life. What He makes clean never gets dirty again. He is God and can’t loose what He has hold of. He has hold of you. Your grip might be weak, and your grip will fail, but His never will.

Sometimes we let our failures become His failures. This doubt and lack of faith usually comes from listening to the voice of the accuser and not listening to God’s word. Sanctification is another fancy theological word that just means, God is maturing you. He is separating you from your old love of the, “its” and is helping you to love Him more instead of all the sin. This process takes the rest of our lives. It is only finished when we go to Heaven. I’m not telling you to go on sinning and letting the, “its” run your life. If we love Jesus we won’t do that. We will fight against them. Some of them will fall easily and others will make us feel like an ant punching an elephant’s toe. Keep in mind when the giant, “it” squashes you, that Jesus has already won the war. Your little battle doesn’t determine who the victor is in the war. There is no power anywhere that could defeat our Savior. We fight because we love Him. Even if our efforts seem like they are pathetic and useless. We carry on, knowing that He has justified us and will keep sanctifying us. Just have faith and love Jesus more. Turn from the, “its” at all costs. Fight them with all the strength of Heaven at your disposal. When you fail, know that He has got the victory for you and cling to Him who saves you.

Mormons believe that salvation comes through Joseph Smith!!! No, I’m not kidding, it is on this website.

Mormons believe that salvation comes through Joseph Smith!!! No, I’m not kidding, it is on this website.http://www.mormonhandbook.com/home/salvation.html#joseph

To understand the LDS view of salvation it is helpful to first understand these LDS views: God …
MORMONHANDBOOK.COM

All arguments in favor of gay marriage are invalid.

Regardless of the revisionism that is going on with the liberal, “ahem… theologians” a gay marriage is not an acceptable marriage according to God Himself and His word.  In this few verses spoken by God Himself, incarnated as the Word made flesh, He said in Matthew 19:3-6 in the New Testament, “…3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6 “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”…” Oh and if you’re curious that is God/Jesus quoting Himself when God spoke in Genesis.

In Genesis 1:27-28 God says that He created male and female for the purpose of reproduction and that for His glory as more humans equates to more image bearers. Genesis 1:27-28, “…27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” …”

In Genesis 2:24 we have the definition of marriage ordained and officiated by God, “…24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh…”

So any union devised by the darkened heart of sinful humans that isn’t the God ordained and defined union of one man to one woman for life is by Biblical definition not a marriage. You can call it what you want, but it isn’t marriage.  Since Biblical marriage is a religious union the government has no business in it other than protecting our 1st amendment rights.  We should never be forced to condone homosexual marriage or facilitate one, be it in business or our personal lives.  It is an obvious abuse to do so.

Any sexual relations outside of a Biblical marriage are sinful. Homosexual desires are sinful.  Heterosexual lusts are sinful outside of a heterosexual marriage.  Desiring your spouse in a heterosexual marriage is not sinful.  Desiring someone outside of your heterosexual marriage is sinful.  These are very simple concepts people.  God is very clear in His word people.

So since you can’t be married unless it is a heterosexual marriage, and all sex and lust outside of that marriage are sinful, you can see that homosexual lusts and unions are sinful and not to be condoned or in any otherwise facilitated by the Church.

The only people that have problems with this are the ones who want to condone, endorse, and otherwise approve of perversion. “Hey! I don’t like being called a pervert or thinking of myself as a pervert!  I know!  I’ll twist God’s word around or completely disregard it and live in disbelief of Him.  That way I can justify my perversion instead of repenting and being forgiven.”  Wow! What a mess.

Listen folks every Christian is no better than the vilest offender. The Bible says we all deserve to be killed by God, sent to Hell, and to have God’s wrath poured out on us for all eternity because we are sinners.  Romans 3:23, “…23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, …”Even just a lie makes you worthy of hell.  Revelation 21:8, “…8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”…”  Proverbs 12:22, “…22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight…”  God sees a lustful thought as adultery.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, “…but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart…”

We don’t hate liars and we don’t hate homosexuals. There are Christians who were once liars, and homosexuals, but they have repented of their sins and put their faith in Jesus to save them.  1 Corinthians 6:9-11, “…9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. …”

Why would anyone being saved by grace hate a person who hasn’t been? Maybe you haven’t experienced hate from a Christian; maybe they have just told you the truth in love?  Proverbs 27:6, “…6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy…”  We don’t want you to die and go to hell for being an unrepentant sinner.  We just want you to experience saving grace through saving faith and repentance given by God.

Forgiveness of sins is available to you. Jesus, being fully God and man, lived a perfect sinless life, one that you could not live.  He earned all righteousness by obeying the law of God.  He went to the cross and there was crucified, enduring the horrendous torture.  Upon the cross the wrath of God that has been stored up for you upon the Day of Judgment was poured out on Jesus.  He paid your penalty.  Justice has been satisfied for you so that you don’t have to go to Hell and suffer, Jesus suffered for you.  Only He could take the suffering of infinite punishment and survive until it was complete as He is God.  The man Jesus then died, was buried, and resurrected of His own power, thus conquering death and sin.  All we must do in response is to admit that we are sinners who deserve Hell, turn from our sins and begin to fight them, turn towards Jesus, and believe that His work of atonement on the cross paid our sin debt, and set us free to live for Him.  Repent, and believe!  It is that simple to be born again and made into a new person.

Lost, Saved, Baptized, Rinse and Repeat.

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I got saved and baptized when I was a kid, but then I walked away from my faith, and now that I’m an adult, I have come back?” Then, they get baptized again and share their testimony. After a few months of being, “back” they walk away again/backslide. A while later they decide they need to recommit their life to Christ, so they come back to Church and get baptized again. I don’t know how many times, in the Nazarene Church I attended, I heard someone say this, but it was a lot. I didn’t know how to understand this then. I didn’t have the Biblical knowledge to know this was wrong. I knew it was wrong intuitively, but couldn’t build a case Biblically.
I struggled with this myself. Was I really saved that time when I was 19? If so, why am I still fighting these temptations to sin in my life? The Nazarene Church taught, “Entire Sanctification” back then. It was a doctrine that said it was possible for a person to mature spiritually, in this life, to the point where they no longer sinned. I got so frustrated with my constant failings. I cried out to God and told Him, “I can’t do it! I can’t stop sinning! If You want me to stop you are going to have to stop me!” So then came about a 10 year period where I gave up fighting the sins that were too hard to stop on my own. Sure I gave the outward appearance of being a Christian when I was at Church, but at work I still acted like a child. I used profanity all of the time, I told dirty jokes, I engaged in low humor, I entertained hateful thoughts against others because of their political beliefs, and I liked what I saw on television, except I would still cringe when a show used blasphemy. I knew I was doing wrong. I knew from what the Bible said, I was doing these things because my heart desired to do them. I also knew in my head that I didn’t want to keep doing them.
The Church also taught that you could become apostate or lose your salvation if you continued to sin after being saved. This was the doctrine of, “Apostasy.” I remember asking the Pastor about what it said in Hebrews 6, about not being able to be saved after losing your salvation by continuing in willful sin. He explained that was correct. I asked him how anyone can stay saved if that was true. Another person quoted the passage about forgiving 70 times 7. They were trying to tell me if I repent, Christ will keep forgiving me, but if I didn’t repent, and then died, that I would go to hell. All of this didn’t jive with what I was reading in the Bible. It seemed as if people were just cherry-picking passages out of the Bible to justify the way they wanted to live.
The denomination had its own definition of sin. I couldn’t justify it with what I had been reading in the Bible. I knew I was a sinner. I knew I kept committing sins. I felt powerless to be holy like the Church said I must be. My best efforts kept failing. That is why I gave up. The Church said sin was a willful transgression of a known law of God. I asked, “What if I fell into traffic, looked up to see a truck coming, cussed, and then was killed before I could repent?” I was told that was just a mistake, not a sin. So I asked, “What if, I blasphemed instead of cussed, in the same scenario?” I was told I might go to Hell. I was having a difficult time understanding being saved if it was always precariously perched on the narrow ledge of my flawed capacity.
I went down the roads of, “Easy Believism” and “Cheap Grace.” I rejected the doctrines of, “Entire Sanctification and Apostasy.” While I was confused and erring I still knew and was strongly convicted that this was not right either. There is something I am missing. I was going through a very difficult time in my life.  I didn’t trust God with my money, I didn’t trust God with my marriage, and I proved I didn’t trust God by my actions.
A good friend suggested I read the book, “Crazy Love” written by this, Chinese American Pastor from California, with a shaved head. I was not at all anticipating the affect it would have on me or my life. Francis Chan’s book was a kick in my guts. It wasn’t a cruel kick, but rather one that was used by God. He got my attention and exposed how I was lukewarm. I was going to be told, “depart, I never knew you.” It was also about the same time this new radio program was playing on the local A.M. station. This funny, yet serious man named, “Todd Friel” with, “Wretched Radio” kept chipping away at what I had been told by the Church, with truth from the Bible. He was presenting a Reformed view of soteriology. (salvation) It was rocking my world. I was also listening to a local theologian on the same station. His name was Matt Slick. At first I was like, “What’s with this clown’s name? Is he a used car salesman or what?” So I was curious. I went to his website, “CARM.ORG” I read many of his articles and listened to his program and Todd Friel’s program intently and found myself nodding in agreement with them. I got on the internet and watched video after video from Matt Chandler, David Platt, Paul Washer, John Macarthur, R.C. Sproul, Leonard Ravenhill, Martyn Lloyd Jones, and so on. It was like I had this table with a billion puzzle pieces on it, and I only had a couple of corners figured out with some clouds, and these two men were helping me put the pieces together faster than I had ever done before. One day after most of the pieces were put together it was like someone nudged the table and the remaining ones fell into place. It was one of those epiphany moments you have in life.
I don’t want to forget to mention the affect that, “Witness Wednesday” on, “Wretched Radio” had on me. I heard Ray Comfort and Todd Friel presenting the real gospel message to people on the streets and on college campuses. I finally heard the gospel after 15 or so years of believing I was a real Christian. Instead of hearing, “You’ve got a Jesus shaped hole in your heart. Won’t you let Jesus in? God is a gentleman and won’t come in unless you ask Him. He is waiting at the door of your heart, won’t you let Him in?” I was in a state of shock. It was so simple. Why hadn’t anyone preached this to me before?!? Why? Why? Why?! I was so angry with the Church, my friends, and most of all me. How could I not get it? Faith and repentance! Du!
What I had known to be the Christian faith was off by just a scant amount, it seemed Christian, but it was out of phase. Through all of these influences in the middle of my suffering, I heard about real saving faith and repentance that are granted by God. Faith I couldn’t force myself to have in 15 years of trying. Repentance I couldn’t force myself to do, and the effects of these two things. I found myself running headlong into a study of Reformed Theology, the Reformers, the Puritans, and God’s sovereignty. My wife would ask me if we could talk about something other than religion. My co-workers were probably wondering what was going on with me. I would talk about my faith with everyone I met and share the gospel with them. I started evangelizing wherever I went. I actually read my Bible from cover to cover with a reading plan from R.C. Sproul’s Ligonier. I consumed scripture like I had never done before. The word of God became alive to me. Doctrine after doctrine fell into place in a harmony I had never before experienced in all of my piece-meal Bible reading.
I’d be remiss, if I didn’t tell you about the great help Dr. R. C. Sproul’s book, “The Holiness of God” was to me. He corrected the low view of God, the high view of man’s abilities, and the marginal view of sin that I had. It fixed in my head how holy God is, how helpless man is, and how offensive sin is. With this knowledge firmly ensconced in my mind, I could finally put the false teachings behind me.
You see, people don’t get saved and then lose their salvation. They don’t get resaved over and over again. You get saved ONCE! If your life isn’t characterized by growth in knowledge of personal sin and in holiness you aren’t saved. It never happened. Do you read your Bible regularly? Do you hate sin in your life, the sin you used to make room for? Do you love to go to Church and be with God’s people and worship Him together with them? Do you trust Jesus alone for your salvation and righteousness? Do you love to do good works, not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but rather do… YOU… LOVE… to do the good things God has prepared for you to do before creation?
A saved person is a new person. They are a different person. They have a different nature. They are born again. They died to themselves and were resurrected with Christ a new person. I never got this in all those years. I suspected there was more to this religion, but I couldn’t grasp it. I couldn’t comprehend it… yet! Then God worked a double miracle in my life of regeneration, and justification. I trust Him to complete the sanctification that He has started in me. I desire to be conformed to His word and will instead of shrinking from it. I love Jesus! I hope you will to.  Watch the video to get the gospel presented to you.

I’m really rotten

I’m really rotten. When I am weary, people can catch a whiff of the corpse that is with me. I can try to perfume my corpse and cover it with ornate raiment, but that stench permeates and exudes forth in my futile efforts to conceal my corruption. It might not be evident to all, but it is ever before me, haunting my conscience with the knowledge of all I’ve done wrong and failed to do good.  Only the continual washing of grace can cleanse the festering corruption. One day that rotten body of death will no longer be with me. I will be glorified in Heaven with God. I will be finally free from sin in all of its forms.  By the obedient loving work of Jesus on the cross and the Holy Spirit in my regeneration in accordance with the Fathers will, I will know what it is to be free from sins corruption for all eternity, an ageless age!  O how I love Jesus!  Praise His name!  The one who saves the hopeless and gives victory over sin!

If You Could Lose Your Salvation, You Would.

eternman

I’ve heard from many people that salvation isn’t sure. They believe that your salvation is only actual once you die and are judged. If you had done enough good, stopped sinning, kept on believing and repented enough, then you get finally saved. If you haven’t done enough good, sinned once too often, faltered in your faith, or failed to repent of that last sin, then you are finally damned. Usually I hear this from cults like the Mormons and the Roman Catholics. Of course the Mormons don’t believe in a Hell, just a lower realm of Heaven.

I am not trying to misrepresent their position. When someone says that they believe you can lose you salvation this is how I understand what they are asserting. This type of doctrine can only come from a person with poor hamartiology. Their understanding of sin and their culpability is not right. If they understood just little bit of how exceedingly sinful people are, they wouldn’t adopt this works righteous doctrine. Here is a story of what I did out of my own prideful attitude, I woke up one morning and thought, “I will see how long I can go without sinning.” I was brushing my teeth and realized that at that very moment where I presumed to be able to not sin, I had sinned. You see my sinful pride and self-righteous attitude produced a sinful thought.

The thought that a human could even live just a moment without sinning shows how utterly lacking their knowledge of their own personal sin is. In the span of one second we fail and commit sins in an amount approaching infinity. You might not like this, but it is true. Think about God. How holy is He in His infinite and perfect holiness? If He is that holy how can you succeed in obeying the first commandment sufficiently to please Him? Look at the rest of the commandments and ask yourself the same questions. When you steal His air and don’t thank Him for every breath, when you take for granted that He is keeping you alive every nanosecond, when you think a deceitful thought even though you didn’t actually lie, then you try to justify it because you didn’t actually lie… really? God sees our hearts and our thoughts in truth as they are. We can only perceive them through senses corrupted by the curse of the fall. If just for a moment you could see how utterly hopeless and wretched you are, it might then bring you to the conclusion that if you are to be saved it must be completely the work of God from beginning to end.