harsh messages…. loving and tender messages….. deep, spiritual messages (for mature believers)….. simple, easy to understand (for anyone) messages…. I have posted them all over the last year…. in fact, there are now over 120 messages on this blog, “Stephen’s Bible Insights”…. and I am always adding more, when the Holy Spirit guides me to write.
“faith” versus “works”…. it is an old debate, that still affects churches today !
There are some who claim you can “lose” your salvation, if you are not careful to do the WORKS that befit a “saved” person….. then there are others, “the once saved, always saved” persons who believe that loss of salvation is impossible, IF you have been truly saved in the first place ? ….. which leads to another debate, can we be 100% sure that “a person” is really “saved” at all ?
Have I got your attention ? …. Amazingly, all these various beliefs APPEAR to be “supported” by Scripture ! ….. at least, the people find Scripture to quote at you in “support” of their particular “position” on all these contradictory issues.
Obviously they can’t all be right….. consider….
On the gaychristian101 website they have found ingenious ways to “show” that all the passages that condemn homosexuality really mean something else !
On the catholic website they have found ingenious ways to “show” that all the passages that condemn prayers to saints, perpetual virginity of Mary, consumption of the literal flesh and blood of Christ…. actually mean something else.
On the philvaz website (another Catholic support site), they examine 143 Bible contradictions that range from the ridiculous to the absurd …. and attempt to dispel your confusion THEIR way.
Truly, the UNRIGHTEOUS MAN FEELS JUSTIFIED….. when he tells you that, “you can prove anything” from the Bible…. and promptly dismisses your attempt to interest him in the Gospel.
Truly, the internet is now the world’s greatest method for the spread of PROPAGANDA… in an effort to seduce the minds of the masses.
Do I sound very cynical ? ….. after all, you say, is that not what I am also doing ?…. trying to convince you to accept “my position” ?
The TRUTH is …. NO…. I don’t promote a church…. I am not asking for money…. I do not bother whether this blog attracts many or few readers…. and it’s not my problem whether you believe what I write or not !
So WHY do I do it ? ….. WHY would I spend countless hours researching and publishing on internet ?
The answer is simple….. God told me to do it….. Whoa ! … you say, God doesn’t tell me stuff like that…. how do you know it’s God ?…. don’t you think that perhaps you are deceiving yourself (and “the TRUTH is not in you”) ?… who do you think you are anyway? …… etc. etc. ETC.
It reminds me of something I once read concerning the Pentecostal movement, “that a man who has had an EXPERIENCE is never at the mercy of a man who only has a “rational” argument”.
Certainly there are all sorts of DECEIVING spirits, that are in the world causing people to have “experiences”…. so we are back to the Word of the Bible and it’s AUTHORITY…. but what does it actually SAY ? … and more significantly what does it MEAN when it says something !
Have I still got your attention ? Do you want to know where I am going with this ?
1. First of all, and most importantly, is the STATE OF YOUR HEART….. if you enjoy arguing the Bible because it supports YOUR perspective on things…. then you are NOT really seeking TRUTH… and you do NOT have a genuine love for this book…. you are DISQUALIFIED…. you have “neither part nor lot in this matter”.
2. If you truly BELIEVE that this book holds ALL THE ANSWERS to life on this planet…. and it is EVER SO IMPORTANT for you to really UNDERSTAND what it says… then you are ready to receive number 3.
3. If you have a longing in your heart to PLEASE GOD and to KNOW HIM PERSONALLY…. then (a) you have to BELIEVE that this is possible and (b) you have to be prepared to MODIFY your life, habits, ways of thinking, attitudes, etc. etc.
Read Hebrews 11:6 and if you BELIEVE this verse to be accurate statement then surely GOD is NOT going to abandon you to “spirits of deception”, but is going to reveal Himself to you PERSONALLY… and then guide your life….. you will no longer need to argue about GOD…. you will KNOW GOD.
The real problem with “church people” from most any “faith” is that they are looking to their particular CHURCH to “tell them about God”….. either they DO NOT BELIEVE that GOD will PERSONALLY guide their life…. OR they will NOT fulfil the conditions for Him to do so.
What are these conditions ?
SURRENDER and SACRIFICE of everything that THEY hold dear…. and a WILLINGNESS for Him to direct their lives on a CONTINUOUS, DAILY basis.
It is not that we have to give up everything we like, but rather, that we must be WILLING to give up anything which He directs us to….. Abraham did not actually sacrifice Isaac… but he was willing to do so, if required by God.
Because of God’s nature, anything we sacrifice for Him will cause us to be blessed but that is the wrong reason to do it…. we should do it because of who He is, and what He has already done for us, and not from future selfish motives.
Finally, EVERYTHING God does through our lives…. is because of our VOLUNTARY surrender…. He will not control us like robots, so it is a mistake to expect that kind of control…. we are always in the position of constantly CHOOSING to surrender to His will…. on a moment by moment basis.