Believing

The IMPORTANCE of believing

John 20:31 tells us “these things are written that you might BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that BELIEVING you might have LIFE through his name”

Many people say that they believe in Jesus, but they do not…. because they fail to understand what the word “believing” implies.

people claim to “believe” in all sorts of things but what practical outcome results from such “believing” …. NONE…. and if called to take a life-or-death decision on such beliefs then we find that they are mere ideas without true conviction.

If you really believe the Scriptures then you will make certain changes in your life, your goals, your ambitions and your actions.

Witness the “Doomsday Preppers”, their whole lives are changed DRASTICALLY once they are converted to prepping….. and then everything revolves around prepping ….. they are called “crackpots” by their own families (but that does not stop them)….. they join the prepping community and their whole life literally revolves around prepping.

and so it is with TRUE Christians….. once they have been “born again” their life revolves around doing the will of God and fellowship with Jesus…. old things are passed away and all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Stop and take stock of your life today….. are you merely giving mental assent to a “belief” with no real impact on your life…. or are you “living for Jesus”

The Bible says “Let him that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19)

The Bible says “Love not the world or the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15)

How are you spending your time ? what are your priorities ?

Unbelief

Today I want to make plain to you from the Word of God (the Bible)  how people REFUSE to accept God’s plan of salvation and prefer to go after man-made religion (what I call “creating god according to their own imagination” and I have written much about this in previous messages…. the Bible tells us about the REAL GOD…. what HE is like… and what HE expects of humans…. but after being plainly shown the TRUTH, alas, many people still CHOOSE to create their own god to their own peril).

Fundamental Christian Preachers are not poplular….  Jesus was not popular…..  people dont want to be reminded of HELL…. they want the multi-faith “anything is Ok” feel-good experience …. God is love (therefore He is expected to put up with whatever wickedness humans do and “save” them anyway)….. but NOTHING IS FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH…. so wise up…. and read this….

John Chapter 6…. Jesus had done some MIRACLES…. He had fed over 5000 people with only a little boy’s lunch (5 loaves and 2 small fish)…. He had then walked across the water to the boat and TRANSLOCATED it the other shore….. and look what happens the next day.

John Chap 6 verse 25….. the people wondered how Jesus got to the other shore… because they saw that when the disciples left in the boat Jesus was NOT with them… and they ask Him when He came over….. because they are wondering HOW  He managed to do that…… HOW could He have possibly gotten there so fast ? what route could He have possibly taken ?…….. BUT JESUS IGNORES THE QUESTION ENTIRELY and thus is revealed there corrupt MOTIVES and their UNBELIEF.

First, they are coming to Him only to get  free food…. people love free food…… why work if we can get free food ?….. we want this guy to give us free food on an ongoing basis….. selfish, fleshly interest oblivious to the SPIRITUAL message of Jesus.

The TRUTH comes out…. Jesus says plainly in Verse 29 “believe on ME” …… but the people defer in verse 30 “what sign do you show us that we may see and believe ?”

Goodness gracious…. Jesus fed them yesterday by a fantastic miracle…… he got to a distant  location in  an incredibly short space of time….. obviously by some kind of SUPERNATURAL means that was humanly impossible to duplicate….. and yet they are not convinced He is who He claims to be ? ….. the TRUTH is….  they dont CARE who he is or how he manages to do these impossible things…… he is no use unless he can be of use…. do you get it  yet ? …. unless he is going to do what THEY want they have little use for him and even less for the message he is trying to tell them….  and is it any different with humans today ?

If Jesus appeared on the planet today….. he would still be of no use unless he could be put to good use….. the sick would expect to be cured… the beggars would expect to be fed…. and the scientists  and military would expect to be entertained….. forget about BELIEVING ON HIM….. we aint believing nothing…. the University physics department WANTS him for study, experimentation and research (we got to figure out just HOW he does this so we can harness his power and abilities)…… he is of no use to the government or military unless we harness his abilities for some kind of strategic advantage over our enemies ….. or to push the country forward with OUR agenda.

If there is one thing that should be CLEAR to everyone….. it is that OUR matters take precedence over any “wishes of GOD”….. if there is a god, he better make himself USEFUL to US…. otherwise what’s the point ?

But read on in Chapter 6 of John….. and see how Jesus goes on to tell them stories about eating flesh and drinking blood (the Jews were not cannibals) until they find His message so repulsive that they go away… their total REFUSAL to see anything beyond the PHYSICAL reality sealed their doom…… and I leave you with this ominous verse (which is also offensive to a HUMAN centered view of the cosmos) …. “….. no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (John 6:65).

Brother….. Sister…. you can preach as much as you like….. until you are blue in the face…… and you SHOULD be talking about Jesus because “we cannot help but speak of the wonderful  things we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20)…… but we should not expect a response and we should not be too upset if we are ignored or if we are not popular….. NOBODY can truly be saved unless God does a work in their heart…. WE are powerless to do anything to save anybody…. WE are merely telling others of the wonderful things that Jesus has both shown us AND done for us.

The real problem is that even US… as Christians like to feel that WE have some CONTROL….. some ability to sway people to our message …. we feel good when people are getting “saved” and the “church” is growing….. money rolling in to build buildings, start programs and gain some INFLUENCE and RESPECT in the “community of fellow humans on the planet”….. it so easy to confuse GOD’s will with OUR will….. after all we KNOW BEST what God wants…. WE UNDERSTAND the BIBLE….. WE know how to really make “disciples” out of the sheep…..  we are ever so IMPORTANT to GOD, how can He possibly get anybody saved  without  our great “spiritual wisdom” and fantastic preaching !

Look….. PLEASE….. for your own good….. get a true glimpse of ALMIGHTY GOD…. and follow Job’s example…. look it up at Job 42:5 – 6

Repentance

Repentance is not a very popular word these days…. and where it is used, people may take it to mean “being sorry about sin”.

But repentance is MORE than simply “being sorry about sin”….. the word repentance actually implies a “turning away from sin”…. it is an ACTION word….. it is a word that means CHANGE….. a change of course…. a change of direction.

Acts 17:30 says “and the times of ignorance God overlooked (the times of ignorance meaning the old testament… the previous history) but NOW God commands all men everywhere to repent”

Over time…. through history… God has revealed more and more of His character to the human race…. and after Jesus Christ came to earth and preached and His preaching was spread abroad…. the new knowledge He has given DEMANDS  a response….. a CHANGE once a person has heard it….  in reality, there are only two reactions to it…. acceptance implies response and change….. rejection implies “men prefer darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19)

The problem today is we have “Christians” who have NOT “changed” …… they are all about religion…. active in the church…. maybe even doing a lot of “good deeds”….. but never really REPENTED over the evil in their lives…. and in fact, some may even be EXCUSING IT…. the Bible says, “Woe unto those that call good evil and evil good” (Isaiah 5:20)….. GAYS (homosexuals) are a perfect example, rather than REPENT and forsake their sin they prefer to accept and embrace it…. and say that it is not sin at all !

The Bible is VERY CLEAR….  2 Timothy 2:19 says “… Let everyone who names the name of Christ DEPART FROM INIQUITY”…… and David said “I acknowledge my transgression and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3)…… REPENTANCE and not ACCEPTANCE is what is required of Christians.

Gays may be the most glaring public example of Isaiah 5:20 in action… but they are not the only ones….. this is a major problem with humans…. excusing their own sin and “working” it into their religion so it becomes quite OK and they can “feel good about it”

I am not bashing gays and they are not “worse” than all other sinners…. what I am bashing is the ACCEPTANCE of homosexuality as OK…. it is NOT OK and they need to see it as SIN and ASK GOD’s HELP in dealing with it…… because it MUST be “dealt with” or it will be JUDGED….. man does not have the authority to decide what is sin and what is not sin….. GOD has told us and we have to accept His verdict and furthermore, He is NOT going to “change His mind about it”….. However, He is MORE THAN WILLING to HELP any REPENTANT SINNER to deal with their sin and change their lives…. no matter how long it takes…….. and the only thing He expects of you is that you will NOT give up…. and you will NOT “give in”…… ALL OF US are COMMANDED and EXPECTED to FIGHT AGAINST SIN continuously…. for the balance of our lives….. because this world is a BATTLEGROUND between good and evil…… it is NOT a “playground” and the sum-total of our life is simply NOT about having  “a whale of a time and all the maximal pleasure we could ever experience”….. at least, not if you are a CHRISTIAN.

The REAL problem is that humans want to “have their cake and eat it too”… meaning they want MAXIMAL PLEASURE and the “feeling” that they are A-OK with regard to Eternal Life and acceptability before GOD….. yup…… SIN along with a GOOD CONSCIENCE…. they want both together…. but it cant happen they are simply FOOLING themselves and others…. and creating all sorts “gods” according their own imagination.

REPENT…. the word is just as valid today… as it was in 6000 BC….. God looks favorably on those who truly REPENT…. and HELPS them “make it through the war zone” with joy, peace and happiness (that the rest of the world cannot understand who have alienated themselves by their REBELLION and REFUSAL to accept GOD’s WORD as the final authority on any matter)