understanding

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.

BEWARE

Many books and television programs are not accurately representing the Bible !

How often have you heard it said, “The Bible was written by men….. to control the way that people think.”

If this were true…. it would lead to the conclusion that NOTHING is “trustworthy”…. all humans on the planet “victims of brainwashing”…… religion, television, radio, books…. ALL human attempts to CONTROL the way people think…. and therefore by extension, the way they live their lives…. for “as he thinks in his heart, so is he….”  (Proverbs 23:7).

Even the person who BELIEVES the above to be true…. has merely been DUPED by somebody else, because this IDEA itself… and whatever follows from it…..  is as much, as anybody else’s BELIEF. “But without FAITH it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must BELIEVE that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6)…. EVERYTHING starts with a BELIEF…. SOME kind of belief in SOMETHING !

The LOGICAL CONCLUSIONS that come from the idea that “the Bible was written by men to control the way that people think” are:

1. That there is NO GOD… NO ABSOLUTE “RIGHT” or “WRONG” about anything…. that heaven , hell, good and evil are all just “ideas of men”.

2. That MAN is supreme…. or rather, the MAN that is able to “fool” everybody else (and therefore gain “CONTROL” over them) is the supreme one.

The amusing aspect of this whole line of “reasoning” is that the ATHEIST….. BELIEVES there is no GOD  with as much FANATACISM as the Christian believes in Christ…. and does everything in his power to PROVE his case to all other humans…… hence the pre-occupation of “intelligent” academics with EVOLUTION…. trying to convince lesser mortals that  everybody “originated from slime by a mere accident”, when there is NOT ONE SHRED of true “scientific” PROOF to support such a ridiculous IDEA. But the Bible has something to say about that too…. “Professing to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22)

But what about CHRIST ? …… the central argument over Christ concerns his DEITY…..  and many “churches” today don’t really believe that JESUS CHRIST IS GOD….. the Jewish authorities did not believe it either even though they believed in God.

UNFORTUNATELY believing in GOD is NOT ENOUGH…. it is only a starting point…. it is what you think of CHRIST that matters…. for Jesus says, “….  if you do not believe that I am HE, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24)     And as I have said, in previous posts, any analysis of the words spoken by Jesus Christ can only lead to one of two possible conclusions.

1. HE is DEITY (in flesh appearing)

2. He is a DECEIVER… of the worst kind… claiming to be God when he is a mere man (and this is exactly what the Jews accused Him of). “… “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, BEING A MAN, make yourself GOD” (John 10:33)

There is NO MIDDLE POSITION….  He is NOT a “great teacher” ….. He is NOT a “prophet”….. He is NOT a “good and holy man”…. HE IS GOD.

My friends, He is GOD…. or else, he is a blashemous, lying, deceiver….. and it is YOU who have to decide for yourself…..  but if you decide that He is GOD, it calls for some ACTION on your part…. because He said, “But why do you  call Me  ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say ?”  (Luke 6:46)

Having believed … we REPENT (judge our sin as sin… and turn away from it)…. and exercise SAVING FAITH…. that is BELIEVING that Christ has paid the penalty for our wickedness… and BELIEVING that He WILL deliver us from all the sinful habits that we cannot free ourselves from (without His help)…. as you read and study His words and exercise FAITH when you pray you will find yourself delivered….  and you will marvel at it, because you will realize that a SUPERNATURAL power at work in your life…. you will Praise God… because His Holy Spirit will enable change in your life.

…after all this you will KNOW the TRUTH of the BIBLE….  and it will not be “just another book to be discussed…. and argued over (about who wrote it and why)”….. you will UNDERSTAND it when you read it…. and KNOW that it is the TRUTH revealed by GOD….. and it is God Himself who will give you this “knowledge”.

But it all starts with FAITH IN GOD….. and in HIS CHRIST….. and that word “faith” is something that “educated” academics have no use for because they are taught to analyze and reason according to HUMAN logic and wisdom…. HOWEVER “that your faith should NOT be in the wisdom of men but in the power of GOD.” (1 Corinthians 2:5)

Consider:

Even academics have faith… but it is faith in what other men have “written” and “researched”… and it is faith in their own ability to be “objective” about what they read and study !

Even though the writing of the Bible was done by humans…. the KNOWLEDGE of what is written down by them DID NOT ORIGINATE with them…. such knowledge was given them by INSPIRATION, VISION, REVELATION or DREAM….. and futhermore, the FACT that the Bible contains the work of MANY humans (who did not know one another or “collaborate” in any way) ….. it is “remarkable” (humanly speaking) that all these different people from different times and different places could write the SAME things…. ADD to stuff that was already written… and that we could end up with a Book that “makes” SENSE…. when they did NOT know each other and had no way of reading each others work or “collaborating” in any way whatsoever…. therefore the CONTENT of the BIBLE is a supernatural revelation of GOD to the WHOLE HUMAN RACE of what HE expects of them, where they came from….. and where they are ultimately going.

Prayer for Today:

Loving Heavenly Father, it is not our place, as created beings, to “analyze and understand” You before accepting Your existence or authority….. because You are much Greater than us…. YOU are the Creator and we the creature…. therefore it is not wrong for You to EXPECT our love and obedience…. help somebody today to come to You in FAITH and then show forth Your power in their life… in Jesus name … Amen.