Believing In A Savior Whom We Cannot See

1st Peter 1:7-9, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

That is so awesome! The Bible acknowledges that we are trusting in a Savior we have never met. Did you know that we get a special blessing for that? John 20:29, “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Wow! I am glad that I can prove my love for the Father and His only begotten Son by believing (having faith) even when I cannot see Him. 
Hebrews 11:24-27, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”
That is so precious! Repeatedly in the Holy Bible we are encouraged for our faith, trusting in a God that we cannot see, Who is invisible. 
Romans 1:20-23, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
What an amazing passage of Scripture! The Bible says that THE INVISIBLE THINGS of God from the creation of the world are CLEARLY SEEN by the things which are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that all men are WITHOUT EXCUSE.

When we behold the moon, sun, stars, planets and universe we see God's handiwork. Psalms 19:1-3, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Nature itself speaks a universal language to all mankind, testifying of the goodness and power of the true and living God. This is what makes preaching the Gospel so powerful and effective, because our Gospel presentation is supplemented by the voice of nature and the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11).

I love that about God, He has given us witnesses to verify THE TRUTH. The Lord doesn't expect us to believe something without providing some evidence to prove it is true. Although we cannot see Jesus physically, we can see all of creation, and that is a voice (a witness) the Bible says. This is what the Bible means:
1st John 5:4-8, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”
There are THREE witnesses in the earth that Jesus is the Son of God:
  1. The Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11)
  2. Jesus' flesh (Christ's lineage traces back to Eve, proving His humanity in Luke)
  3. Jesus' blood (Christ was born of a virgin, proving God is His Father, Matthew 1:23)
The blessed doctrine of the Godhead (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit) proves in Heaven that Jesus is God, deity. His incarnation in the flesh and virgin birth on earth prove that he is the biological Son of God. The Holy Spirit bears witness that these things are true! The great battle has always been over whether Jesus is Whom He claimed to be. Is He a fake? Is He a deceiver? The wicked chief priests and Pharisees called Jesus a “deceiver.” Matthew 27:63-64, “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.” Did Jesus deceive them? No, He did indeed rise up from the dead after three days!!!

It is because of the negative nature of mankind that God gave us witnesses. Remember, the Bible calls Satan “the accuser of the brethren” in Revelation 12:10b. The Bible gives us a description of our enemy, the Devil. John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Satan does not abide in THE TRUTH, he lies all the time. Sound familiar? The newsmedia don't care about THE TRUTH, they delve into lies, even fabricating FAKE NEWS to further their own agendas and greed to sell a story:
The news media and the government are entwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, mythmaking, and self-interest. Journalists need crises to dramatize news, and government officials need to appear to be responding to crises. Too often, the crises are not really crises but joint fabrications. The two institutions have become so ensnared in a symbiotic web of lies that the news media are unable to tell the public what is true and the government is unable to govern effectively. That is the thesis advanced by Paul H. Weaver, a former political scientist (at Harvard University), journalist (at Fortune magazine), and corporate communications executive (at Ford Motor Company), in his provocative analysis entitled News and the Culture of Lying: How Journalism Really Works.

SOURCE: Why The News Is Not The News (Harvard Business Review)

That is tragic and another reason why our American society is deteriorating quickly. Matthew 24:12, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” People don't know what to believe anymore. Because of the blatant fraud of 911, many people no longer believe anything the government or newsmedia say. 911 was a blatant INSIDE JOB. It wasn't two planes, but thermite charges (bombs) carefully planted in the World Trade Center buildings (which take months to prepare) for controlled demolition. Firefighters who were present at Ground Zero testified in court that they heard explosive charges systematically going off. A New York judge put a gag order on the firefighters to silence them!!! No wonder Americans today have little confidence in what the U.S. government tells us. I sure don't! This whole COVID-19 pandemic stinks with dishonesty. As far as I'm concerned it is just 911 part two, intended to further the New World Order. Time will tell the true story.

Praise God that He has given to us many evidences to support THE TRUTH of His dear only begotten Son. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Security Verses Assurance

1st John 1:4, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”

I heard a wonderful MP3 sermon today by Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold titled, “Security Verses Assurance,” in which he makes the following helpful statement:
“Assurance of your salvation is how you see it, and your perception can be based upon what somebody told you to look at it. Like for example: Some say if you're really saved, it will manifest itself in your life. Well, if everybody looked at their life as the evidence of their salvation, [the] majority of people (I would say most people) would have to come to the conclusion, that they're not saved. If I had to look at my life, as the evidence to prove that I'm saved, I'd come up to the conclusion, I'm not. Because, how many sins would I tolerate? How many sins can I commit? How many questions and doubts? What about my thought life? Every person has enough in their life, that could be used as evidence, that they're not really saved. But you see, that's because you would lose assurance of your salvation; but, if you forget about looking at yourself, because your salvation doesn't depend on you, and it depends upon what Christ said, well [if] what Christ said is still true, and it doesn't lie, then you have eternal security based upon what God said. So God knows those whom He has saved, given eternal life, and are born into His family, and so you are safe and secure. But you may get to the place, where you no longer are full of assurance. When you study the book of 1st John, it talks about (as a child of God) having full joy—'that your joy may be full.' And your joy cannot be full if your assurance is missing.” —Pastor Ralph “Yankee” Arnold, from the MP3 sermon, “Security Verses Assurance.”
Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold further makes this tremendous helpful statement:
The doctrine of eternal security is not a separate doctrine from eternal life. If you have eternal life, you are safe and secure in the arms of the everlasting Father. Deuteronomy 33:27, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” Our salvation in Jesus Christ is as secure and guaranteed as God's existence Himself. The only kind of life that God offers is “eternal” (or “everlasting”) life! John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” Oh my friend, if you are saved, you have everlasting life!!! Nothing can jeopardize our security in Christ! Whether I go to Heaven has nothing to do with whether I'm good or bad, but whether God is good or bad. We have a good God, Who has made a way of escape through the sacrifice of His dear only begotten Son on the cross for our sins. What an awesome God and Savior!!! —Pastor Ralph “Yankee” Arnold, from the MP3 sermon, “Security Verses Assurance.”
Pastor Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008) made these helpful statements:
“Nothing in my future can ever affect the salvation that I have... Once you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are eternally secure!” —Pastor Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008), a quote from the classic MP3 sermon titled, “How Permanent Is Your Salvation?” 
“The Christian life doesn't save you! You're saved by Jesus Christ' death on the cross, and that alone, and it's important to understand the difference. And, it's true that we should not live a life that's opposed to the will of God after we're saved (We'll talk about what God will do, if we do live that kind of way). But, salvation is based upon purely what Jesus Christ has done. And if you've trusted Jesus Christ here, you're saved forever! Nothing in your life, nothing in your death, angels, principalities, nothing—nothing in your future—could ever undo that relationship that has been made when you trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. And there are many people who are confused over this whole thing.” —Pastor Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008), a quote from the classic MP3 sermon titled, “How Permanent Is Your Salvation?” 
“There are many people who name the name of Jesus Christ, who are not saved, because they're trusting in living the Christian life, or in their works, or in some efforts that they're doing, in order to obtain their salvation.” —Pastor Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008), a quote from the classic MP3 sermon titled, “How Permanent Is Your Salvation?
You'd be surprised how many people faithfully attend church much of their life, but have never been born-again. Most people join a church because someone befriended and invited them, and then they gradually became a part of the church family, but if you were to ask them why they're going to Heaven, you'd find out quickly that they have never been saved at all. That's why I frequently pass out the awesome book by Michael P. Bowen called, “I NEVER KNEW YOU: THE HORROR OF THE COMING GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT AND HOW YOU CAN AVOID IT!” Here is the complete free online .PDF version.

How could somebody attend a local New Testament church for decades and still go to Hell? IT HAPPENS!!! It happens even in independent fundamental Baptist churches. The reason why is because living the Christian life is NOT the way to be saved. You get saved by placing your trust in the Good News of Jesus Christ, Who DIED on the cross for our sins, was BURIED, and bodily RESURRECTED three days later.

Satan's greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born-again. Nearly everyone who professes the name of Christ is guilty of this sin, relying upon the religious life they are living to get them into Heaven on day. Luke 13:23-24, “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”

The Purpose Of Repentance Explains What It Means

Romans 3:19-20, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” 2nd Timothy 2:25-26, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

There is not a more hotly debated subject today than repentance for salvation. This past week a man (one of my web visitors) shared a copy of a disciplinary letter he received from his church's pastors. The man had spoken out about the heresy of Calvinism (ala, Lordship Salvation) being taught from the pulpit by his pastor. Consequently, they excommunicated him. I comforted my hurting brother in Christ by reminding him that Jesus was also despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).

Lordship salvation is the false teaching that faith in the GOOD NEWS (Gospel) of Jesus Christ is not enough to be saved; but in addition, a person must turn away from their sinful behavior, surrender all to Christ as absolute Lord” and follow Jesus no matter what the cost. So if a person professes faith in Christ, but their life hasn't outwardly changed, they are said to be unsaved because they have never repented. Proponents of Lordship Salvation teach that a person cannot claim immediate salvation; but rather, we must watch their life to see if their behavior changes over time to prove the reality of their faith. This is the Devil's lie of Calvinism! This is what many religious cults teach (e.g., Seventh-Day Adventists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, et cetera).

The reason why so many people get God's simple plan of salvation wrong is because they don't understand the purpose of repentance. It is vital that you understand that the only purpose of repentance is the “acknowledging of the truth” (2nd Timothy 2:25b). God's law was intended to show humanity our SINNERSHIP. Galatians 3:24-26, Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.The Old testament law (God's Commandments) show mankind our utter inability to merit eternal life. A person must know what they are being saved from to be saved, and that is the purpose of repentance. Sin is the reason why we need to be saved. So repentance is the admission that we are a guilty sinner in God's sight.

The Law shows us that we cannot earn our way to Heaven, because we have ALL fallen short of perfectly obeying God's Commandments (Romans 3:23). We've all broken the Ten Commandments!!! Therefore, none of us are righteous. Our best goodness is filth to God according to Isiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.That is why we need a Savior! Jesus lived a perfect life. He perfectly kept all of God's Commandments, never breaking even one of them. Jesus was sinless on earth! That is why John the Baptist could say with absolute certainty in John 1:29b, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

People who are living in denial of the sin in their life won't come to the light of the truth of the Gospel, lest their evil deeds should be reproved (spoken negative against by God). Unsaved sinners run away from God, because they know what they are doing is wrong, but are in denial. This is exactly what the Bible teaches in 2nd Timothy 2:25-26, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” Do you see? Lost sinners oppose themselves, refusing to acknowledge their SINNERSHIP.  Ah, but the repentant person acknowledges (admits) THE TRUTH that he or she is a guilty sinner.

This is why we often hear homosexuals attempting to justify their sins. They are in denial. They have not repented toward God yet. The Bible teaches that anyone who denies their sins is calling God a liar and is not saved. 1st John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” Repentance is when a person accepts the TRUTH that they are a guilty sinner! It is that simple. Repentance is solely a matter of the heart, and has nothing to do with works. Repentance is realizing that you have sinned against a holy God, so that you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved (Acts 16:30-31).

So if you understand that the purpose of repentance is simply to facilitate (make possible) believing, then you won't go astray thinking that repentance means turning away from a lifestyle of sinning. Many preachers fail to understand that we are saved by faith alone. If a separate act of repentance were required to be saved, then faith could not be sufficient. Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. So obviously faith includes repentance. It is impossible for a man to have faith in Christ, but not have repentance. Such a case has never happened in history, not one time!

Many people misunderstand what repentance is not. Let's define some terms shall we:

  • penitence = sorrow for sins
  • penance = making a mend for sin
  • reformation = turning away from sin
  • repentance = a change of mind

When a preacher tells you that to be saved you must grieve over your sins, be sorry, commit to do better in the future, or turn away from a lifestyle of sinning, he is preaching another gospel. None of those things constitute repentance! You may do all those things and never be saved at all! Proof of this is found in Matthew 27:3-4, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.”

Judas felt remorse. The word “repented” here is a different Greek word than is used for repentance unto salvation in the Bible. As used here, the word means that Judas felt bad afterwards. Judas was sorry that he got caught, he didn't experience true repentance toward God. Judas felt sorrow (penitence). He tried to return the thirty pieces of silver (penance). He had turned away from his sins (reformation). Yet Judas went out in shame and hung himself, and is now burning in Hell for all eternity without hope, because he didn't have faith in Christ. So we see a perfect example here in the Bible of a man who went through all the emotional feelings of guilty, shame and a desire to do better, turning away from his sins, yet still was not saved. I love this helpful quote from Pastor Charles Spurgeon:

“Repentance will not make you see Christ; but to see Christ will give you repentance. You may not make a Christ out of your repentance, but you must look for repentance to Christ. The Holy Ghost, by turning us to Christ, turns us from sin. Look away, then, from the effect to the cause, from your own repenting to the Lord Jesus, who is exalted on high to give repentance.” —Pastor Charles Spurgeon; “All Of Grace,” Chapter 11 - “Alas! I Can Do Nothing

Spurgeon is right! We don't see Christ because we repent of our sins. We don't believe on Christ because we first turned away from our sinning. This is the junk theology that we hear so much today from the heretical Lordship Salvation crowd (e.g., Bob Jones University, John MacArthur, Marty Herron, Harvest Baptist Church on Guam, Ray Comfort, Sam Horn, et cetera). They all teach that you must turn away from your sins in order to be saved. That is not God's simple plan of salvation. It is very difficult for people to turn away from lifelong sinful bad habits. God does not require that to receive His free gift of eternal life.

The truth is that we repent (change our mind toward God - Acts 20:21) because we see Christ in His holiness and believe (completely rest) in Him for salvation. Repentance means acknowledging THE TRUTH that we are a guilty sinner, believing the Gospel to be saved. We have changed our mind. We are now trusting Jesus to save us instead of attempting to work our own way into Heaven. That is all repentance is, nothing more. Beware of preachers who make repentance some big scary thing! In fact, God doesn't even mention repentance in the Gospel of John, which proves that it is not something separate from believing to be saved. The man who believes has repented, and the man who repents has believed.

Anytime that you hear a preacher speaking of repentance as something different, or more, that you must do than simply BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, he is preaching another gospel. Acts 16:30-31, “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” The Apostle Paul didn't tell the Roman jailer to repent, did he? But isn't repentance necessary to be saved? Yes, of course, but it is automatic. When a man changes his mind toward God, believing the Gospel to be saved, he has repented. It is that simple friend.

So Let Your Light Shine Before Men

Matthew 5:13-17, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

I love this passage of Scripture. Jesus said to let our “light” shine before men, that they may see our GOOD WORKS and glorify our heavenly Father. We hear so much preaching about not trusting in GOOD WORKS to be saved, but we don't hear enough about the need for every believe to do GOOD WORKS. Jesus said that He came not to destroy the Law, but TO FULFULL IT!

Jesus calls us “salt.” Salt makes people thirsty! That is why you'll usually see a snack machine next to a soda machine. The salty snacks make you thirsty for a drink. As believers Jesus said that we should live in such a manner that we are the SALT of the earth, making people thirst for the righteousness that we have of God. This is what the writer of Hebrews means in Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” We ought o let OUR LIGHT SHINE to the darkened world around us, always doing GOOD WORKS that God may be glorified.

A city up on a hill cannot be hid. Men do not light a candle, and then hide it under a bail of hay, they set that lit candle in a candlestick that it may light the entire room. Likewise, every saint out to let our light for Jesus shine. That is why I wear a “John 3:16 hat everywhere I go, to let the world know that I am not ashamed of my blessed Savior. I love to do good works. I love to say “Keep the change!” I love being generous everywhere I go. People say, “You must be a Christian!” I say, “Yes Sir” or “Yes Ma'am, I sure am!” So let your light shine before men, that they may see YOUR GOOD WORKS and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.

Religion Is The Worst Thing That Ever Happened

Matthew 15:7-9, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Religion without Christ makes a person more a child of the Devil. My father was a Skid Row preacher for most of his life. I once heard my father say that: “Religion is the worst thing that ever happened to this world.” He was absolutely right! I often am reminded of what Dad said. Most people sadly have churchianity without Christianity. That is what our text passage means in Matthew 15:7b-9, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.Look at this list of manmade Roman Catholic TRADITIONS and the years in which they were fabricated.

What further saith the Scripture? Mark 7:6-9, “He [Jesus] answered and said unto them [the Pharisees and scribes], Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” This is a profound passage of Scripture!

There are an estimated 4,400 religions in the world and still growing every day. A man named Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) once said that the fastest way to become a millionaire is to start your own religion, and then he started the thriving greedy cult of Scientology! The world would be much better off without religion! The Bible doesn't mention the word religion much, and when it does it is in a negative light. But we have one neutral mention of the word in James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.Religion is helping people for Christ!

It is important to make a distinction between religion and Christianity. Christianity's foundation is Jesus Christ. 1st Corinthians 3:11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Religion often is based upon everything except Christ! The Roman Catholic Church follows their own manmade traditions instead of the inspired Word of God. Mark 7:7, Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.We see this sore evil everywhere today!

A perfect example is the Devil's heresy of “Lordship” salvation. Not one verse in the Bible says to make Jesus the “Lord” (Boss, Master) of your life to be saved. Men added that requirement. Lordship Salvation teaches that you cannot be saved unless you surrender your entire personality to Jesus' Lordship, willing to follow, obey and turn away from sin in every area of your life. Dear reader, I highly encourage you to just lay down and rest, with your eyes closed upon your bed or sofa, and listen to the entire Gospel of John. I promise if you'll do that, you will clearly see God's free and easy plan of salvation, which is simply to BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. The Gospel of John is God's Gospel tract for humanity. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Salvation is not found in any religion, but in a person—the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Bible Uses Marriage To Help Us Understand LAW and CHRIST

Romans 7:1-6, “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

More and more as I study the Word of God I am impressed with the wisdom of the Apostle Paul. Paul simplifies things, making them easy to understand. In our text passage Paul uses marriage as an illustration to explain the Law. This is beautiful. Paul teaches that a wife is bound to her husband as long as her husband is alive. Paul likens this illustration to the Law, to whom all humanity is married because of our own sin (Romans 5:12). But the Scripture teaches that when we place our trust (faith, reliance) in Jesus Christ, the Law becomes dead to us. That is, the Law no longer has any power to condemn us, because our sins have been forgiven and washed away by the precious blood of Jesus.
Romans 7:4, “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Now that every believer is dead to the Law, we are no longer bound by marriage to the Law. We are now married to Christ by faith, which wrought the new birth. Praise God! We are no longer married to the Law which kept us in bondage and condemnation. We are now liberated, free in Christ from all condemnation!!! Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Some false teachers misinterpret Romans 8:1 by saying that it is not enough to be saved to avoid condemnation. They claim that as a believer you must also live in holiness. 

That is, they say you must also Walk in the Spirit instead of Walking in the Flesh. Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” It would be easy to misinterpret the Bible here. As a general rule we should never use an obscure passage of Scripture to contradict a clear one; such as Romans 8:34, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.Here we plainly see that there is NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ (i.e., saved).

Here is another clear passage of Scripture from John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.It is foolish to misinterpret Romans 8:1 contrary to the plain teaching of Romans 8:32 and John 3:18. Also, Acts 13:39, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.Every child of God is JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS!!!

Why Today's Churches Are So Horrible

Acts 4:13, Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

I think the greatest thing lacking in pastors today is a genuine close walk with God. When the Jewish rulers saw the BOLDNESS of Peter and John to speak THE TRUTH, they knew that these men had been with Jesus. The reason why so many pastors today are indifferent, weak, Caspar Milquetoast, and unwilling to take the time to respond to people's emails and love people where they are is only because they have not been with Jesus. They aren't walking with God.

I receive many emails from people who tell me that I am the only preacher who takes the time to help them. In some cases they make strange statements, speaking of seeing demons or having hallucinations. Many pastor's assume that such people are crazy and ignore them. I always give people the benefit of the doubt, unless I see open contempt and mockery. Many people are messed up in their thinking from Hollywood and the ungodly world, so they don't know any other way to communicate. So I always give them the benefit of the doubt that they just need someone to love and care about them. I know that is what Jesus would do.

Pastor Jack Hyles said that the greatest advice he could give any preacher is to "Walk With God!" ... 

How To Walk With God (by Pastor Jack Hyles)

Galatians 5:22-25 lists the "fruit" of the Holy Spirit. Most pastors walk in the flesh, not in the Spirit. For if they walked in the indwelling Holy Spirit, they would have love, patience, faith, meekness, peace, longsuffering, goodness, temperance, joy, gentleness and concern for every individual human being. Pastor R. A. Torrey (1856-1928) rightly said: 
“We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.” —Pastor R. A. Torrey
There is an astounding true story in Mark 5:1-15. A man had been possessed of devils. No one knew how to help him. The only solution that the local townspeople could come up with was to bind him with ropes and chains. But when Jesus met the man, the Savior healed him, casting out the devil. Mark 5:15, “And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.” Isn't that something? At first the townspeople tried to bind him when he was crazy, but now that he is sitting still in his right mind, they are afraid of him! This is so typical of human nature, to solve every answer with either locking people up, or shunning them in fear.

Fear is part of our human nature. But the Bible says that Peter and John became bold because they had walked with God, that is, they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13, Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.When you spend quality time searching the Scriptures (John 5:39), praying about everything (Philippians 4:6), walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), bringing every thought into captivity unto obedience to Christ (2nd Corinthians 10:5-6), walking humbly with your God (Micah 6:8), it is inevitable that you will be influenced by Him.

We live in a perverse American culture today, where society cannot even figure out what gender people are anymore. Demonic influences are everywhere! People all over the country are hurting and they need to know that God loves them. Society's answer for everything is to either incarcerate, indoctrinate or drug people, when what they really need is Jesus Christ. The crazy man in Mark 5 was made whole when He met the blessed Savior. People need to hear the Gospel preached unto them (Mark 16:15).

The Charismatic Movement has been lying to people for several decades, falsely teaching them that the sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit is to Speak In Tongues. Nothing could be further from the truth of God's Word. Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) used to wisely teach that the sign of being filled with the Spirit is a desire to win souls to Christ. The dearest thing to the great heart of God is soulwinning, evidenced by Luke 8:15, But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.The parable of the Sower and The Seeds in Luke 8:11-15 is not about salvation; but rather, spiritual maturity. The fourth group of seeds are those that fell upon good soil and matured to bring forth FRUIT. This is God's goal for every believer, to become a soulwinner. John 15:5, I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

You can tell which churches are full of believers who walk with God, to the same extent that the church is a soulwinning church! Of course, this mainly depends upon the pastor. The local church was never intended by God to be a place where you go to worship. Not one verse in the Bible teaches that we ought to attend church to worship God. In truth, we should worship God seven days a week. We go to church to fellowship with other believers, a place to mature in Christ, a place to tithe, to find comfort and encouragement, and to do the work of soulwinning. America needs more soulwinning pastors who walk with God.
“If there's one thing I want you to have, I want you to know God!” —Dr. Jack Hyles, a quote from the MP3 sermon, “How To Walk With God.”
The truth is that a pastor can go to work everyday and go through the external motions of being a pastor, and yet never walk with God at all. Some pastors are not even born-again! Pastor Jack Hyles preached a wonderful sermon called: “The Spirit's Abiding.” All is in vain unless the Holy Spirit comes down! Walk with God dear friend. Whether you be in the clergy or a layman in a local church, walk with God! You mothers laboring at home, walk with God. Every child ought to walk with God! Every dog and cat should...oops! Seriously, we should all spend time walking with our great God and Savior.

The reason why our churches are so horrible today is because professed Christians don't walk with God. How do you walk with God? Dear friend, God is no different than getting to know anyone else in your life. What do you do when you admire a celebrity? Why, you go buy every book, magazine, CD, poster and form of media you can find to know everything you can about your idol. When we search the Scriptures we are learning all about Jesus. John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.If you want to walk with God, then you need to get to know Jesus, and the only way you'll ever get to know Him is to abide in the inspired Word of God. I encourage you to listen to Pastor Hyles' sermon: How To Walk With God.”

How To Become An Understanding Person

Luke 23:33-34, “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

I was thinking this morning, about how we as humans often fail to take the higher path than the lower path when dealing with others. I speak mainly to Christians. So often when people hurt our feelings we focus on the offense instead of looking beyond the offense to see a hurting person.

I think one of the greatest examples of the proper way that we should respond to offenses is from the dear Savior Himself on the cross. Pilate had just ordered Jesus' crucifixion and the soldiers carried out their orders. They were all just doing their job. I think most of us, if placed into Jesus' dire situation, would have cursed Pilate and the soldiers with bitterness and anger, praying for God to send them all to Hell to burn. You know it is true!

We see another Christlike example in the Scripture, Stephen:

Acts 7:54-59, “ When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

Just like our dear Savior, Stephen looked beyond his killer's offense and saw their need as people for whom Christ died on the cross. Aren't we so shallow at times folks? I think it is safe to say that all of us at times in our life have failed to look beyond the offense of others, zooming in on their offense and making a mountain out of a molehill. Our precious Lord, and Stephen who was filled with the Spirit of Christ, looked beyond the faults of their attackers and instead saw their need. What a great God and Savior! 

I you want to become an understanding person, then learn to LOOK BEYOND the superficial hurtful behavior of others, and their offensive remarks; and instead take it all to a higher spiritual level by seeing their lack of God's love, their lack of spirituality, their need for humbling from God, perhaps even their need for salvation, and may we pray for them instead of lower ourselves to their shallow level.

I speak of pastors as well as Christian layman, and lost people. It was the religious crowd, the Pharisees of Jesus' time, who caused Him the most grief and injury. Ultimately it was the Pharisees who had Jesus' falsely accused and crucified on a cross. My biggest enemies over the decades in my ministry have not been the unsaved heathens, but the saved heathens! I have learned to look beyond their lack of maturity in the Lord, and to rise above with God's love and compassion, even for my own backslidden and shallow Christian brethren.

I don't claim to be a good Christian, but God has broken me as a man. I have been to the bottom of life, losing everything near and dear. I know what rejection feels like. I know what it means to have burdens come that will never go away. There's just something about being utterly broken that drastically changes a person, humbling them to never look down on another human being again. Very few Christians can relate to my adverse experiences in life. They don't know what an ugly and costly divorce feels like.

They don't know what utter loneliness feels like. They don't know what group rejection for several years feels like. But I sure do! They don't know what it feels like to work in a Hostile Work Environment for years. They don't know what it means to truly suffer in life, not for days, weeks, months or even years, but for decades! I know, all too well. God has used these hardships, inexplicable pain of both body and soul, to conform me more into the image of my blessed Savior! ...

1st Peter 1:7-9, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Unshakable faith comes from having our faith shaken. Faith is like film, it develops in the dark! When people hurt us, ignore us and narrow in on our faults, failing to LOOK BEYOND and see our hurting soul, burdens and need to be loved; we need to LOOK BEYOND their shallowness, immaturity and lack of compassion, and realize that they haven't suffered as we have and cannot reciprocate our depth of love and care for them.

When our Lord was crucified, the Roman authorities and soldiers who killed Him failed to LOOK BEYOND the blatant false accusations and see Who He really was, the Son of God, the Christ. But Jesus did LOOK BEYOND their blindness of heart, their callousness and their cruelty as they spit upon Him, mocked Him, stripped Him naked and then nailed Him to a wooden cross. Jesus saw their lost condition, realizing that they didn't know what they were doing. 1st Corinthians 2:7-8, But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

I admit that at age 54, and having been saved for the past 41 years since age 13, I still need to work on LOOKING BEYOND the offenses of others. 2nd Corinthians 12:15, And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.The Apostle Paul had suffered MUCH throughout his saved life. Before he was saved Paul (Saul) was living large, as a high ranking Pharisee. Paul literally gave up everything to follow Jesus when he got saved in Acts 9:1-5. Paul suffered much, and as a result the broken apostle had learned to love and care like no one else could in his time. 

I know how Paul felt. God has allowed me to suffer MUCH in my lifetime, mostly in my latter life. My chronic neck pain 24/7 is a permanent thorn in my flesh. I have suffered so much over the years, some things which I won't even talk about. As a result God has given me a depth of understanding, compassion and care that few Christians can reciprocate.

That is why I am one of very few fundamentalist Baptist preachers who whole-heartedly supports Pastor Steven Anderson and his ministry. I LOOK BEYOND his faults and see a truth-teller, an aggressive soulwinner and a man who is helping tens of thousands of people. I thank and praise God for the suffering in my life, which the Bible says is worth more than gold which perisheth, because it has given me more understanding and love for people.

I am far from perfect and I don't claim to be a good Christian, but I am 100% pure of heart and my intentions are only to be a help and blessing to the cause of Christ. My constant toothache-like neck pain, and feeling of burning throughout my nervous system, and a feeling of having inflated arms, and the right side of my body always feeling half asleep, keeps me humble. I believe God has used this heavy burden in my life, so that He could bless my ministry. 2nd Corinthians 12:7, And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

I am not a happy man. Happiness is what happens to us. I am not happy most of the time, admittedly, but I have joy and peace flowing in my soul like a river. I always have God's love shining on my face. I am joyful always in the Lord, knowing that my name is written in Heaven in the Lamb's Book of Life, and that God is using a broken redeemed sinner like me to reach the lost for Christ, and to edify the saints.

“No one is any better a Christian, than they are kind.” —Dr. David Gibbs Jr. (a quote from the beautiful sermon “HIS VOICE” about loving the unloving with God's love!)

If you want to be an understanding person, then learn to LOOK BEYOND the faults and shortcomings of others, and instead see their needs. So often when people are unkind to us, they are hurting in their own life and simply want to know that someone cares. They simply want to be loved. The secret to loving others is to let God love you friend. You cannot love anybody until you first allow God to love you, and then pay it forward to others. The greatest joy that I know is knowing that God loves me! God loves us, not because of who we are, but because of Who He is. I love these helpful quotes by Pastor Jeff Owens:
“Do you want some advice about depression—if you're depressed, love your way out of it! Love your way out of it!—You say, 'What do you mean?' LOVE GOD! And if you'll love God, then you'll do what God commands, and you'll do what God wants, and you'll do what is best for God; and staying in that state is not best for God. Love your way out of it!” —Pastor Jeff Owens, a beautiful quote from the sermon titled, “God Knows The Truth About Your Love.”

“Those of you who are down, love will get you up!” —Pastor Jeff Owens, an awesome quote from the sermon titled, “God Knows The Truth About Your Love.”

Love and understanding go hand in hand. The Pharisees hated Jesus and had no understanding. When you love others you want to understand them and their situation. When you love someone you care. When you love someone you don't ignore them. Love is patient, kind, gentle and esteems others better than our self. Jesus is precious!

God Only Saves The Ungodly In Their Ungodly Condition

Romans 5:6-10, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

I absolutely LOVE our text passages from the New Testament book of Romans. The Apostle Paul is the writer, God is the divine Author. The Apostle makes very clear that CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY. There is a popular heresy circulating in churches today, which says that you cannot come to Christ for salvation unless you first “repent and turn away from sin in every area of your life.” But that is not the Gospel! The true plan of salvation is that you see yourself as a guilty sinner (Romans 3:19-20), and BELIEVE the GOOD NEWS (Gospel) of Christ crucified on the cross for our sins, buried and bodily risen three days later from the dead (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).

Many pastors and Christian layman don't understand Bible repentance, so they wrest (torture) the Scripture to their own destruction (2nd Peter 3:16-17). One of the worst sins a man can commit is to attempt to teach the Word of God when he doesn't know what he is doing.

Refuting Evangelist Dan Corner's Perverse Gospel

A perfect example is Evangelist Dan Corner, who denies the Bible doctrine of Eternal Security. Dan Corner utterly fails to comprehend the imputed righteousness of God, which is through faith in the Son of God (Philippians 3:9). Dan Corner errantly teaches that you must do WORKS to be saved.
Again, one must repent (turn from his sins) or he will perish. Hence, the faith in Jesus that is needed to be considered righteous is a trusting and submitting faith - one that obeys. Furthermore, it is imperative to endure to the very end of your life to enter God's paradise kingdom (Mt. 10:22; Heb. 3:14 and Rev. 2:10,11). If you are a real Christian now, you are righteous, but sin can change that righteous standing and bring you to your spiritual death, just like it did for both Adam and Eve. Because of this truth, Paul told Timothy (who was righteous) to keep himself pure (1 Tim. 5:22). SOURCE
Heresy! Dan Corner is unlearned about the Scriptures. Nowhere in the Bible are we taught to turn away from our sinning to be saved. And nowhere does the Bible teach that salvation can be lost if we continue sinning. Corner horrible misinterprets Matthew 10:22, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Jesus here is speaking about the coming Tribulation period. The Lord reiterates this truth in Matthew 24:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:22, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” Do you see what the Lord is referring to by “saved”? He is referring to flesh! Except the Lord shorten the Tribulation period, no flesh (humanity) will be saved. This has nothing to do with persevering in holiness to be saved.

Dan Corner foolishly cites Hebrews 3:14 to bolster up his strawman heresy that a person must “endure” to the end to be saved. To understand this Bible verse, we must examine it within the context of the entire passage. And also, please remember that men, and not the Holy Spirit, added the chapter divisions to the Bible as we know it. Here is a classic example of where chapter divisions sometimes hinder the reader from understanding the Word of God. In order to understand Hebrews 3:14 we must also read chapter 4...
Hebrews 3:14: “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
Hebrews 3:15, “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Hebrews 3:16, “For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.”
Hebrews 3:17, “But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
Hebrews 3:18, “And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
Hebrews 3:19, “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Hebrews 4:1, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”
Hebrews 4:2, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
Hebrews 4:3: “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
Hebrews 4:4, “For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.”
So here we learn that many of the Jews perished in the Wilderness. They had heard Moses preach the Gospel for 40 years, but it did not profit them (i.e., they didn't get saved) because they didn't have FAITH in the Gospel). These people were never saved to begin with. A good rule to follow when interpreting the Bible is to never use an obscure passage to contradict a clear one. Dan Corner is cherry-picking passages of Scripture which contradict the plain teaching of the Bible that the new birth is a one-time miracle (John 3:3-7; 1st Peter 1:23). The new birth (justification and regeneration) is not a process. Growing in grace (sanctification) is a process. Hebrews 3:19, “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.The issue is faith here. They had never believed at all.

Hebrews 4:11, Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. John 6:28-29,Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Jesus Himself confirmed that the only “work” that we can do to get to Heaven is to BELIEVE ON HIM.The very moment that we BELIEVE ON CHRIST we are born anew by the Holy Spirit of God, regenerated and given eternal life. Jesus is our eternal life. 1st John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.Jesus is the true God and eternal life. If you have Jesus, you have eternal life!!!

Charles Spurgeon Had It RightGod Saves The Unrighteous

I love the following excellent quote from Pastor Charles Spurgeon:
“Do not attempt to touch yourself up and make yourself something other than you really are; but come as you are to Him who justifies the ungodly. A great artist some short time ago had painted a part of the corporation of the city in which he lived, and he wanted, for historic purposes, to include in his picture certain characters well known in the town. A crossing-sweeper, unkempt, ragged, filthy, was known to everybody, and there was a suitable place for him in the picture. The artist said to this ragged and rugged individual, "I will pay you well if you will come down to my studio and let me take your likeness." He came round in the morning, but he was soon sent about his business; for he had washed his face, and combed his hair, and donned a respectable suit of clothes. He was needed as a beggar, and was not invited in any other capacity. Even so, the gospel will receive you into its halls if you come as a sinner, not otherwise. Wait not for reformation, but come at once for salvation. God justifieth the ungodly, and that takes you up where you now are: it meets you in your worst estate.” —Pastor Charles Spurgeon, “All Of Grace, chapter one - God Justifieth The Ungodly

Pastor Spurgeon continues...

“I would like to make this very plain. I hope that I have done so already; but still, plain as it is, it is only the Lord that can make a man see it. It does at first seem most amazing to an awakened man that salvation should really be for him as a lost and guilty one. He thinks that it must be for him as a penitent man, forgetting that his penitence is a part of his salvation. "Oh," says he, "but I must be this and that,"--all of which is true, for he shall be this and that as the result of salvation; but salvation comes to him before he has any of the results of salvation. It comes to him, in fact, while he deserves only this bare, beggarly, base, abominable description, "ungodly." That is all he is when God's gospel comes to justify him.” —Pastor Charles Spurgeon, “All Of Grace, chapter one - God Justifieth The Ungodly

I love those quotes! Spurgeon is right, you simply come to God JUST AS I AM to be saved. God doesn't expect nor demand that you give up one sin, not desire to turn away from committing them to be saved. God saves a man and then the indwelling Holy Spirit changes him! ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED. Jesus is precious!

Helpful Salvation Quotes By Evangelist John Bunyan

“If you do not put a difference between justification wrought by the man Christ without and sanctification wrought by the Spirit of Christ within, you are not able to divide the Word aright; but contrariwise, you corrupt the Word of God, and cast stumbling blocks before the people.” —Evangelist John Bunyan

Don't Make A Christ Out Of Your Repentance

John 6:37-40, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Notice in the following quote that Pastor Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) accurately teaches that repentance does not precede believing. When a man sees Christ (John 6:40), he changes his mind (repents) and believes at the same time. And then it is the precious indwelling Holy Ghost Who turns us from sin. That's how the new birth works! ...
“Repentance will not make you see Christ; but to see Christ will give you repentance. You may not make a Christ out of your repentance, but you must look for repentance to Christ. The Holy Ghost, by turning us to Christ, turns us from sin. Look away, then, from the effect to the cause, from your own repenting to the Lord Jesus, who is exalted on high to give repentance.” —Charles Spurgeon; "All Of Grace," Chapter 11 - "Alas! I Can Do Nothing"
Boy, that was brilliantly said. Yes, that is right! Those pastors today who falsely teach that you must turn away from your sin to be saved are looking to the effect (repentance) rather than the cause (which is Christ). We must look to the Lord Jesus, and not to our own repenting. Certainly every believer still sins (Romans 7:14-25), but the indwelling Holy Spirit will chastise every child of God when we sin. I agree with Spurgeon's preceding quote. It is the Holy Spirit Who turns us from sin (Philippians 2:13), and not our own repentance. Repentance is a grace from God (2nd Timothy 2:25). This doesn't mean we should look for changes in a believer's life to determine if they are saved. Only God can see someone's heart.

When I got saved as a boy at age 13, the Holy Spirit immediately began to convict me about the sin in my life. Pastor Spurgeon is right that we don't have to turn away from sin to be saved. That is not how salvation works. You come to God as a guilty sinner, believing on Christ, and in so doing you have repented. This is what I think Spurgeon meant. We don't have to turn away from sin to be saved; but rather, when we believe on Christ, the Holy Spirit begins to work in our life concerning our sins. This doesn't mean that every believer will turn away from sinning. No believer has ever turned away from all their sinning. Even the best saints will sin, because we are still in the flesh. 

So the very idea that a Christian must turn perpetually away from their sins to prove that they are saved is preposterous! It is the Holy Spirit who works in every believer to turn us from our sins, but many believers choose to dwell in Sodom. Demas forsook Paul because he loved this present world. Lot lived a life of sin. Samson chased women all his life. Samson build altars for his pagan wives. If you are saved, then the Holy Spirit deals with you concerning the sin in your life, even though you may be disobedient and still choose to wallow in the hogpen of sin like the Prodigal Son. Every believer has God's Spirit in them (1st John 3:24).

John 3:20-21, "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." The word "repent" in the Bible only means "a change of mind." We know that it must deal with sin, because John 3:20 says people who do evil won't come to the light to be saved. This helps us to understand repentance. The person who repents has changed their mind. Verse 21 is very important, which says that "HE THAT DOETH TRUTH COMETH TO THE LIGHT." 

So here we see that the opposite of the unrepentant man is the man who doeth (or acknowledges the truth). What truth? The LAW clearly teaches us that it is THE TRUTH that all men are guilty sinners. Romans 3:19, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." It is wrong to teach that repentance has nothing to do with sin. You must know what you are being saved from. I think Pastor Harry Ironside said it well:
“Repentance is the very opposite of meritorious experience. It is the confession that one is utterly without merit, and if he is ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, 'who gave himself a ransom for all.' Here is firm footing for the soul who realizes that all self-effort is but sinking sand. Christ alone is the Rock of our salvation.”—Harry A. Ironside; "Except Ye Repent," pg. 36
The Epistle of 1st John was written to believers that our joy may be full (1st John 1:4), by helping us as individual believers to “know that ye are saved” (1st John 5:13b). The test given in 1st John 3:8-9 is not to see if we are saved because we have turned away from our sin; but rather, to determine if we have the indwelling Holy Spirit (1st John 3:24). The Holy Spirit will convict a believer when we sin. If you don't have that conviction from God's Spirit living in you, then you need to get saved. That was the truth that compelled me to come to Christ as a 13 year old boy. Certainly, it would be heresy to say that the Holy Spirit doesn't work within every believer to influence us to turn away from our sins. Philippians 2:13, For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 2nd Timothy 2:19b, ...Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Repentance and faith are inseparable. The Gospel of John mentions the word “believe” 85-times, but the word “repent” is never mentioned even once. In genuine salvation, one who believes on Jesus Christ has repented, and the one who repents has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. The Good News (i.e., Gospel) is that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins, was buried and triumphantly raised up from the dead, so that He can save those who believe.

Repentance Never Means More Than A Change Of Mind

Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2nd Timothy 2:25-26, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Dear reader, repentance in the Bible concerning salvation NEVER means anything more than a change of mind. Anybody who adds to that meaning is preaching another gospel.

I moved last month from Guam to Pensacola. I feel like a cow looking at a new gate. I have been making many sincere mistakes since I've been here. I am learning many new things. For example: I had never used a mobile phone before to answer phone calls. People were calling me and I couldn't figure out how to answer my Samsung phone, that I bought at Best Buy. I tried to call, but couldn't get through. I tried to press the green circle, but it didn't work.

So I searched Google for “How To Answer Samsung Mobile Phone.” One website said to swipe upward, which I tried but it didn't work either. Another website said to swipe up on the white circle around the green dot, but that didn't work either. I was so frustrated, as my stupid phone rang, and I couldn't answer it. I was calling people back, to see who had called me, but was getting answering machines and voice mail. This went on for 2 weeks, until I finally had a chance to drive 30 minutes back to Best Buy where I purchased the mobile phone. As it turns out, to answer the phone you have to start at the green dot and swipe diagonally for 3 inches to the middle of the phone. Oh brother! Now I know how to answer my What the phone designer made to be simple and self-explanatory was very difficult and a mystery for me, because I was unlearned.

I think this is a perfect illustration of what so many pastors are doing today with the Bible doctrine of repentance. What God intended to be simple they are making complicated because they are unlearned. Repentance is simply “a change of mind.” That is what the Greek word metanoia means, and nothing more. Yet I hear foolish pastors expressing their anger that someone would teach that repentance is just a change of mind. One such unreasonable pastor is Charles Lawson of the Temple Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. I love the man's preaching otherwise, but he really blows it regarding repentance and how to be saved. Respectfully, that means Pastor Lawson is not truly saved. How can he be when he is wrong on the Gospel?

Dear friend, repentance NEVER means anything more than a change of mind. But doesn't the Bible give us some indication of what we must change our mind about? Yes, the Bible does! First let's look at Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here we read that repentance is “TOWARD GOD.” Amen! Now let's look at 2nd Timothy 2:25-26, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” So here we learn that repentance is “TO THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE TRUTH.”

A key Scripture passage to understand Bible repentance is John 3:20-21, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” So here see that repentance is when a lost person changes their thinking. Whereas before they refused to come to the light of the truth of the Gospel to be saved, now they have changed their mind TOWARD GOD AND ARE ACKNOWLEDGING THE TRUTH. They have acknowledged THE TRUTH that they are a guilty sinner (Romans 3:19-20) and are believing THE TRUTH of the Gospel to be saved. That is salvation! That is simple, free and easy.

In sharp contrast, many unlearned preachers today (both layman and pastors alike) are corrupting the Word of God and casting stumbling blocks before the people, by teaching that repentance means “turn away from your sinful ways.” False Teachers like Dr. Steve Pettit (president of Bob Jones University) and Dr. Marty Herron (Vice President of Faith Baptist Bible College And Theological Seminary) pervert the Gospel, teaching that repentance means that you must turn away from a lifestyle of sinning to get to Heaven. This is manmade righteousness, and not the imputed righteousness of God through faith alone in Jesus Christ (Romans 4:4-7). These wicked men will deceitfully claim to believe the latter, but by adding the additional requirement to turn away from your willful sinning, they have corrupted the Gospel.

Dear friend, there is an entirely different mindset in the brain of someone who thinks that you cannot continue in sin and go to Heaven. They utterly fail to understand that we are saved solely on the basis of what Jesus Christ did through Calvary's cross, by the shedding of His precious blood for our sins. If YOU must turn away from your sinning to get to Heaven, then in fact you are only placing partial faith in Christ, and adding your own self-righteousness.

NO ONE is saved who thinks that a person can lose God's free gift of salvation, because it proves that YOU are not completely trusting the blessed Savior. I have had people argue with me, who claim that they were formerly confused as a Pentecostal, thinking that salvation could be lost, but still insist that they were saved back then. I am not sorry to disagree fully with them. You were never truly saved (born again) until you completely ceased from trusting in your own works, and you wholly rested in Jesus Christ as your Savior. If turning away from sinful living, or maintaining a life of holy living, is required to know that you are truly saved, then YOU ARE NOT SAVED! If you have to look at your life to prove that you're saved, then you're not saved.

I was gloriously saved at age 13 by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31; Galatians 3:26). I became God's adopted child forever when I got saved. Nothing more was necessary or required. I have NEVER one time in my Christian life thought that I could lose God's free gift of salvation, which He gave to me because of my faith in His only begotten Son (John 3:16). I have never thought that I must persevere in holy living to prove the genuineness of the reality of my faith. This is a very important matter dear reader. The Bible is very clear that there are not two gospels. There is a very dangerous teaching going around in our Bible colleges and churches today, which says that “Lordship” salvation (i.e., Calvinism) and Wrong Repentance (i.e., Calvinism) fall within the realm of orthodox theology. No, they don't! Anything other than a 100% free grace Gospel is a lie of the Devil.

In closing, repentance in the Bible concerning salvation NEVER means anything more than a change of mind. Anybody who adds to that meaning is preaching another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). You simply need to think differently so that you will admit you are a guilty sinner and believe the Gospel. The only change of mind that you must have is the realization (acknowledging THE TRUTH) that you are a guilty sinner under the condemnation of God's law, deserving of punishment in Hell. In other words, you need to know what you are being saved from. You need to know why you need a Savior. You are a guilty sinner and so am I (Romans 3:23).

Consequently, we all deserve to burn in the Lake of Fire for ever (Romans 5:9, 6:23; Revelation 20:15). But God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world to die on the cross. Christ paid our sin debt (1st John 2:2). Anyone who by faith receives Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sins is saved. It is simply a matter friend of trusting the truth as recorded in God's written Word concerning His Son, Jesus Christ. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

The Gift Of Eternal Life Is Wrapped In The Wonderful Package Of Jesus

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