Category Archives: Insights / Messages

Distinguishing Characteristics of the True Church

characteristics-of-the-true-church

What did God do when the whole world came together as one and built the tower of Babylon to challenge Him? He confused their languages and forced them to spread out over all the earth. In the same way He protects His church today by confusing the Spiritual languages of His church. It makes it so much more difficult for satan to attack and take over the church, as He now has multiple churches to infiltrate and take over. All churches have some piece of truth that they overemphasize. We need balance restored in the churches, as it so easy to drift from the narrow straight path into the ditch on either side.

What did Jesus and the apostles teach about the true church? We have so many warnings about deception, about wolves in sheep’s clothing. We have to be prepared to critically analyze our churches against what the Word of truth teaches.

Characteristics of the true Church:

  • True church will have Missions and evangelize, do baptisms, will cast out demons, speak in new tongues, do deliverance, have poison immunity, will lay hands and pray for people, will have healings

[Mar 16:15-18 NKJV] 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

  • True church will often have Communion

[1Co 11:26 NKJV] 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

  • True church will wash each others Feet

[Jhn 12-17 NKJV] 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for [so] I am. 14 “If I then, [your] Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

  • True church will Fast

[Mat 9:14-15 NKJV] 14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

  • True church will be a body in unity carrying each others burdens and ministering to each other humbly in their offices and functions

[1Co 12:12, 14, 18, 20, 25-28 NKJV] 12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also [is] Christ. … 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. … 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. … 20 But now indeed [there are] many members, yet one body. … 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but [that] the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with [it]; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with [it]. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

[Rom 12:4-16 NKJV] 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, [let us use them]: if prophecy, [let us prophesy] in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, [let us use it] in [our] ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 [Let] love [be] without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 [Be] kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

[Eph 4:11-13 NKJV] 11 And He Himself gave some [to be] apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

  • True church will give enough freedom for the Spirit to flow, and the members should participate orderly in the church service

[1Co 12:4-11 NKJV] 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit [of all]: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another [different] kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

[1Co 14:26-33, 39-40 NKJV] 26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, [let there be] two or at the most three, [each] in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if [anything] is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not [the author] of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. … 39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

[Act 9:31 NKJV] 31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

[1Th 5:16-22 NKJV] 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

  • True church will speak the truth in love, have sound doctrine and teachings, not be full of rules and regulations

[Eph 4:14-16 NKJV] 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

[Heb 13:9 NKJV] 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For [it is] good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. …

[Col 2:4, 6-10, 16-23 NKJV] 4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. … 6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. … 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in [false] humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase [that is] from God. 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as [though] living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using–according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, [false] humility, and neglect of the body, [but are] of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

  • True church will hold each other accountable, turning members from sin with gentleness, with patience, producing godly sorrow, thus showing their love and care

[Jas 5:19-20 NKJV] 19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

[Gal 6:1-5 NKJV] 1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who [are] spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.

[2Co 7:1, 8-12 NKJV] 1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. … 8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance [leading] to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, [what] clearing [of yourselves], [what] indignation, [what] fear, [what] vehement desire, [what] zeal, [what] vindication! In all [things] you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 12 Therefore, although I wrote to you, [I did] not [do it] for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.

[Rom 15:1-2, 5-7, 14 NKJV] 1 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please [his] neighbor for [his] good, leading to edification. … 5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind [and] one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. … 14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

[1Th 5:14-15 NKJV] 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

  • True church should excommunicate sinners and people that cause strife or division

[Mat 18:15-17 NKJV] 15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 “But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 “And if he refuses to hear them, tell [it] to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

[Rom 16:17-18 NKJV] 17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

  • True church will have Elders

[Act 14:23 NKJV] 23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

[Tit 1:4-9 NKJV] 4 To Titus, a true son in [our] common faith: Grace, mercy, [and] peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. 5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you– 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

  • True church will have healings and anointing with oil, confession of sins to each other, praying for each other

[Jas 5:14-16 NKJV] 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess [your] trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

  • True church will have faith and love that becomes action in hospitality, ministering to prisoners and the mistreated and less privileged

[Heb 13:1-3 NKJV] 1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so [doing] some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them–those who are mistreated–since you yourselves are in the body also.

[Jas 2:14-20, 24, 26 NKJV] 14 What [does it] profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what [does it] profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? … 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. … 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

[1Jo 3:13-19 NKJV] 13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love [his] brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

[Mat 25:31-36, 40-46 NKJV] 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides [his] sheep from the goats. 33 “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 ‘I [was] naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ … 40 “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did [it] to one of the least of these My brethren, you did [it] to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do [it] to one of the least of these, you did not do [it] to Me.’ 46 “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

  • True church will look after Widows and orphans

[Jas 1:27 NKJV] 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, [and] to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

[Act 6:1, 3, 6 NKJV] 1 Now in those days, when [the number of] the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. … 3 “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of [good] reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; … 6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.

  • True church will collect offerings so that it can take care of pastors and the other members

[Gal 6:1-10 NKJV] 6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

[1Co 9:4-11 NKJV] 4 Do we have no right to eat and drink? 5 Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as [do] also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or [is it] only Barnabas and I [who] have no right to refrain from working? 7 Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? 8 Do I say these things as a [mere] man? Or does not the law say the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? 10 Or does He say [it] altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, [this] is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, [is it] a great thing if we reap your material things?

  • True church will be a place of praise, doing good and sharing

[Heb 13:15-16 NKJV] 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of [our] lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

The letters by Jesus to the churches in revelation, clearly explains what Jesus expects from His church. All have some good and bad characteristics.

  • Ephesus commended for their works and patient endurance but scolded for losing their first love. You can be the perfect church and do all of the above correctly, but still miss the mark if you do put Jesus first and central to all you do.
  • Smyrna commended for their steadfastness in tribulation and sufferings, and while being slandered when satanists hid among them. No scolding
  • Pergamum commended for holding fast his name and not denying the faith. Scolded for eating food sacrificed  to idols, practicing sexual immorality and teaching bad doctrines.
  • Thyatira commended for works, love, faith, service and patient endurance. But scolded for harboring Jezebel!
  • Sardis had nothing good said about it. Scolded for having incomplete works. Our works show the state of our faith and love. If we do not produce the correct works, the correct fruit, then we do not have the correct Faith or Love!
  • Philadelphia commended for their works, keeping the word and not denying His name and their patient endurance. The only church promised to be kept from the hour of trial. No scolding
  • Laodicea no commendation. Scolded for being luke-warm, not realizing their dependence on God, and trusting in their own provision.

So in Jesus’ own words, the true church will have these attributes or characteristics:

  • Has complete works,
  • has patient endurance,
  • is steadfastness in tribulation and suffering,
  • holds fast His name,
  • does not deny the faith,
  • has love that becomes action,
  • serves,
  • keeps his Word.

Jesus disapproves of churches:

  • that do not love and keep Him central,
  • allows idols,
  • allows sexual immorality,
  • has bad doctrines,
  • allows spiritual infestations like Jezebel to take hold,
  • has incomplete works,
  • is luke-warm, lacking zeal, trusts in their own provision and not God’s.

And from the teachings of the apostles and other teachings of God, the true church:

  1. Will have Missions and will evangelize, do baptisms, will cast out demons, speak in new tongues, do deliverance, have poison immunity, will lay hands and pray for people, will have healings
  2. will often have Communion
  3. will wash each others Feet, and humbly serve each other – won’t put leaders or each other on a pedestal
  4. will Fast
  5. will be a body in unity carrying each others burdens and ministering to each other humbly in their offices and functions
  6. will give enough freedom for the Spirit to flow, and the members will participate orderly in the church service
  7. will speak the truth in love, have sound doctrine and teachings, not be full of rules and regulations
  8. will hold each other accountable, turning members from sin with gentleness, with patience, producing godly sorrow, thus showing their love and care
  9. will as last resort excommunicate sinners and people that cause strife or division
  10. will have Elders
  11. will have healings and anointing with oil, confession of sins to each other, praying for each other
  12. will have faith and love that becomes action in hospitality, ministering to prisoners and the mistreated and less privileged
  13. will look after Widows and orphans
  14. will collect offerings so that it can take care of pastors and the other members
  15. will be a place of praise, doing good and sharing

But what does the church consist of? The family is the building blocks of the church. We can only become the true church if firstly, we are prepared to assume these characteristics in our own families. And secondly, we can only become the true church if we as individuals are prepared to assume these characteristics in our own lives. If these characteristics is not a part of your life individually, if it is not a way of life in the family, how can it truly manifest in His church? If it only surfaces on Sundays it’s an act, a show or mask we out on for a day to please our conscience.

Realize that all will face the judgement of Christ. The lost to condemnation for their bad works. But we also will be judged. Not for our bad works, those are forgiven, but we will be judged on our good works. An unbalanced teaching on grace, produces the luke-warm Laodicean church. As we have seen, your works is just as important as your Faith. You faith is dead if it does not become works. Your love is useless if it does not become tangible works. Your church is not approved of by God, if it has incomplete works. The only time works are condemned, is if you try to save to save yourself by it! Your works (fruit) proves that your faith and love has become genuine and you are indeed an overcomer.

So let’s become a church that Jesus can commend and not scold. That would disciple and motivate its members to be the people God wants them to be. Let’s have our faith and our love become real action and not just lip service. Let’s find the right balance and stay on the narrow path that leads to salvation. Let’s have our master say to us, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
Amen.

Finding Lasting Joy

[Neh 8:10 NKJV] 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for [this] day [is] holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

[Psa 21:1 NKJV] 1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The king shall have joy in Your strength, O LORD; And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

[Hab 3:18 NKJV] 18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

[Psa 35:27 NKJV] 27 Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”

[Isa 29:19 NKJV] 19 The humble also shall increase [their] joy in the LORD, And the poor among men shall rejoice In the Holy One of Israel.

[Jer 15:16 NKJV] 16 Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.

[Mat 25:21 NKJV] 21 “His lord said to him, ‘Well [done], good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

  • Neh 8 – Take JOY from God’s STRENGTH.
  • PS 21 & Hab 3 – Take JOY from your SALVATION.
  • PS 35 – Take JOY from the fact that it pleasures God to PROSPER you.
  • Isa 29 –Take JOY from your HUMBLENESS.
  • Take JOY even when you are POOR.
  • Jer 15 – Take JOY from God’s WORD.
  • Mat 25 – Take JOY from your FAITHFULLNESS

Conspicuously absent from this list, is praise. There is only a  couple of verses where JOY and Praise is found together in the same verse. None of these verses say or even imply that praising God will bring you JOY. In fact the Psalms seem to imply the opposite:

[Psa 42:4 NKJV] 4 When I remember these [things], I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

[Psa 43:4 NKJV] 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.

These imply you need to ALREADY have JOY when you GO to praise God!

Maybe this is because praise might at best bring TEMPORARY happiness or because God wants your praise to be filled with JOY from the start. We should not praise to GET our JOY, we should show and GIVE our JOY with our praise…

LASTING JOY comes from:

  • Neh 8 – God’s STRENGTH
  • PS 21 & Hab 3 – Your SALVATION
  • PS 35 – God’s pleasure in PROSPERING you
  • Isa 29 – Your HUMBLENESS, irrespective of your circumstances
  • Jer 15 – God’s WORD
  • Mat 25 – Your FAITHFULLNESS

Note how satan attacks us in these areas:

  • Neh 8 – He makes you doubt God’s STRENGTH and mightiness
  • PS 21 & Hab 3 – He make your doubt your SALVATION
  • PS 35 – He convinces you that God does not want to PROSPER you
  • Isa 29 – He breaks your HUMBLENESS, and inflates you pride
  • Jer 15 – He interrupts, postpones and steals your time from God’s WORD
  • Mat 25 – He kills your FAITHFULLNESS, and increases your doubts.

In all these areas He steals, kills and destroys your JOY and makes you MISERABLE!

So whenever you feel miserable, determine in which area(s) satan is busy attacking you. Then speak His promises / Word over your situation, pray about it, get edification and support from fellow believers or renew and transform you mind (Rom 12:2) in these areas:

  • Neh 8 – Increase your meditation and understanding of God’s STRENGTH and mightiness
  • PS 21 & Hab 3 – Increase your understanding of what your SALVATION means, what it cost God to bring it to you, what rewards you will receive in heaven
  • PS 35 – Increase your convictions that we serve a GOOD God, that takes PLEASURE in PROSPERING you in all areas, not just materially
  • Isa 29 – Work on cultivating your HUMBLENESS – God cannot stand pride, this is the number one sin that leads to so many others and is what made satan fall. Note it explicitly states the MORE humble you are, the MORE your JOY will INCREASE!
  • Jer 15 – Increase your study of God’s WORD, the more you daily live and eat of His Word, the more JOY you will have.
  • Mat 25 – Increase your FAITHFULNESS, kill any doubts and build your faith. Surround yourself with people that will build and edify your faith. The more you doubt His mightiness, His Plan and His faithfulness, the less JOY you will have.

This creates a lasting JOY, sufficient to carry you through any hardships here on earth.

Do not let satan steal your JOY – and when you catch him doing so, use the above to get it back!

Why Fast?

Why should you Fast?

[Ezr 9:5 NKJV] 5 At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God.

To worship God.

[Neh 1:4 NKJV] 4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned [for many] days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

[Act 14:23 NKJV] 23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

For intercession

[Ezr 8:21 NKJV] 21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.

[Neh 9:1 NKJV] 1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads.

[Psa 35:13 NKJV] 13 But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing [was] sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart.

[Psa 69:10 NKJV] 10 When I wept [and chastened] my soul with fasting, That became my reproach.

To humble yourself

[Psa 109:24 NKJV] 24 My knees are weak through fasting, And my flesh is feeble from lack of fatness.

[Mat 4:2-4 NKJV] 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

To realize your dependance upon God.

[Ezr 8:23 NKJV] 23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

[Dan 9:3 NKJV] 3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.

[1Cr 7:5 NKJV] 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

To show how serious or important you are about a certain prayer / petition

[1Sa 7:4-6 NKJV] 4 So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only. 5 And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.” 6 So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured [it] out before the LORD. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.

[Joe 2:12 NKJV] 12 “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”

For repentance

[Mat 6:16-18 NKJV] 16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 “so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who [is] in the secret [place]; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

For rewards

[Mat 17:18-21 NKJV] 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

For spiritual power in prayer

[Mar 2:18-20 NKJV] 18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 “But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.

To show your love of /longing for Jesus.

[Act 10:30-31 NKJV] 30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 “and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.

[Act 13:2-3 NKJV] 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent [them] away.

For direction

[Luk 2:36-37 NKJV] 36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman [was] a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day.

[2Cr 6:4-5 NKJV] 4 But in all [things] we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;

To serve God, by setting the example through your lifestyle

How not to Fast!:

[Isa 58:2-14 NLT] 2 Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. 3 ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. 4 What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. 5 You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?

The type of Fasting God requires!:

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. 7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. 8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. 9 Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! 10 Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. 11 The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. 12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes. 13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. 14 Then the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

Divine Commands

Mountain View

A post from Carlos here: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/40930-is-it-only-the-goodness-of-god-that-leads-us-to-repentance#comment-1044791910


Hello Warrior. How do you find perfection in a totalitarian worldview that calls for your annihilation for circumstantial reasons? I’ve found it impossible to reconcile God’s supposed goodness with the command of his holly book. Thousands of passages that portray a bipolar, self-centered, angry, selfish god from the bible, commanding the slaughter of thousands for reasons that he then contradicts a few pages later. How is Leviticus 20:13, or Samuel 15:2-3, or Chronicles 15:13 an act of goodness? I don’t want to live under a moral code defined by this framework of goodness.

If the passages above are a demonstration of his wrath and judgement, then this god is pretty evil. I would submit that many other worldviews suggest a more effective approach to defining a moral code.

Can anyone find a context in which the 3 passages above (just a couple of examples out of thousands I’ve found in the bible) can be acceptable as any kind of moral code? I haven’t. Please enlighten me, please take me out of my ignorance. I just can’t see it.

Many times my Christian friends and family reply with “well, but Jesus reset all that in the new testament, so the message from god is really about goodness and love”. So for millions of years god waited to “save” mankind, until 2,000 years ago he said “they’ve suffered enough, let’s save them”? This means he was either incompetent or evil. I don’t want that sort goodness or love either.

If we focus on today, according to the Bible millions of children that die before they are baptised, and billions of people that happened to be born in a different culture where other religions are the norm, will spend an eternal agony of suffering while burning in hell. I don’t want that kind of goodness either, and refuse to live my life under that blurred ideological prism.

I believe the more likely explanation is that the bible is a book written by bronze age men. I suggest we shouldn’t have a conversation about morals with the prism of 1st century ignorance. Let’s have a 21st century conversation about issues that affect this world.

Thanks for reading.


Hi Carlos,

First off, I think the Holy Spirit is working on you man. These questions you are asking is burning you and you need a satisfactory answer. This comes from the Holy Spirit – otherwise it would just not bother you and you will happily go on with your life. The fact that you are reading articles on this Christian forum and even commenting with your doubts and questions – means you are shouting for help. I want to encourage you to keep doing this – there are answers to your questions – and they are exactly the right questions to ask.

So I am going to try to address your questions, and this post become quite long – but please bear with me.
Where necessary, I am  going to refer you to articles on my blog (https://j2god.wordpress.com/) – where I also answered some of these questions – to my own satisfaction at least.
Hope that you will make the effort, to read what I refer you to and reserve judgement till the end. Understanding these things is like building a castle, and if the foundation is wrong it will not stand. So here it goes:

– “How do you find perfection in a totalitarian worldview that calls for your annihilation for circumstantial reasons?”

Look, we find perfection in God and Jesus. This world is fallen wicked place, cursed and immersed in sin. Which is why we require a redeemer to reconcile us to God, and we need the Holy Spirit to come live in us and make us new – to break us from this curse and sin and overcome the flesh. This is the only way we become pleasing to God, and we avoid His righteous wrath and judgement. This is called the Gospel and I for one find it the most amazing most beautiful most perfect thing in the world!
It is the farthest thing from a Totalitarian worldview! You have free choice whether to accept this or not.
Reading the rest of your post, I think I get what you mean by “calls for your annihilation for circumstantial reasons”. I see this as referring to the commands given to Israelites when they had to conquer the promised land and basically had to wipe out entire tribes. I’ll address this further below.

– “I’ve found it impossible to reconcile God’s supposed goodness with the command of his holly book.”

You find it impossible, because you do not really believe there is a God yet. If you really believed there is a God, then whatever God says goes. You are are also belittling God, and treating and evaluating him in human terms and as a human.
I mean if a fellow human gave me command and told me to jump up and down for 5 mins for no other reason that his pleasure – I’d tell him to go entertain himself somewhere else…
But if God gave me such a command things change – I’d be like “How high Lord?” or “Can’t I do it for 10 mins if it gives you pleasure?”. If there really is a God, it does not matter whether His commands are good or not. You follow it – or you disobey it at your own peril. Luckily for us, we are dealing with a God here that is perfect in every way. And we are not perfect – yet He does not just condemn us all or send us all to hell, or just wipe out the entire earth and start over with a bunch of robots preprogrammed to believe and follow Him no matter what.
No! In His splendour and majesty and goodness He created this world with freewil, so we can choose for Him or against Him.
And freewill is necessary for love to exist. If there is no choice or freewill – there cannot be true love. And He gives each of us that choice.
And he made a way for us to be reconciled to Him through the blood and the cross of Jesus. Since we are so sinful and imperfect God’s perfect righteousness cannot stand us. He requires retribution and punishment for our sins and imperfections. And this is where Jesus paid the price for us – He became the perfect sacrifice that totally reconciles us to God. All we have to do is believe it and in Him.
Now unfortunately, most people choose against Him. And this leads to all kinds of sin and atrocities in this world – but it is better than the alternative – to have no choice and become a robot in universe where true love does not exist…
You get my drift?
God is perfect and good, and so is His commands – even if we do not understand them all the time. You need to look for the fault in your own reasoning – you dare not blame an all powerful God for this?!!

– “Thousands of passages that portray a bipolar, self-centered, angry, selfish god from the bible, commanding the slaughter of thousands for reasons that he then contradicts a few pages later.”

I take it you are referring to the slaughter God commanded Israel with the conquering of the promised land.
Yeah I also struggled with this one, until I realised the following.
Lets assume there really is a God. So then there really is beings called angels and Cherubs. Now we are told in the Bible, that satan used to be the covering Cherub of God. The highest Honour and most splendid being in all creation. Yet, sin was found in Him because of pride, and He fell taking a third of the Angels with him. We are also told in the Bible, that some of these Angels had sex with women which gave rise to the nephilim or giants on the earth. We are told that this interbreeding became so bad – that only Noah was found pure before God – which is why God had alternative but to flood the entire earth and start over. So this is how much God hates these abominations.
Now we are also told, that even after the flood it happened again! Angels again started interbreeding with women, and gave rise to Giants (Goliath is an example).
So then I believe that God is perfectly justified in giving the command – for very specific tribes to be wiped off the map, because I believe that they had interbred with fallen angels again. This also explains why women and even children had to be executed.

– “How is Leviticus 20:13” “an act of goodness?”

[Lev 20:13 NKJV] 13 ‘If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood [shall be] upon them.

This is a law given specifically to the Israelites before the cross. God chose and separated a specific nation for Himself. This nation had to protected and kept pure, so that Jesus could be born at the right time, through the right lineage as prophesied. So this means a whole bunch of laws and regulation was put in place – so that they would be protected from themselves and so that the nation would would not incur God’s wrath. As I told you above, God hates it when His creatures turn against their own nature. So as God hates it when angles fall and interbreed with women, I think the same applies when men turn against their God ordained nature and has sexual intercourse with other men.
You also need to realize that they were still in the dispensation of the law. The law was all they had to protect them and keep them “relatively” sinless. Today we are in the dispensation of Grace – we now have the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins and turn us to God – to help us overcome the flesh and live sinless lives that are pleasing to God.
So in the old dispensation of the law – the punishment had to be severe enough to really motivate people to follow it, which is why they were put to death for breaking certain laws.
So I think it was an act of goodness of God to institute a law like this, to prevent the people (and the nation) from incurring His wrath.

– “How is Samuel 15:2-3” “an act of goodness?”

[1Sa 15:2-3 NKJV] 2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek [for] what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 ‘Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”

Well, according to http://bibleencyclopedia.com/amalekite.htm:
“We are uncertain of their origin, for they do not appear in the list of nations found in Genesis 10. They do not seem to have had any relationship with the tribes of Israel, save as, we may surmise, some of the descendants of Esau were incorporated into the tribe.”
“The first contact with Israel was at Rephidim, in the wilderness of Sinai, where they made an unprovoked attack and were defeated after a desperate conflict (Exodus 17:8-13 Deuteronomy 25:17, 18). On account of this they were placed under the ban and Israel was commanded to exterminate them (Deuteronomy 25:19 1 Samuel 15:2, 3).”

[Deu 25:17-19 KJV] 17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; 18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, [even] all [that were] feeble behind thee, when thou [wast] faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it, [that] thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget [it].

So according to the bible, God gave the command to exterminate the Amalekites because:
a. They made an unprovoked attack to the Israelites from the rear, slaughtering the week and feeble that were travelling there.
b. They did not fear God.

So, for me it is an act of goodness from God, to issue the command to exterminate the Amalekites because it shows He is willing to take revenge / apply justice on my behalf.
I will therefore willingly endure persecution without fighting back or revenge or becoming bitter – because my God is a righteous judge and I can know and trust that they will get their punishment if not in this life, then surely in the next.

– “How is Chronicles 15:13” “an act of goodness?”

[2Ch 15:12-15 NKJV] 12 Then they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 and whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 Then they took an oath before the LORD with a loud voice, with shouting and trumpets and rams’ horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the LORD gave them rest all around.

You are taking this verse out of context. The Israelites willingly submitted themselves to this law, because they made the oath to seek Him with all their heart and soul. And to show their commitment, they were willing to be put to death should they not comply. So this is not a law God implemented, the people themselves did it to show their commitment to God.
God will never force himself on anyone in this life. You have to choose Him and come to Him of your own accord – otherwise there is no free choice, and it is no longer love.

– “I don’t want to live under a moral code defined by this framework of goodness. ”

What is your alternative? You either accept the absolute moral standards of God as laid out by Him in His Word. Or you become your own God. You choose your own morals. So now everything becomes relative, because each is free to choose for himself. Total chaos will reign as everyone will be different. For one person killing someone is fine, for another it is not. For one rape is fine, for another not etc etc.
I would much rather freely choose to have my moral code defined by God’s Word than anything else. Anything else is tainted with sin and corruption – and turns you away from the allpowerful God. He created us and knows best for us. His commands are there to protect us because He loves us!
Yet this is the biggest problem for most people that are not Christians to overcome. They do not want to submit to God’s will. They want to be in charge and choose for themselves. They love their sins too much to let it go, become humble and submit to the creator of the universe!

– “If the passages above are a demonstration of his wrath and judgement, then this god is pretty evil.”

These passages are a demonstration of God’s righteousness and judgement. And no, it does not make Him evil! It makes Him perfect and consistent!
What would you prefer?
That God allows the interbreeding and perversion of the human race with devils and daemons and do nothing about it?
That God should allow the same kind of sexual perversions – people turning against their created nature and lusting after strange flesh – in His Holy set-apart nation Israel?
That God should not accept a covenant willingly made by Israelites, that they would put to death any idolaters found among them?
No, this does not make God evil at all!

– “I would submit that many other worldviews suggest a more effective approach to defining a moral code.”

Oh yeah! Name one!
You know I used to be atheist, but God eventually saved me. You can read my story here https://j2god.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/journey-to-god/
I got saved the wrong way around. I first got convinced that a completely destructive / bad force like Satan really does exist. But that means a God must really exist. It does not necessarily mean the Christian God – so I had to define God for myself and then look into the religions to determine which one is the real / correct one because they cannot all be right!
I tell you now, the only worldview that is logically consistent and morally perfect is the Christian worldview. Go look into some of the other religions – you’ll be shocked what some people believe! Literally fairytales I tell you…

– “Can anyone find a context in which the 3 passages above (just a couple of examples out of thousands I’ve found in the bible) can be acceptable as any kind of moral code? I haven’t. Please enlighten me, please take me out of my ignorance. I just can’t see it.”

I believe I’ve done that with my explanations above. See this article http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaughter-of-the-canaanites for Dr William Lane Craig’s (I dare say he is the best Christian apologist alive today, and really had a big part to play in my conversion) perspective on the Canaanite killings.

He basically asserts the following:
————
I think that a good start at this problem is to enunciate our ethical theory that underlies our moral judgements.  According to the version of divine command ethics which I’ve defended, our moral duties are constituted by the commands of a holy and loving God.  Since God doesn’t issue commands to Himself,  He has no moral duties to fulfill.  He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are.  For example, I have no right to take an innocent life.  For me to do so would be murder.  But God has no such prohibition.  He can give and take life as He chooses.  We all recognize this when we accuse some authority who presumes to take life as “playing God.”  Human authorities  arrogate to themselves rights which belong only to God.  God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend my life for another second.  If He wanted to strike me dead right now, that’s His prerogative.

What that implies is that God has the right to take the lives of the Canaanites when He sees fit.  How long they live and when they die is up to Him.

So the problem isn’t that God ended the Canaanites’ lives.  The problem is that He commanded the Israeli soldiers to end them.  Isn’t that like commanding someone to commit murder?  No, it’s not.  Rather, since our moral duties are determined by God’s commands, it is commanding someone to do something which, in the absence of a divine command, would have been murder.  The act was morally obligatory for the Israeli soldiers in virtue of God’s command, even though, had they undertaken it on their on initiative, it would have been wrong.

On divine command theory, then, God has the right to command an act, which, in the absence of a divine command, would have been sin, but which is now morally obligatory in virtue of that command.
————

So this allows us as Christians to be perfectly content with the Christian moral code…
Read the rest of the article and some more of the stuff on his website – or even check on youtube for his debates with atheists – truly amazing stuff.

– “Many times my Christian friends and family reply with “well, but Jesus reset all that in the new testament, so the message from god is really about goodness and love”. So for millions of years god waited to “save” mankind, until 2,000 years ago he said “they’ve suffered enough, let’s save them”? This means he was either incompetent or evil. I don’t want that sort goodness or love either.”

What you are trying to do here is to marry the theory of evolution with Christianity. And you are quite correct – they are incompatible. I mean God created the world with Adam and Eve and everything was good and perfect. There was no death initially. Then Adam and Eve sinned and they made the choice to eat of the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil” because satan tempted them with the same sin that made him fall – pride – to become like God.

[Gen 3:1-5 KJV] 1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and YE SHALL BE AS GODS, knowing good and evil.

Anyhow, one of the reasons Jesus had to die for us (atonement) is so that the curse can be removed. If you now try to add millions of years here it means the Bible is no longer inerrant, and therefore it is no longer trustworthy. Now some people get around this by saying it did not really happen and this is just a story. Now the problem with this is that God must then have designed the world with death and sin from the beginning. So then why does Jesus need to die on the cross for us if God made the world this way?

So no, the theory of evolution is just that. A theory. Even up to today, there is no real proof of evolution contrary to what the popular press would have you believe. You need to remember, that if God really does exist, and satan really does exist, then obviously satan will do whatever he can to take as many people to hell with him as he can. What better way to do this, than by convincing the world God does not really exist? And for those that do believe, you make it even more difficult by creating loads of false religions. And given that he has no moral obligations, he can play dirty, and take over the governments, universities, bussiness etc through secret societies. The media and universities then becomes tools he uses to convince everyone that the world created itself over millions an millions of years. Nothing exploded and became everything, and then dead matter magically turned to life, and then life itself intelligently adapts to its surroundings through evolution.

You really have to take a look at http://creation.com/ They provide scientific logical conclusions from the a biblical worldview. When a evolutionist and a creationist get presented the same facts, ie. the same bone structure in different animals, the evolutionist will claim well they must have evolved from one another, where the creationist will claim, no they just had the same Designer. See, we both look at the same facts, yet we interpret them differently according to our worldviews… You can still be 100% scientific and logical and still be a Christian.

– “If we focus on today, according to the Bible millions of children that die before they are baptised, and billions of people that happened to be born in a different culture where other religions are the norm, will spend an eternal agony of suffering while burning in hell. I don’t want that kind of goodness either, and refuse to live my life under that blurred ideological prism. ”

I do not believe you have to be baptised to be saved. Read this article https://j2god.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/115/
I believe you are saved through faith https://j2god.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/justification-by-faith/
Look I also do not get exactly why so many people that never heard about Jesus will go to hell.
My own reasoning suggest the following:
– We inherit our parents sin / righteousness. Everyone stems from Noah. So somewhere along the line, a parent of a guy that never heard of Jesus turned his back on God. And this turning away from God, transfers to his children. But the opposite is also true, a christian parent transfers his faith and blessings to his children.
– God can sovereignly choose whom he wills to be saved. We are all sinful lost people that deserve to go to hell. The fact that God saves anybody, is a testament to his merciful loving nature.
– do you realize that Jesus’s death on the cross paid for the sins of EVERYONE?
[1Jo 2:2 NKJV] 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
So why do people go to hell then?
[Jhn 3:16, 18 NKJV] 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. … 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
You will burn in hell, because you rejected god! And it gets even worse:
[Rom 1:19-22 NLT] 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
Even atheists in the deepest part of their hearts know that there is a God. So they are without excuse on judgement day – even though they never heard the gospel…
– We are created in the image of God. This goes much deeper than most people think or realize. As God has the ability to create life, he gave us the ability as well (through children), as He has the ability to take life we can also, as He can save someone by revealing Jesus / His nature, so can we by testifying the gospel. So some people never hear the gospel because we do not tell them…

So no, I totally disagree with your statement. I cannot think of a more splendid, better goodness than the Christian gospel. And it is anything but blurry – to a Christian anyhow. A non-believer’s heart is blinded and they cannot understand it – so yes I suppose for them it will be a “blurred ideological prism”.
[Mat 13:13-14 NKJV] 13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 “And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive;

– “I believe the more likely explanation is that the bible is a book written by bronze age men. I suggest we shouldn’t have a conversation about morals with the prism of 1st century ignorance. Let’s have a 21st century conversation about issues that affect this world.”
Well Carlos, I sincerely hope you will reconsider. I for one will pray for you, that the Holy Spirit will lift the veil that you might see a clear message of the gospel. I beg of you to keep searching until you find truth.
I challenge you to juest put God to the test. Pray to Him, and ask Him to show Himself to you. If He is not there, then you have nothing to lose, but what if He is – you have everything to gain my friend!

Blessings,

How should a Christian respond to Enemies?

Sunset Before Easter Sunrise

What should a Christian’s response be to attackers and enemies?

I think the Bible is quite clear on this. It’s such a pity we do not often see these core virtues of our faith displayed in the world out there.

Pray for them:

Mat 5:44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
Mat 5:45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
Mat 5:46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that.
Mat 5:47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.

Bless them:

Luk 6:27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.
Luk 6:28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.

Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.

1Pe 3:9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.

Forgive them, and commit judgment to God:

Luk 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

Act 7:60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

1Pe 2:23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

Respond by doing good:

Rom 12:20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”
Rom 12:21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

 

 

Praying for salvation

Cross at sunset

Why should you pray for someone else’s salvation?

Because we are to fulfill the great commission:

Mat 28:18 KJV – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 KJV – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 KJV – Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

Because of obedience – we are instructed to pray for other people with sin:

1Jo 5:14 NLT – And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.
1Jo 5:15 NLT – And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
1Jo 5:16 NLT – If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it.

The sin that leads to death I believe is the cursing of the holy spirit:

Mat 12:32 NLT – Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.

Because God desires all to be saved, therefore we should ask God to bring this to pass in our sphere of influence:

Eze 18:23 NKJV – “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “[and] not that he should turn from his ways and live?
Eze 18:32 NKJV – “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!”

Luk 9:55 NKJV – But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
Luk 9:56 NKJV – “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save [them].” And they went to another village.

2Pe 3:9 NKJV – The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1Ti 1:15 NKJV – This [is] a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

1Ti 2:3 NLT – This is good and pleases God our Savior,
1Ti 2:4 NLT – who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

Because Jesus Intercedes for us – and we are to be like Him, therefore we should intercede for others.

Rom 8:34 NKJV – Who [is] he who condemns? [It is] Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Luk 22:31 NLT – “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat.
Luk 22:32 NLT – But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

Because there is a blessing involved with turning a sinner to repentance:

Jam 5:19 NLT – My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back,
Jam 5:20 NLT – you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.

How should you pray for someone’s salvation?

Ask angels to minister to that person:

Hbr 1:14 NLT – Therefore, angels are only servants–spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.

Find common ground with that person:

1Cr 9:22 NLT – When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.

Be an example, and teach the truth:

1Ti 4:16 NLT – Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.

Love the lost person deeply, as it will help to cover a multitude of sins:

1Pe 4:8 NLT – Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

Hate their sin, and use whatever influence you have to convict him of his sinfullness (in love and mercy):

Jud 1:22 NLT – And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.
Jud 1:23 NLT – Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

Continually pray for that person, asking for God’s help, and give thanks for them:

1Ti 2:1 NLT – I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.

Like Moses, we can intercede for someone else and CHANGE God’s mind, by reminding Him of His character and promises:

Exd 32:10 NLT – Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation.”
Exd 32:11 NLT – But Moses tried to pacify the LORD his God. “O LORD!” he said. “Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand?
Exd 32:12 NLT – Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth’? Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people!
Exd 32:13 NLT – Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You bound yourself with an oath to them, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. And I will give them all of this land that I have promised to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.'”
Exd 32:14 NLT – So the LORD changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people.

Like Moses, we should trust in God’s character and our own worth and salvation so much, that we will be able to fully intercede for a person and face His anger and wrath:

Deu 9:18 NLT – “Then, as before, I threw myself down before the LORD for forty days and nights. I ate no bread and drank no water because of the great sin you had committed by doing what the LORD hated, provoking him to anger.
Deu 9:19 NLT – I feared that the furious anger of the LORD, which turned him against you, would drive him to destroy you. But again he listened to me.
Deu 9:20 NLT – The LORD was so angry with Aaron that he wanted to destroy him, too. But I prayed for Aaron, and the LORD spared him.

God is looking for people that have the true compassion and love to “stand in the gap” for someone else. Failing to do so, will condemn them to destruction:

Eze 22:30 NLT – “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.
Eze 22:31 NLT – So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”

The express purpose of the Holy Spirit is to convict THE WORLD of it’s sin and to convince them of God’s righteousness and judgment, so pray that the HS will do this for him:

Jhn 16:8 NLT – And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.
Jhn 16:9 NLT – The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.

Jesus has the power to grant life to whom He want, so earnestly pray and petition Him for this:

Jhn 5:21 NLT – For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants.
Jhn 6:44 NLT – For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.

We use God’s weapons to convince people:

2Cr 10:3 NLT – We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.
2Cr 10:4 NLT – We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
2Cr 10:5 NLT – We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Note we are not removing a person’s free choice by doing this. We are asking God to reveal the Gospel to this person in a truthful way, so that he can understand it and make an informed decision. Often previous biases or satanic influence or incorrect facts or insufficient facts could obscure the gospel message from being understood correctly and fully and it is this that we are asking God to address. We need to remember Satan will do his utmost to keep a non-believer captive and it is these walls we are breaking down on the other’s behalf.

Should a person have a full and proper understanding of he gospel, and he still refuses to believe, then I do not think it is biblical for you to pray to God to forcibly change his mind. You should continue praying that the right set of circumstances should be created for that person to accept Christ. However, asking God to force Himself on a person that wants nothing to do with Him, and for that person to become a robot with no free choice will require God to break His character, and I do not think this will be granted. For love to be love, that person needs to choose God of His own accord. Otherwise God would not be able to keep him accountable on the day of judgment.

But there is always hope that a person will change his mind in the future – so keep on praying!

Luk 11:9 NLT – “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

Realize and believe in the power of prayer in Jesus name:

Mat 21:22 NLT – You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
Mar 11:24 NLT – I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.
Jhn 14:13 NLT – You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.
Jhn 15:7 NLT – But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
Jhn 15:16 NLT – You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.
Jhn 16:23 NLT – At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.
Jhn 16:24 NLT – You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.

How do I receive God’s blessings?

BLESSED
Seldom in scripture, do you find such a clear declaration on what you need to do, to receive God’s blessing as in Matthew 5 – often called the beatitudes. Lets look at it verse by verse:

Mat 5:3-12 NLT – 3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

Isa 25:4-9 NLT – 4 But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O LORD, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall, 5 or like the relentless heat of the desert. But you silence the roar of foreign nations. As the shade of a cloud cools relentless heat, so the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled. 6 In Jerusalem, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for all the people of the world. It will be a delicious banquet with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat. 7 There he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth. 8 He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The LORD has spoken! 9 In that day the people will proclaim, “This is our God! We trusted in him, and he saved us! This is the LORD, in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”

Isa 30:18 NLT – 18 So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.

Isa 66:2 NLT – 2 My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.

So if you want God’s blessing you need to realize your need of Him. This means realizing your dependence on Him. How often do we trust in ourselves to fix all our problems – and how often do we fail. If you want His blessing, you need to need Him! And notice the promise when do you this – The KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is theirs. So simple yet so profound – just by realizing your need of Him – you will receive the Kingdom of Heaven!

Jam 2:5 NLT – 5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?

Mat 5:4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Psa 40:1-3 NLT – 1 For the choir director: A psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.

Isa 61:1-3 NLT – 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

Eze 9:4 NLT – 4 He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.”

Jhn 16:20-22 NLT – 20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. 21 It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. 22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.

2Cr 1:4-7 NLT – 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.

2Cr 7:9-10 NLT – 9 Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

So if you want God’s blessing, you need to mourn – but not the worldly kind of mourning that is destructive – but the Godly kind of mourning which leads to repentance. If your heart is so hard that you cannot feel any compassion then God will have nothing to do with you. This speaks to 2 areas in your life:

a) The people around you

This is fallen broken world we live in, and if we truly love the people around us – we would mourn for the hurt and the pain that people around us experience. We need to be comforters for people in need, because it is in those desperate situations that we can share our faith and gospel best – and when they need the gospel message most.

b) Your own situation

Mourn for yourself – get to grips with the pain in your life, make peace with it and give it to God. Mourn for your own desperate sinfulness and realize your need of a Savior. After God

When God has come through for you, then you are best equipped to really mourn with and comfort others as well. And this is the promise: when you mourn comfort WILL come – if not in this life, then surely in the next!

Isa 51:11-12 NLT – 11 Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness. 12 “I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear?

Rev 7:17 NLT – 17 For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Rev 21:4 NLT – 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Mat 5:5 God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.

Isa 57:15 NLT – 15 The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.

Mat 11:29 NLT – 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Mat 21:5 NLT – 5 “Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey–riding on a donkey’s colt.'”

1Pe 3:4 NLT – 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Luk 18:14 NLT – 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Jam 1:21 NLT – 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

Jam 3:13 NLT – 13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.

2Ti 2:25 NLT – 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

We need to become Christ-like – He was humble, so we need to be also. We show our love for God and other people through humbleness. Your pride will block and prevent you from fully accepting His Word in your heart. A true faith requires and produces humbleness and it is with this attitude that we need to share the gospel.

So if you want God’s blessing, you need to become humble and then you will “inherit the whole earth” – this last part bothered me. How can we inherit the whole earth? After doing some research, I found this verse:

Rom 4:13 NLT – 13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.

So “inheriting the whole earth” means you become an inheritor of the covenant God made with Abraham – and this only happens if you have a right relationship with God through faith. This means in order for you to be saved, it is an absolute requirement to become humble! You have to be teachable and root out any pride and self-sufficiency left in you. You cannot be your own savior – and God will only be your savior if you are humble. God hates pride I think, because this is the root cause of all sin that made Satan fall in the first place.

Eze 28:17 NLT – 17 Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings.

Mat 5:6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.

Amo 8:11-13 NLT – 11 “The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine on the land–not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the LORD. 12 People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from border to border searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it. 13 Beautiful girls and strong young men will grow faint in that day, thirsting for the LORD’s word.

Isa 49:9-10 NLT – 9 I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’ They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare. 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst. The searing sun will not reach them anymore. For the LORD in his mercy will lead them; he will lead them beside cool waters.

Isa 55:1-3 NLT – 1 “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink–even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk–it’s all free! 2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. 3 “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.

Jhn 7:37 NLT – 37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!

Jhn 4:14 NLT – 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

Jhn 6:48-51 NLT – 48 Yes, I am the bread of life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”

Rev 7:16 NLT – 16 They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun.

Mat 5:7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Mat 6:14-15 NLT – 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Mat 18:33-35 NLT – 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. 35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

Isa 58:7-8 NLT – 7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. 8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.

1Ti 1:16 NLT – 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

If we want to receive mercy – we need to give it.

Jam 2:13 NLT – 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

Mat 5:8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

Psa 24:3-6 NLT – 3 Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?
4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.
5 They will receive the LORD’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior.
6 Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob. Interlude

Eze 36:25-27 NLT – 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

Mat 23:25-28 NLT – 25 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. 27 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs–beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. 28 Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.

2Cr 7:1 NLT – 1 Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.

Hbr 10:22 NLT – 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Jam 4:8 NLT – 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

And here is the promise: When we keep ourselves pure, we will SEE Him as He really is:

1Jo 3:2-3 NLT – 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

So purification is required for Salvation!

Mat 5:9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

Psa 34:12-14 NLT – 12 Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? 13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! 14 Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

Rom 14:1, 17-19 NLT – 1 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. … 17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

2Cr 5:20 NLT – 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

2Ti 2:22-24 NLT – 22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.

Hbr 12:14 NLT – 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

Jam 1:19-20 NLT – 19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

Jam 3:16-18 NLT – 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

And here is the promise, if we work for peace, we will be His children:

Eph 5:1 NLT – 1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.

1Pe 1:14-16 NLT – 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

Mat 5:10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Mar 10:30 NLT – 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property–along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.

Luk 21:12 NLT – 12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers.

Jhn 15:20 NLT – 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.

Rom 8:35-37 NLT – 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

1Cr 4:9-13 NLT – 9 Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world–to people and angels alike. 10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. 11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash–right up to the present moment.

2Cr 4:8-12, 17 NLT – 8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you. … 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

Phl 1:28 NLT – 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself.

2Ti 2:12 NLT – 12 If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us.

1Pe 3:14 NLT – 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.

1Pe 4:12-16 NLT – 12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 14 So be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. 15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!

2Th 1:4-7 NLT – 4 We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. 5 And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. 6 In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you. 7 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels,

Jam 1:2-5 NLT – 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. 5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

Jam 1:12 NLT – 12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Rev 2:10 NLT – 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.

So, be honest and do a re-evaluation on your faith.

Have your really:

  1. become poor and realized your need of Him?
  2. mourned for and with the people around you?
  3. become humble and teachable?
  4. hungered and thirsted for Him and His justice?
  5. become merciful?
  6. become pure?
  7. worked for peace?
  8. been joyous and glad when persecution and adversity came your way?

It would seem the above is not only required to receive God’s blessing, but is also required for salvation.

God will not bless whom he cannot redeem…

To receive God’s blessing we need to become blessings to those around us as well…

Predestination vs Freewill

Life is a journey, not a destination

Predestination. What a word, according to the Lexicon

Strong’s G4309 – προορίζω – proorizō

1) to predetermine, decide beforehand

2) in the NT of God decreeing from eternity

3) to foreordain, appoint beforehand

The Calvinists often use “predestination” to describe their belief that all Christians were chosen before time began by God, to be His children. The implication is that you have no choice in the matter. God chose you whether you like it or not. If you want to be saved, but God did not choose you; tough luck. No matter how good or exemplary your life, you’re going to hell. Nothing you can do about it. And if God did choose you, you can do what you want, you’re going to heaven; once saved always saved. You cannot lose your salvation again or change your mind. God even gives you the necessary feelings and love for Him, your own emotions are no longer your own. Even your thoughts are turned to His purposes, you’ve become brainwashed with no true free will or choice. Can this be? Is this really love?

So let’s look at the verses commonly used to justify the Calvinist doctrines and see if we can come to a biblical interpretation that still fits with everything else the Bible teaches.

We also need to look at 2 other words that is also often used often in conjunction with predestination:

Strong’s G4267 – προγινώσκω – proginōskō

1) to have knowledge before hand

2) to foreknow

a) of those whom God elected to salvation

3) to predestinate

Strong’s G4268 – πρόγνωσις – prognosis

1) foreknowledge

2) forethought, pre-arrangement

Note the inherent difference: predestination used in the Calvinist sense implies that God is actively influencing and working to achieve some preconceived end – while foreknowledge of something does not necessarily imply this. Knowing that something will happen in a particular way, does not mean that you are forcibly causing it to be so. If I could look into the future and determine / check whom will win a particular game, does it now mean that I am causing the result? No, it just means I know the outcome of the match. Similarly, God can know our choices in the future, without causing or forcing these choices in us.

God has foreknowledge of what will happen in the future, so He can influence and change things around so that He will maximise His glory. But the catch is God can only do so if does not go against His own character. So God will use whatever means available to Him, to get you to change your mind and believe in Him, as long as it does not break His character. Taking away your free will to choose, is against His Character, because He cannot punish you then for making the wrong choice. Bear in mind though that God will help you to change – BUT ONLY IF ASK HIM TO DO THIS FOR YOU…

I believe this is why sanctification is a process. Usually slow. Because you really have to want this to happen and actively pray and ask God for this. God will then take the reins in your life and put you through the required life experiences (good and bad) to help you achieve this. All the while the Holy Spirit and your own conscience will let you know whether you are on the right track or not.

There can also come a stage where He has no options left, where He cannot earn His glory without “breaking character”. This has happened in history before! Look at Noah and the ark for example. God had to eradicate the entire human race bar 8 people to start again from scratch. But is this really breaking character? Is the earth not better off without these people, where there is no hope left for repentance or from receiving any glory by allowing them to exist at all?

Should we not look at individual salvation the same way? Aren’t we all called to become Christ followers? God sent His son to die for the entire world, that ALL might be saved. Yet He will not force this. He still allows free choice, otherwise love would not be love. So aren’t those He predestined not the ones then, that He foreknew would choose Him? Is He not helping those to come to Him that He knows will respond? So in essence He is then predestining for salvation those He foreknows will choose Him… Can freewill still exist in this? I think so. You are both free to choose, while God is sovereignly able to predestine you for salvation, because He foreknows how you will choose.

Rom 8:29-30 KJV – 29 For whom he did foreknow , he[4309] also did predestinate[4309] [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate[4309] , them he also called : and whom he called , them he also justified : and whom he justified , them he also glorified .

So how much free choice are we actually left with? How much influence is God actually applying in this choice? As an atheist I remember feeling a huge emptiness in myself. There was a hunger for truth that would let go. Sure I could ignore it if I chose to, but it was still there…

My conclusion is that it is somehow a mutual choice. Both God and I have to want this. God foreknows my choice, and can therefore predestine me for salvation. Now this reasoning makes sense for the currently lost (if they stay lost to death, they will go to hell) and for those that claim to be saved currently (if they stay saved, they will go to heaven).

But what about people that seem to change their minds? Does this mean you can still fall away and lose your salvation after choosing Christ? The Bible is full of warnings in this regard (see previous posts), so yes this surely must be possible. So were you really saved then in the first place? From our perspective we cannot know for sure. This is why the Bible is full of warnings to make our election sure. So can we ever be secure in our salvation? We do not know the future, so for us there will always be some doubt – yet this is where faith comes in. We need to trust that God is sovereignly in control and able to keep us – AS LONG AS WE DO OUR PART – and keep HIM first and foremost in our affections and lives.

From my studies so far I have come to the following conclusions:

– I believe as Humans, we have a threefold existence:

  1. Spirit
  2. Mind / Soul
  3. Body

– I believe God sovereignly chooses whom He wills and touches and regenerates their Spirits so that they are able to understand the Gospel.

– I believe God will regenerate the Spirit’s of all Souls that He foreknows will choose Him.

– I believe in His great mercy, He also regenerates the souls of some people that will make the choice for Him, but will fall away in the end.

– I believe your Soul does have a choice whether to accept Christ or not. (new birth)

  • God cannot punish you in hell for rejecting Him, if you do not have free choice
  • Love cannot be truly love, if there is no free choice involved.

– I also believe that you can fall away even after making the choice.

1Ti 4:1 NKJV – Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

Now this inherently means, that we cannot know for sure – now – whether we will inherit everlasting life – because we do not know if we will be able to complete the race of faith to the end.

Yet, we can be sure of God’s promises that if we keep putting Him first and foremost in our lives, and keep His commandments, and produce the Fruit of the Spirit, and live a repentant sanctified life, that He is faithful and just and will keep us and intercede for us on the day of judgment. He will never turn His back on you – it is fully up to you to keep putting Him first.

Yet beware the warnings, that if you do not these things, if your heart and love for Him colds, and you start to worship the things of this live, and allow unrepentant sin in your live – that God will turn His back on You; and on the day of judgement He’ll answer with depart from me, I do not know you.

There is this duality in salvation. If we do what we must CONTINUALLY TO THE END, you can be sure of your salvation. Yet if our hearts and affections cold along the way we will be given over to deceptions and our hearts will cold, and then we will be lost.

– I believe as proof of your soul’s choice, it has to bring the body under subjugation. (sanctification)

– I believe only once all three areas were touched (spirit regenerated, soul dedicated to Jesus, and body under sanctification) that you can be secure in your salvation.

2Pe 1:10-11 NKJV – 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

– I believe that there are degrees of rewards, for how well you overcame this life (see previous posts), and concurrently depending on how badly you messed up your punishment in hell will be worse.

My conclusion is therefore that God can predestine us for salvation because He foreknows our choices, not because He removes our free choice.

Here are some texts where these words predestination [4309], foreknow [4267] and foreknowledge [4268] are used:

Act 4:27 NKJV – 27 – 28 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before[4309] to be done .

1Cr 2:7 KJV – 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained[4309] before the world unto our glory:

Eph 1:5-6 KJV – 5 Having predestinated[4309] us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Eph 1:11-12 KJV – 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated[4309] according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

1Pe 1:19-20 KJV – 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained[4267] before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

2Pe 3:17 KJV – 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before[4267] , beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

Act 2:23 KJV – 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge[4268] of God, ye have taken , and by wicked hands have crucified and slain :

1Pe 1:1-2 KJV – 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge[4268] of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied .

The fear of God

Fear God and give him Glory

Do you fear God?

The Bible says we should, yet popular teachings these days seem to emphasize the love of God so much, that we cannot comprehend a God that would actually kill someone.

Lets look at the definition for the word culpability:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culpability

“In explanations and predictions of human action and inaction, culpability is a measure of the degree to which an agent, such as a person, can be held morally or legally responsible. ”

So is there scripture that would support the Christian God of being culpable in murder, or even being an outright murderer?

2Ki 19:35 NKJV – 35 And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when [people] arose early in the morning, there were the corpses–all dead.

What about the Flood?

What about Sodom and Gomorrah?

What about the death of the people by the plagues in Egypt, culminating in the death of eldest son in every family?

What about the people that got struck dead for touching the ark?

What about entering the promised land where all tribes had to expunged, women, children and livestock included?

What about the couple that dies for lying to Peter?

Act 5:1-10 NKJV – 1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back [part] of the proceeds, his wife also being aware [of it], and brought a certain part and laid [it] at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back [part] of the price of the land for yourself? 4 “While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” 5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried [him] out, and buried [him]. 7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband [are] at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying [her] out, buried [her] by her husband.

What about Herod, whom refused to praise God?

Act 12:23 NKJV – 23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.

Now, if you think about it we are dealing with the creator of the universe here. The omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient creator of the universe.

Lets be serious now, is there is any death in this universe that God is not somehow culpable in? Say some guy crosses the street without looking, and gets hit by a car.

Did God not create the earth, the man, the car? Did God not know the guy would he crossing the road? Did He not know the accident would happen? Could He have stopped the accident from happening?

Does that not make Him culpable in this death to some degree? Saying no, makes God less than omnipotent, or omnipresent or omniscient – which means that we are not serving God, because we are breaking the definition for God, or serving a God with flaws…

We are supposed to Fear God as much as we Love Him:

  • God wants us to Fear Him. In Genesis when Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God says:

Gen 22:12 NKJV – 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only [son], from Me.”

  • Where the Fear of God is absent, lawlessness takes over:

Gen 20:11 NKJV – 11 And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely the fear of God [is] not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife.

Lev 19:14, 32 NKJV – 14 ‘You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I [am] the LORD. …

32 ‘You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I [am] the LORD.

Lev 25:17, 36, 43 NKJV – 17 ‘Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I [am] the LORD your God. …

36 ‘Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. …

43 ‘You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God.

2Sa 23:3 NKJV – 3 The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men [must be] just, Ruling in the fear of God.

Neh 5:15 NKJV – 15 But the former governors who [were] before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God.

  • Position and authority is given to those whom fear God:

Exd 18:21 NKJV – 21 “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place [such] over them [to be] rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

  • God afflicts them that do not fear Him:

Exd 9:29-30 NKJV – 29 So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth [is] the LORD’s. 30 “But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear the LORD God.”

Psa 55:19 NKJV – 19 God will hear, and afflict them, Even He who abides from of old. Selah Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God.

Ecc 8:13 NKJV – 13 But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong [his] days, [which are] as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.

  • The Fear God leads to blessings:

Deu 6:2 NKJV – 2 “that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

Deu 6:24 NKJV – 24 ‘And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as [it is] this day.

1Sa 12:14 NKJV – 14 “If you fear the LORD and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the LORD your God.

Ecc 8:12 NKJV – 12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred [times], and his [days] are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.

Psa 64:9 NKJV – 9 All men shall fear, And shall declare the work of God; For they shall wisely consider His doing.

Psa 67:7 NKJV – 7 God shall bless us, And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

  • Those whom Fear God will hear from Him:

Psa 66:16 NKJV – 16 Come [and] hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul.

Pro 2:5 NKJV – 5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.

  • We are commanded to Fear God:

Ecc 3:14 NKJV – 14 I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does [it], that men should fear before Him.

Ecc 12:13 NKJV – 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.

Deu 10:12 NKJV – 12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

2Ch 19:7 NKJV – 7 “Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do [it], for [there is] no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.”

Now before someone complains that this is just quotes from the old testament, remember God does not change. Here some from the new testament:

  • Not Fearing God leads to condemnation, as with the other thief on the cross next to Jesus:

Luk 23:40 NKJV – 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

  • We are commanded to Fear God:

1Pe 2:17 NKJV – 17 Honor all [people]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

Eph 5:21 NKJV – 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Rev 14:7 NKJV – 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

Rev 19:5 NKJV – 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”

  • The Fear of God leads to Holiness:

2Cr 7:1 NKJV – 1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Hbr 12:28 NKJV – 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

Hbr 10:31 NKJV – 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

1Pe 3:15 NKJV – 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always [be] ready to [give] a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

  • The Fear of God leads to salvation:

Act 13:16, 26 NKJV – 16 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with [his] hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:

26 “Men [and] brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent.

So why would God go around killing and / or ordering people (even masses) to be killed?

I believe He does this to show us His authority and power and Sovereignty.

If  we did not have examples of Him doing this, would we actually fear Him?

Is it not the most loving thing He could do, to make us fear Him so THAT WE WILL BE SAVED?

I ask you again dear Christian, is your God a killer?

Do you not fear Him?

How sure are you that you are serving the Christian God…

Pro 1:7 NLT – 7 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

If you think about it some more:

Did God really Kill them? Or did He not merely prevent them from living any further?

Is this not God’s prerogative?

Will we not all face the judgement seat first, and then receive our due penalty for sin, and then either true life, or the second permanent death.

Rev 2:11 NLT – 11 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.

Rev 20:6, 14 NLT – 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years. … 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death.

Rev 21:8 NLT – 8 “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars–their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Is Baptism required for salvation?

Baptism of Christ 14

Is Baptism required for salvation?

This question have been weighing heavily on me, and this post will be used to clarify the matter. Lets start by looking at all the relevant texts:

  • John the baptist

John was baptizing people, even before the crucifixion. It is important to note, that it was a baptism of repentance – and not the normal baptism for us as believers into Jesus Christ.

Mat 3:1 NKJV – In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
Mat 3:2 NKJV – and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
Mat 3:3 NKJV – For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’ ”
Mat 3:4 NKJV – Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
Mat 3:5 NKJV – Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him
Mat 3:6 NKJV – and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mat 3:7 NKJV – But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mat 3:8 NKJV – “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
Mat 3:9 NKJV – “and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as [our] father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Mat 3:10 NKJV – “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Mat 3:11 NKJV – “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Mat 3:12 NKJV – “His winnowing fan [is] in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

We can argue then, that John saw his ministry as temporary and seemed to emphasize that if you do not produce good fruit, you will be lost. He did not say the same of getting baptized.

He also indicated that Jesus will institute a new baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire.

Mat 3:13 NKJV – Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.
Mat 3:14 NKJV – And John [tried to] prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
Mat 3:15 NKJV – But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit [it to be so] now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
Mat 3:16 NKJV – When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
Mat 3:17 NKJV – And suddenly a voice [came] from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

We can also argue, that even Jesus was baptized, therefore it is required for us as well. Note Jesus’s words though, that it is fitting for us to do so, and not required.

Conclusion: From the above passage, no definitive deduction can be made, it can be argued either way.

  • Jesus compares to John the Baptist

Mat 21:23 NKJV – Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”
Mat 21:24 NKJV – But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things:
Mat 21:25 NKJV – “The baptism of John–where was it from? From heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
Mat 21:26 NKJV – “But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.”
Mat 21:27 NKJV – So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

So when Jesus asked the pharisees whether John’s baptism was a divinely instituted ordinance, they could not answer and neither would Jesus answer, BUT he did go on to explain with the following parable:

Mat 21:28 NKJV – “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’
Mat 21:29 NKJV – “He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.
Mat 21:30 NKJV – “Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I [go], sir,’ but he did not go.
Mat 21:31 NKJV – “Which of the two did the will of [his] father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.
Mat 21:32 NKJV – “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw [it], you did not afterward relent and believe him.

It would seem that Jesus compares the pharisees to the son that said he’ll go but doesn’t, and the tax collectors and harlots he compares to the son that said no, but then relents and goes to work afterwards.

So you can argue that Jesus implied the baptism was a divinely instituted ordinance, and that we are expected to honor it.

You can also argue that the emphasis seems to be on obedience and on continuous work, and not one single action. And therefore obedience to God is more important than the actual baptism. Again, this baptism is still the baptism of repentance and turning from your evil works / ways.

Conclusion: From the above passage, no definitive deduction can be made, it can be argued either way.

  • Jesus speaks about John

Luk 7:24 NKJV – When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
Luk 7:25 NKJV – “But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts.
Luk 7:26 NKJV – “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
Luk 7:27 NKJV – “This is [he] of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’
Luk 7:28 NKJV – “For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
Luk 7:29 NKJV – And when all the people heard [Him], even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John.
Luk 7:30 NKJV – But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.

Here Jesus seems to imply that John was more than a prophet, and his baptism of repentance is the definitive factor that decides whether you will accept God or not.

You can argue that the actual baptism is still required today, or you can argue that the emphasis is still on repentance and turning from your wicked ways.

Conclusion: From the above passage, no definitive deduction can be made, it can be argued either way.

  • Different Baptisms

Act 19:1 NKJV – And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples
Act 19:2 NKJV – he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
Act 19:3 NKJV – And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Act 19:4 NKJV – Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
Act 19:5 NKJV – When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Act 19:6 NKJV – And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

From this passage, it would seem then that there are at least 3 baptisms.

1. Baptism of Repentance or of John

2. Baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ

3. Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Are either of these baptisms required for you to be saved?

1. Repentance is definitely required for a saving faith, but this text does not specify if the actual baptism ceremony is required to be saved. It would seem that the baptism in Jesus is more important, since this was performed instead.

2. Again the text is not clear whether the baptism ceremony in Jesus name is required to be saved. Though it does seem that it was indeed the practice, for the believers to go through this ritual before you could claim to be a Christian.

3. The text here is not clear whether the baptism in the holy spirit is required for salvation. Though we know from other texts like:

Mat 7:21 NKJV – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Mat 7:22 NKJV – “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
Mat 7:23 NKJV – “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

That even being able to prophecy and drive out demons, does not give you a guarantee of salvation.

Conclusion: The text is not clear whether any of these baptisms are explicitly required for salvation.

  • The new birth

Rom 6:3 NKJV – Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Rom 6:4 NKJV – Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 NKJV – For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be [in the likeness] of [His] resurrection,
Rom 6:6 NKJV – knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [Him], that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Rom 6:7 NKJV – For he who has died has been freed from sin.

The whole Romans 6 passage makes it clear that the new birth is the deciding factor, which determines whether we are saved or not. The text really seem to make a strong correlation between the new birth and the baptism. Though nowhere is it stated that they are mutually exclusive. It does not state whether you can get the new birth without the baptism, or that the baptism is required for the new birth. I know and have heard enough testimonies of people that have not had the baptism, but which clearly shows the new birth. So from my own experience, I can therefore claim that I have seen the new birth, without the baptism.

Conclusion: This text does not unambiguously teach that the baptism is required for salvation. If this was true, then all the testimonies of people clearly showing the new birth has to be false – which I cannot believe.

  • One baptism

Eph 4:4 NKJV – [There is] one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 NKJV – one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
Eph 4:6 NKJV – one God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

Conclusion: The text clearly states that there is only one true baptism. But it does not state whether this is required for salvation. The inclination or the expectation is there though that it should be done.

  • Buried in baptism

Col 2:11 NKJV – In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
Col 2:12 NKJV – buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with [Him] through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

This passage also alludes to the new birth, and the language seems to be poetic, in that the baptism refers to the death of the old sinful self and the raising of the new righteous self in Christ.

Conclusion: Again, it seems to be expected that we are baptized as Christians, yet the text does not hinge your salvation explicitly on that fact.

  • Good conscience

1Pe 3:21 NKJV – There is also an antitype which now saves us–baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

1Pe 3:20 ESV – because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
1Pe 3:21 ESV – Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

This was the most difficult passage for me to interpret, and I had to check the underlying Greek and different translations, but here is my interpretation on this one:

Just as water destroyed the earth in the old testament and the ark saved only 8 persons, water is now used as an anti-type to save us through our new ark, Jesus Christ. The water is not a symbol of being washed clean of previous sins, but is a symbol of the new birth, with a new heart and a clean conscience.

Conclusion: Again the actual baptism ceremony is not what saves you, it is the symbolic new birth, and the new heart.

  • Jesus did not baptize

Jhn 4:1 NKJV – Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John
Jhn 4:2 NKJV – (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples),
Jhn 4:3 NKJV – He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.

You can argue, that Jesus did not baptize, therefore we also do not need to. Or you can argue, that Jesus did indeed condone the baptisms, and therefore it is still required.

Conclusion: Again, it seems to be expected that we are baptized as Christians, yet the text does not hinge your salvation explicitly on that fact.

  • Preach the Gospel

1Cr 1:11 NKJV – For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s [household], that there are contentions among you.
1Cr 1:12 NKJV – Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”
1Cr 1:13 NKJV – Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
1Cr 1:14 NKJV – I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
1Cr 1:15 NKJV – lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name.
1Cr 1:16 NKJV – Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other.
1Cr 1:17 NKJV – For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

This passage seem to lean heavily on the fact, that Paul did not attach such a big / huge importance on the baptism. So much so, that he was actually glad he didn’t baptize any of these believers that seemed to contend and brag with their teachers. Paul then goes on to say, that he was not sent to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.

Conclusion: This passage seem to indicate that you can do without the baptism, but not without the Gospel else the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

  • The great commission

Mat 28:18 NKJV – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Mat 28:19 NKJV – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 NKJV – “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, [even] to the end of the age.” Amen.

Mar 16:15 NKJV – And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16 NKJV – “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

We are commanded to go out into the world and spread the gospel, and to baptize new believers. How can we take part in this great commission, and baptize others if we ourselves have not yet been baptized?

Also note that we will only be explicitly condemned if we do not believe. Not being baptized is not enough reason for you to be condemned by itself. Though because you are not being obedient, it is also probable that you are not obedient and faithful in other areas as well… The main saving or condemning factor is your faith – not the baptism explicitly. If you have the correct faith though, you will want to be obedient and get baptized as a matter of urgency though.

Conclusion: This passage clearly states that it is expected of us, to go out and baptize. If we want to be obedient, then this is exactly what we’ll do. Though this passage does not make it clear whether the baptism ceremony is explicitly required for your own salvation.

  • Baptism of HS before baptism in Christ

Act 10:44 NKJV – While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
Act 10:45 NKJV – And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
Act 10:46 NKJV – For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,
Act 10:47 NKJV – “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we [have]?”
Act 10:48 NKJV – And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

It is possible to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, before receiving the baptism in Christ.

Conclusion: Again, this passage is not clear whether the baptism is required for salvation, though we are expected to be obedient and do it.

Overall doctrinal / biblical conclusion:

Is the baptism required for salvation? I believe biblically , the answer is no. It is not explicitly required for you to be saved.

Lets say that the baptism is indeed required to be saved, do you know how many Christians will be condemned to hell? Here in South-Afirca our biggest church denomination is the DRC (Dutch Reformed Church), whom explicitly believes in infant baptism. They do not do or condone the baptism of grown believers – which means throughout our history all these people will be lost. This will include really caring born-again believers.

Another point to ponder, is what if the baptism is required to be saved, yet someone turns against God later in life? Is he still saved, or did he lose his salvation? What if he rapes kids or commits murder? What if this was Adolf Hitler? If the baptism can condemn you, can the mere act or ceremony truly save you for-ever – no matter what you do afterwards?

As can also be concluded from the above passages, nowhere is infant baptism even mentioned. The baptism is an act of faith / obedience done by already believing person. How can infants make this choice? Are we as parents then not making God’s choice for Him, and forcing our children to do as well? Can we be so vain?

I believe the Bible is explicitly vague on the baptism, precisely because this is not the determining factor for salvation. If you have the means and the opportunity to do so, I believe it is your Christian duty, to not only be obedient to Jesus and the disciples, but to also follow Jesus’s example.

You cannot go around preaching the gospel, if you yourself are not obedient. What kind of disciples will you make? And what of the disciples that your disciples make? Will you allow each successive generation of believers after you, to become watered down and luke-warm to the point that Jesus will spew them out of His mouth?

That is if you are actually saved. This gross act of disobedience (not getting baptized as expected), really draws a big question mark on your faith, and begs the question whether you do indeed have saving faith? What will you answer Jesus on judgement day when He asks you why?

Think about it.