Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
While we all have a different journey (and story) to the Lord there is only one way to be reconciled back to God. My outward condition was open for all to see clearly that I needed help and my inward condition was equally corrupt I was decaying from the inside out. I was reaching the end of myself and I would end up on my knees crying out to this Jesus I had heard of so many times.
I knew I just couldn’t keep working my way through life anymore. I was exhausted, hungry, and lost. This time, the exhaustion, hunger, and wandering wasn’t physical. I had tried everything I knew to “get better” and nothing worked. This time, I called out to Him for real, meaning it and desiring Him to save me from this life I had lived. Knowing that He alone a gift of grace from God, received by faith and faith alone to be justified by Jesus Christ and be reconciled back to my Creator, my Heavenly Father, a gift none of us deserve. I would eventually come to respond to Jesus Christ but my journey to Him was still a long road to travel. It wasn’t God who was distant from me; I kept my distance from Him. He is not hard to find. He is a very present help in times of trouble. I just thought I could figure this all out on my own.
We think we can try hard enough, and have enough “fortitude” and “push through” in our own strength. I would come to know and understand, apart from Him, I can do nothing. Apart from Him I would continue to find myself in valleys and going around mountains of destruction over and over again. Everything man and the worldhad to offer had failed to “change” me. All the psychology, psychiatrists, mental tests, and human science modalities had proven over and over again to bear no fruitfulness in my life. If there had been any change it was very temporary never able to sustain real transformation. To date, these same modalities would not be what finally did bring about a true everlasting change.
To realize that I can do nothing to earn, keep, or work for salvation is both a relief and humbling at the same time. To recognize that I was (we all are) born spiritually dead and in sin and the only way to God is to be spiritually reborn (John 3:3). Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
Many people struggle through religion, rituals, tradition, self-atonement, works of the Law, and none of those things will reconcile a person back to God. Jesus Christ had many things to say regarding the “Law keepers” of His day. Jesus says “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead peoples bones and all uncleanliness.” I knew I needed help the only help that can truly change a person is found in Jesus Christ alone and his finished work on the cross. Sadly, many people and religion have a form of holiness, morality, and altruism, but none of it has the power to save a soul.
We will talk about “heaven and God” but we are reluctant, afraid, or even unaware of the very real spiritual warfare and enemy we have. The very one Jesus Christ defeated. The very one who is after our souls of every human life. The father of lies who will do anything and everything to convince you Jesus Christ isn’t real, and should you realize Jesus is real, satan will surely try to find a way to have you believe in another jesus, or attempt to keep a true believer paralyzed and inoperative.
Early on in life I was in contact with the spiritual realm and while this may seem unreal to many people it is very real and very dangerous. During my childhood I became very aware of a very large dark silhouette presence in my childhood home.
Now, one might say I just imagined it or perhaps made an “imaginary friend” but this “imaginary friend” woke me up at night because it literally sat on the foot of my bed. I could feel the weight of it as it sat on my bed, so much so that it woke me from my sleep. I had been playing with a Ouija board that I had hand made. I learned it from the older neighborhood kids. I would go to their homes as a young child and adolescent and their moms would regularly read my tarot cards, tea readings, Ouija boards, and casting sheets were about as normal as stopping at a neighbor’s house to use their bathroom. It was very normal and for the most part most people (still do) regarded these practices as harmless. I recall being at a friends home and standing in front of a mirror with candles lit and chanting. I didn’t know what I was invoking but I certainly knew it wasn’t the Lord, with the numbers 666 written in lipstick on my friends mirror.
I went on to practice the occult on my own and often alone. I knew I was invoking “something else” but I was not aware of how dark it actually was. Especially after the death of my biological father I had an unusual bout of visitations. I was not seeking these visitations by what seemed to be “my father” rather they sought me. These experiences were not able to be explained nor swept under the rug as my imagination.
A handful of years later a group of friends wanted (“just for fun”) to play with the occult and you would think I would’ve said no considering all the ungodly spiritual encounters I had already had– but I missed my dad and wanted to “talk to” him. So I proceeded to contact my “father” using witchcraft. I truly believed I was in contact with my father. I was certainly and immediately contacted back but it was not my dad, rather a familiar spirit, but I wouldn’t come to realize that until many years later.
I was not born again in Christ yet at this time and I reflect back on these things and see just how much the Lord protected me even when I wanted nothing to do with Him. While many people look at these occult practices as harmless or “just a phase” I can tell you that doing such things have serious dark spiritual consequences and bring real danger.
There is a reason the Lord calls these occult practices abominations and detestable and NOT to partake in these things on any level. Deuteronomy 18:10 -11 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, (a necromancer), or one who calls up the dead.”
Many of these practices are passed off under the guise of Christianity as “spiritual” and even permissible according to leaders, pastors, people who should have the whole counsel of God and Godly Wisdom.
According to Scripture they are not permissible and God calls such practices abominations. So how are they practiced and to the undiscerning eye seem ‘good’ and perhaps even ‘holy’?
How does that happen?
Here are a few of many ways it happens:
Shepherds sleeping on the job and leaving the pasture gate open. John 10:12-18
Watchmen who are mute dumb dogs and don’t bark. Isaiah 56:10
Sheep who prefer to eat weeds instead of green grass. 2 Timothy 4:3
satan who disguises himself as an angel of light, who prowls around seeking whom he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8
An overall tossing out of Scripture for an experience based “christianity” which lands people in the counsel of the ungodly and despisers of the knowledge of God.
The occult is alive and well in the churches and it’s not wearing horns and carrying a pitchfork screaming “heyyy ……I am sent from satan!” No, because he disguises himself as an angel of light. And his ministers and workers “appear” righteous. There is a reason Jesus warns of deception and to take heed you are not deceived.
Deception is…. well…. deceptive!
More to come on many of the ways the occult is all intertwined and crept in unaware into the body of Christ.
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
often ponder why we do not think about our only two choices once we leave this
Is it we are too busy?
We just don’t care?
Is it too frightening?
We simply think I live a “good” life surely that counts for something?
I can only speak for myself as to why I never thought of my eternal destination and it was because I was “living my best life now” and didn’t care about what would happen once I died. I would just figure it out when I got closer to it all. Or perhaps I would just implode into “nothing” and that is a very comforting delusion to tell ourselves, as is the delusion of some place in between for a second chance or “working” it off before heaven somehow. I can say now, as I continue on this pilgrimage through the world, that God is much less concerned about us “living our best life now, or being the best versions of ourselves” things I hear both from the secular world and those saying such in the Name of Christ, or under the guise of Christianity.
above very popular clichés are just that, clichés, they still focus on self,
(me, me, me, me) which is the very antithesis of the message of the Cross of
Jesus. In Luke 9:23 Jesus says “If anyone desires to follow Me, let him
deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
putting off coming to the Lord is not unique to me. Jesus spoke of this very issue explicitly and
quite clearly in The Gospel of Matthew chapter 8-9 (including many other places
and examples in the Word of God). In Matthew chapter 8 we see our human
condition of wanting what we want, how we want it, and at the same time wanting
the “benefits” of heaven. In this
chapter and leading up to it Jesus had already healed people and people were
marveled at His teaching and the multitudes followed Him.
Only a handful were actually following Him in THE Way He is to be followed. Most were simply following Him for “what they could get out of it” versus truly understanding their spiritual condition and the need to know Him. Jesus says something in Matthew 8:22 that seems so cruel at first glance. (But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”) Jesus responded to a man who seemed to want to follow Him, BUT…the man had things to do first. We all make excuses, plan our lives and when we are ready then we might choose Him.
Most of the time, we choose a version of “jesus” that fits our life, our way, our traditions, our culture, a version that is comfortable. “A jesus” on our own terms, in which we can still control how we do things; but these different versions of Jesus Christ sadly will not save your soul. The Scriptures tell us this very thing that we will (and do) happily accept another jesus, another spirit and another gospel. 2 Corinthians 11:4 “For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” If a false christ, a false gospel were not possible, scripture wouldn’t warn over and over and over again that it is in fact so. Jesus wouldn’t emphatically warn to take care you are not deceived if deception were not so.
As a nurse working in an emergency room I see people die every day. At one time I would find some odd coping mechanism to deal with seeing death on a regular basis. Now, when I see a dead body rolling to the hospital morgue I am overwhelmed with utter despair and grief. That despair and grief is not for the family of the loved one they just lost, rather for the one that is dead, and I ruminate and cry to the Lord in tears with only one cry…Lord did they KNOW You? Did they know Jesus Christ of Nazareth or did they follow another jesus, another spirit, another gospel?
That question that takes my breath away in my spirit is overwhelming. It is overwhelming because of the reality of such a question. We will spend more time picking out what we are going to wear for the day, what meal we are going to cook one evening, what things need to be done around the house, or when we need our hair done next than we do our very real eternities.
“But I am a good person”
According to whom?
Perhaps you think that God is good, and will therefore overlook your sins. But it is His goodness, that will make sure that murderers, rapists, adulterers, thieves, blasphemers, liars, etc. receive justice. He would be a corrupt Judge if He turned a blind eye to injustice.
If a convicted murderer were standing in a courtroom before a judge, and the judge just simply let him go free, no jail time, no probation, no fines…. just free, we would have a meltdown because “justice wasn’t served” ….The reality is… we are all murderers, rapists, thieves, adulterers, liars, blasphemers etc. Nothing but Christs sacrifice can acquit us of our guilty verdict before a holy God.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Our lives are but a vapor that appears for a short time and then vanishes away.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made
sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the
law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did
much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace
reign through righteousness unto
eternal life by Jesus Christ our
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished–So we are made right (justified) with God through faith and not by obeying the law. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith.
Whether it’s 330 (33 million, or ’just’ 33 depending on the hindu source) million ‘gods’ in hinduism or the 10,000 in rome — the point is that polytheism is polytheism.
Although if you were to ask a hindu if they were polytheistic, they would likely respond with a ‘no’, as would most people who follow the teachings of rome. Neither party would ‘consider’ themselves polytheistic — but they are, in actions.
Prayer is defined in its most basic form as an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication.
In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity (a god). When praying to a ‘god’ (‘saints’, ‘dead relatives’, ’spirits’ etc) other than GOD the Creator of all that is: the person (consciously or subconsciously) is assigning Gods attributes (omnipresent, omniscience, omnipotence) to that object of affection: so by default making that object an idol or a god.
Whether the person calls the object (s) of worship/adoration an idol or god or not, they’ve made that object (s) a god by their deeds, despite a conflicting verbal refutation of the former.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God……”Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Acts 17:29
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12