Religious or Christian?

I’ll be honest. I have not looked up the definitions to these terms. These are my opinions. I hope they will bring clarification to those who think everyone who goes to church is religious.

Religious: Someone who has a belief in God, may or may not go to church, and who claims affiliation with one denomination/belief system, or another. This group would include those who asked Jesus to save them, read their Bible sometimes (or not), and ignore God most of the time. They have their “fire insurance” giving them a free ticket out of hell, but they don’t take God very seriously. These are people who would rather go to a football game, stay home and watch their favorite TV show, go fishing, etc., than go to church and worship the God who saved them. Some religious people go to church on Sunday morning (only), put on their spiritual faces and lift their hands in praise. then they go home and cuss out their kids or neighbors, watch the garbage our society calls enterntainment on TV, and live the same as always. Sorry if I sound critical. I’m not trying to be. I’m just clarifying the differences here.

Christian: someone who tries to follow Christ. Christ is the first part of the world. The word Christian was first used in Antioch after Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, and was used to describe the twelve apostles. If you read the scriptures and study the life of the apostles, you will find that they were dedicated to the purpose of evangelization, the spreading of the gospel. But they didn’t just talk about Jesus and the price He paid to deliver us from hell; they helped and encouraged others; they reached out to the poor and needy. They lived what they believed. A Christian is someone who gives God/Jesus first place in his/her life. We still make mistakes and mess up, but we try to live what we believe.

I once heard a preacher ask this question: “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

No one is perfect. We will never be perfect in this life. But just as we should do our best on the job, at home with our families, as parents, we should also give our best to Jesus. He deserves it more than anyone.

So if you are a religious person, I would encourage you, if you haven’t already, to ask Jesus to save you from your sin (nature) and then get an Authorized (AV) King James Bible, get involved with a church who uses and believes that Bible, (they are getting hard to find, but ask God and He will direct your path), and study that Bible. There are many good study Bibles out there. I like the Open Bible, but Dakes, Henry Morris, Schofield, are a few of the good study Bibles. Another is Thompson Chain Reference. Take your time to look at each one, see what features might best help you and appeal to you. Read it every day, looking up the cross references and reading the commentary notes. As you grow in the knowledge of the Lord you will be able to discern opinion in the commentary from truth.

Don’t expect to agree with everything a pastor/preacher says. They are human too and can be just as wrong as we are, but they have studied more than we, are (hopefully) called of God to the pulpit (which eliminates female pastors: see I Tim. 2:11-14). Just be willing to listen, take notes, and ponder what he says when you get home. If you have questions, ask the pastor or Sunday School teacher. (Yes, adults needs Sunday School too.) Many churches have a new converts class. If the church you choose does, that would be a good place to start.

Some words in the Bible are words we don’t use today: throughly (not the same as thoroughly), ensample (not the same as example), and a few others. As you become familiar with your Bible you will soon be able to understand the thees, thous, thine, and so forth.

I recommend starting your study with the gospel of John, then go back to Matthew and read the rest of the gospels. Many people believe that there are mistakes in the Bible because some of the accounts of events in the gospels differ from one another. Each gospel writer is showing us a different aspect of Jesus and His ministry and so focus on different details. It’s like what details you include when viewing an accident. You may only cite those details that you think matter. In the case of the Bible, God inspired every word, based on what He wanted told by that writer.

Proverbs is the book of wisdom in the Bible.

The Choice

People who choose to ignore God’s word, minimize it, or change it into something more palatable are only fooling themselves. God does NOT hate homosexuals, but He does hate the lifestyle. He made rules for us to follow for our own good (don’t we as parents make rules for our children that keep them from harm?) God also wants His children to be pure and holy, not we will achieve that in this life, but we are supposed to draw as close to Him as we can. We can lie to ourselves all we want to. We can come up with new “bibles” to water it down, but it doesn’t change who God is or what His word really says. There are consequences for every decision we make. But we choose. We are all born sinners. We choose which spirit will rule over us.

We are all in a spiritual battle, whether we know it or not. Ephesians 6:10ff lists our spiritual armor and tells us how to use it. Satan wants to (and has) twist God’s word, cast doubt on it, just as he did in the Garden of Eden. He wants people to love themselves and their own agenda more than they love God. Every time we reject God and His TRUE word (the KJV Bible), it’s like spitting in the face of Jesus and rejecting His sacrifice for us. If there was another way to get to God then He went through all of that torture for nothing. His love for us kept Him on the cross until the disciples took Him down. God offers eternal life with Him, forgiveness, an abundant life (not necessarily in riches), peace, joy, happiness, love, grace, mercy, kindness, goodness.  BUT HE LEAVES THE CHOICE TO US. He didn’t want to force us to love Him. If He did then that love would be meaningless.

See original post by clicking on the link below.

https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/the-choice-has-been-made-what-the-supreme-court-decision-on-homosexual-marriage-proves-to-us

Christians Arise

Let me begin with a struggle of my own, but which I feel is common among believers.

Ants. My “house” (travel trailer and only home) has tiny black ants. Can’t tell if they are sugar ants, or the ones that come in looking for salt, or the ones that look for water. I am not overwhelmed with them; there are small clusters here and there, an occasional ant in my chair, a few on my computer, some around the commode, a few in the closet, etc. We have sprayed. We have taken everything out of cabinets, sprayed, washed every dish and surface. Guess what: they’re still here.

I have pleaded with the Lord to take them away. I feel like I’m under a plague because they won’t go away. I even got bit while in my bed a couple of nights ago. This morning I wept before the Lord, asking Him to please show me what needs fixing in my life so He will take them away. I read my Bible, walked my granddaughter’s dog, prayed, read my Bible some more, prayed some more.

At last the answer[s] came: 1) I forgot to be thankful in all things. 2) I forgot to REJOICE in all things. 3) I forgot that every trial is for the perfecting of my faith. 4) I forgot that ALL things work together for good, for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose. Bottom line: I needed a new perspective and an attitude adjustment.

You see, as Christians we are bound to be heading for some major spiritual battles in this country as the world begins to see Christians as the cause of all of its problems. Galatians 4:21-29. We have (as a whole) become complacent because we have had it easy here. There are many of us that truly walk with the Lord without compromise. However, there are many others who do compromise with the world because we don’t want to make waves, hurt anyone’s feelings, or be criticized.

Jesus offended people in His day, and people are still offended at Him today. We need to speak the truth in love, but still speak it. We need to “not be afraid of their faces.” Jer. 1:8.

God’s message to me: Rejoice in these trials that you may be strengthened for worse trials to come. Be strong in me. Rejoice in my plan for you. If you can be patient through this trial, you will come forth as gold. Rejoice that I have enough love for you to teach you these lessons and make you stronger. Rejoice in Me, for I have overcome the world, and given you eternal life. Worship and praise Me. Be willing to become more like me. 

What Is A Christian?

I’ve been reading a number of posts on other sites lately that leave me disappointed and fighting discouragement. There seems to be a large number of people who had faith in God/Jesus at one time and now feel that it is all a lie, and that there are no true Christians in the world.

I have to ask those people: What are you looking for? How do you define a Christian? Is it someone who is perfect? Sorry, not in this life. Our souls are saved from sin when we repent and ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, but our flesh is still weak. The apostle Paul said he was the chiefest of sinners and that he continually did those things contrary to what he wanted to do, and didn’t do the things he should. Every church I’ve ever been in, every Christian I’ve ever met has believed that Paul was the greatest Christian that ever lived. We are instructed to “die to ourselves daily.” If we were perfect we wouldn’t need to do that. Isaiah said that “all of our righteousness is as filthy rags.”

We can’t earn salvation because there isn’t a human being who ever lived, or who ever will live who could be good enough. We are all born sinners. We are not born wanting to do right. No one has to teach a child how to lie, steal or be selfish. It is inherent in their nature, and becomes more dominant as they grow. My best efforts to be good fall so short of God’s expectations. But He has graciously paid the penalty for my sin, has taken my punishment. He knows I can’t be perfect. It’s why He continually offers me His love, grace, and mercy. I need it.

That is not a license to go out and do anything I want to. Salvation is not a “get out of hell free” card. It is not fire insurance. God is not a celestial Santa Claus, or a benevolent, spoiling grandfather. He is not “the man upstairs.” He is God. He is almighty, all powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, and everywhere present. He is just and holy. He is righteous. He is jealous. We are not to worship anything or anyone other than Him. He alone is worthy.

As Christians we have a responsibility to do our best to obey Him, to ask His forgiveness when we fail, to seek His help to become more like Him because we can’t do it on our own.

So if you can’t see any real Christianity, maybe it’s because you’re looking for reasons not to believe. Maybe you’ve been let down. Maybe you’ve seen hypocrisy. But do you disown a baby because it stumbles when it is learning to walk? We are all at different stages of our Christian growth and walk. Some Christians are not being taught (discipled) how to live a Christian life. If no one teaches them they won’t know what’s expected.

If there are hypocrites in your church, praise the Lord! Where should they be? At least they (hopefully) are hearing messages that may help them change. The church is not a museum for saints; it’s a spiritual hospital for growing, struggling Christians. It’s not a carnival where you go for a weekly spiritual “happy hour.” It’s a place to grow and learn in your walk with Jesus.

The Bible is God’s holy Word. If you choose not to believe it, if you choose to believe it’s a lie your end will be hell and there is no way out of there. If you’re wrong you have everything to lose. If God is real and you put your faith, hope and trust in Him, and it turns out not to be true, what have you lost? The end is the same then.

A Christian, a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, is by definition, a follower, a learner, a student of Him and His ways. It is not perfection; it is growth. Don’t let the devil deceive you. Remember that the Bible (Ephesians chapter 6) tells us that he is our enemy, presenting himself as an angel of light, and “roams about a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” Don’t listen to him. He came to destroy you and your faith. He wants you to give up and look at all of the negative, and the bad examples out there. There will always be bad examples. Just keep your eyes on Jesus. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He’s a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Hang in there, struggling believer. Ask God to help you stand strong. Don’t let the devil win.