Welcome to Saved By Grace Alone
To save the lost and equip the saved.
...My grace is sufficient for thee...2 Corinthians 12:9
You are a person made in the image of God. The love that He has for you is something that is infinitely beyond what you can comprehend in this life; infinitely beyond what the 3.5 lbs or so of gray (but wonderfully made) mush between your ears can wrap its self around. He knows you better than you know yourself; He knows what is best for you; which is what He wants for you; something infinitely better than you could ever comprehend or plan or hope for by your own power.
Like you, God is no stranger to suffering. He is also perfect, and therefore genuine, and anything but cheap or phony. The wage of sin is indeed death (Romans 6:23). All of us have sin (Romans 3:23), but God has genuinely received that wage upon Himself; receiving the full wage; making the full payment for our sin (John 19:30); fully dealing with it once and for all, not cheaply; not simply sweeping it under the rug, so to speak. He has fully earned; fully paid for our salvation. He then gives to us that which He paid for so dearly, as a free gift (Romans 5:15, 6:23) with no "strings" attached. But like any other gift, we must accept it in order to make it our own, and if we reject it, it is not our own. The choice belongs to us. God wants those who are in relationships with Him to be in them of their own free will, just as we want the same from those whom we have relationships with (remember, we are made in His image).
Salvation; eternal life, is through faith in Christ, and his finished work alone, plus NOTHING else (John 3:16, 6:47, 14:6, Acts 16:31, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, and many others); we must simply believe and fully trust in Him; believing that what He has done for us is SUFFICIENT (2 Corinthians 12:9); that He purged us of our sins BY HIMSELF, with no help from you or I (Hebrews 1:3).
This site is dedicated to proclaiming that message; that Gospel; that good news...the best news ever. Please spend some unhurried time browsing this site and [especially] the Scriptures contained therein. If you have never fully put your faith in Christ and have questions about it (perhaps you are uncertain of where you stand with God), I believe that there is much on this site that can be of great help to you. Let today [right now] be your day of salvation; ASSURED, IRREVOCABLE SALVATION! It is so simple, yet so important, and it certainly isn't something to be put off, at all; the ETERNAL consequences of doing so cannot be overstated!
If you are a seasoned saint looking for some encouragement in your walk with God, and perhaps some more tools to help you in your witness, I believe that this site will also be very helpful to you as well; I have used many items contained in this site, including those contained in the free e-book that is discussed below, to lead people to saving faith in Christ.
Please consider subscribing. Also, please check back often, Good Lord willing, I will be adding more material and possibly more features to this site as time goes on. Please also freely share this site with others who you believe may benefit from it.
Please also be sure to click on the button below for the free e-book; Angles and Aspects of Salvation. I would have loved to have had it in my hands years ago when I was grappling with many of the questions/topics regarding grace, discipleship, salvation, etc., that are addressed in it. It is here now to be in your hands, or anyone else's who you can think of who would benefit from it; seekers and seasoned saints alike. You may freely copy and distribute it; electronically or on paper, as long as the textual content is not altered. Again, please share this site and its contents freely; none of us are guaranteed another day on this side of eternity!
What’s Going On
A lot is going on. Much of it is very confusing, disheartening, and quite frightening to people. You are not going to find answers to truly deal with what is going on, both the bad and the good, in that which is merely human.
Happiness is often viewed as feeling good as a result of what it outside. This is something that we ultimately have very limited control of, at best.
Joy is often viewed as feeling good as a result of what is within. This is something that we have much greater control of. However in the true sense it has to come from something, rather someone, greater than just ourselves, who will dwell within us, if we let Him. My hope and prayer is that what is found on this website will help you learn how to let that source of joy into your life, if you don't already have Him. If you do have Him, I hope that this site helps to equip you for the good works that He has prepared for you and created you to do, and to help you to grow in His grace.
This site is new and evolving. Please subscribe and check back often. Thanks and God bless.
What is trending is the preaching of a lot of distortions of the true Gospel; the only thing that saves us from ultimate destruction and leads us to salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). These distortions and outright perversions come in all assorted flavors, shapes, sizes, etc. They all one way or another, and often very subtly, deviate from the truth expressed in the title of this website.
Satan does not care who or what you believe in, as long as it isn't the real Gospel, which could only be accomplished by the real Jesus Christ, as opposed to the numerous deceptive false christs, presented by many today.
If you have not come to saving faith in Jesus, my prayer is that you will do so, and perhaps God will use what is contained in this website to help bring you that point. If you are perhaps someone who is saved (a believer; saint) and perhaps are going through a season of uncertainty, doubt, etc., perhaps the Holy Spirit will use the material to minister to you regarding those needs. If you are a seasoned sinner saved by grace...or any other sinner saved by grace, for that matter (saint), perhaps the material here will serve to strengthen your faith and provide you with tools that you can use to witness to and otherwise minister to others.
This site is new and evolving. Please be sure to subscribe and to check in frequently for new material. God bless.
Angles and Aspects of Salvation is a short book that deals with many of the common questions and misconceptions regarding salvation by grace alone. You will find it on this website. Please feel free to copy, distribute, etc. The copyright is completely open, as long as the textual content is not altered.
PLEASE CLICK THE BUTTON DIRECTLY BELOW TO ACCESS IT. God bless.
Who Is Jesus?
Something Everyone Truly Needs to Know.
I would assert that there is nothing more worthwhile to talk about than Jesus. This being the case, there must be a very good reason for it. What would that reason be? I would humbly argue that it has to begin with who Jesus, the real Jesus, actually is. There are many “Jesus’” worshiped by many groups and individuals (that amount to nothing more than a “hey-seus,” so to speak) who are worthless counterfeits of the real Jesus. Unfortunately, many people may reject the saving power of the real Jesus because of mistaking Him for what they have learned about a powerless counterfeit; a phony Jesus, in one way or another. In this brief and humble writing, I would like to take the opportunity to point out just who the real Jesus is, what He is capable of, how much He loves you, and because of that love, what He has done for you.
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
What we have here is the creation of time (in the beginning), space (the heaven) and matter; the whole of our universe.
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John tells us here that Jesus is who did the work in Genesis 1:1. Jesus is the creator, He is the maker of EVERYTHING, not just one who puts things together out of “stuff,” but the creator of the “stuff” its self. He also made the space to put the stuff, before the made the stuff, otherwise He would have had no place to put the stuff. Notice that this happened “in the beginning.” This phrase indicates His creation of time its self. If the creation of the heavens (space) happened prior to the beginning (of time), when would He have put it? [thanks to Dr. Kent Hovind] No, that was not a type-o. Time, space, and matter are very closely interconnected with one another. When one thinks of the magnitude and order of such an endeavor, this could only be of the real Almighty God. That real Almighty God is none other than the real Jesus Himself.
Jesus Himself tells us in Revelation 1:8 and 11 that He is the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning and the end. In other words, He is infinite; He has no limits, except for His lack of the ability to make mistakes. Our universe, as vast and complex as it is, is finite in the macroscopic (large, really large, but it has a boundary) context, and finite in the microscopic (small). Distances, masses, time increments, can volumes can be really small, but believe it or not, there is a limit to how small any of these measurements can be. In other words, the universe, as vast, orderly and marvelous as it is, has many limits. Again, God has none. The infinite and Almighty God spoke our wondrous, yet finite universe, into existence. Jesus is that infinite and Almighty God, who has no limits.
In His unfathomable love for us, Jesus voluntarily stepped out of His glory to become a man and live perfectly, so He could pay our sin debt for us (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 6:23). He was born as a baby, just like the rest of us, lived roughly 33 years without sinning at all, and then gave His life to pay for our sins, and give us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 4:24) so we could be with Him for eternity.
Jesus is someone who is humble and truly genuine. Jesus, the perfect judge, will not sweep the law under the rug and ignore it. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Wages must be paid. What is due must be rendered; ignoring it would be dishonest, Jesus most certainly is honest. Jesus is not cheap or compromising. He loves us, but our sin absolutely has to be dealt with. He dealt with it for us once and for all (John 19:30) on the cross at Calvary; dying an absolutely humiliating death for it, in our place. He did so because we can in no way atone (pay) for our own sin, except by our own death, most importantly the second (very permanent) death (Revelation 20:14-15). Jesus does not want that for any of us (2 Peter 3:9). He who is sinless was willing to become sin for us (and suffer our ultimate punishment for it) so we could be declared righteous in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of what Jesus did for us, those of us who believe on Him receive new birth that is sinless (1 John 3:9). The wage of sin is death. No sin, no death. This is why Jesus can declare that we have (present tense) eternal life when we believe on Him (John 3:15, 6:47) and are born again (Ephesians 1:13, John 3:3, 1 Corinthians 15:45-49). Christians do of course still sin, however that sin is of their flesh, not of their new Spiritual birth, which the Bible admonishes believers to live in, thus resisting the sinful flesh and avoiding the consequences of its actions (Galatians 5:16-23).
Jesus (again, who is infinite) is also your intercessor (Romans 8:34). Satan (who is finite, thus quite limited) is your accuser (Revelation 9:10). Jesus always wins (Romans 8:35-39), He has already paid your sin debt by Himself (Hebrews 1:3), if you have believed on Him (John 3:16, 6:47). He is your greatest advocate. He is your King (1 Timothy 6:15), yet your best friend (John 15:12-15). He, once again, being infinite, loves you more than you could ever possibly comprehend in this life. He has, and continues to demonstrate that love.
Again, the numerous variety of Jesus’ that many individuals and groups embrace is not the same Jesus who died for and saved me, whom I have only partly described here. The will of the God the Father is that we look upon the real Jesus, as in to see Him for who He is, to the best of our limited ability, and believe on Him; meaning to fully rely upon Him plus NOTHING else for salvation/eternal life (John 6:40). Jesus is not a created being, as many religious groups teach. He had no beginning (John 8:58). He is also not someone who simply extends His arms and sweeps sin under the rug. He dealt directly with our sin in order to pay the price for our eternal life, and extends that eternal life/salvation to us a gift; true gifts are ABSOLUTELY free. However, if one refuses to accept this wonderful gift, it is not theirs and they don’t possess it. And if one faces God on Judgment day without the righteousness that Jesus places upon us when we trust in Him, they will face a very bleak eternity, to put it mildly.
The real Jesus is the one who permanently saves you the instant that you believe on Him. He will then never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Please accept the gift.
For more on this and other directly related topics, please read “Angles and Aspects of Salvation,” which can be found right here on our website. Also, please feel free to reach out to me. God bless you.
What Must I Do?
First and foremost, you must put your trust in Jesus PLUS NOTHING. One of the clearest verses in the Bible on this topic is Acts 16:31. Right before this, in verse 30, a man (the Philippian jailer) asks the Apostle Paul and Silas, Paul’s partner, “sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they respond “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” This does indeed sound simple, because it is (2 Corinthians 11:3). Jesus did the hard work so we wouldn’t have to, and He finished it (Hebrews 1:3, John 19:30). By the way the “and thy house” portion of this verse serves to show us that the offer of salvation is open to anyone who would believe.
Here is an analogy that may fit. When I use computer software that has been written by someone with a lot of expertise, who has put a great deal of thought into it and made it very orderly, it is usually relatively easy for me to use. It is intuitive. It makes sense, I understand how to use it. In contrast, when software is poorly and more carelessly designed by someone who is less competent, it is more likely to be buggy, unintuitive, difficult to use, unstable, etc. Jesus is an expert in all things (except for making mistakes of any kind), among them is saving people and giving them eternal life (Hebrews 1:3). He has done the hard work, which requires the expert, and has made it very simple and clear for us; the non-experts.
So back to the question of “what must I do?” What you must do is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. What does this mean? The Greek word for “believe” is phonetically rendered as “pisteo.” This means to fully rely upon; to commit one’s trust to. We often hear of “repenting” or “repentance” as well, in regards to the salvation that Jesus gives. What does all of this mean? Actually believing on Jesus and repenting are a one-in-the-same event. The Greek words used in the New Testament (of the Bible) that are rendered as “repent” in English, in 1611, when the King James Bible was completed, mean to change your mind about something. If in one moment I have never believed; fully relied on Jesus to save me from my sinful state, and then in the next minute I do believe; fully rely on Jesus to save me from my sinful state, I have obviously changed my mind; I have repented. In repenting, I have also believed; my belief IS that repentance. When one does this, Jesus saves them (John 3:16, 6:47). There are no works of the sinner involved in this (Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus makes this even clearer in this passage:
Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
They ask what work they might do, Jesus makes it clear that there is no work that they can do for salvation. He was yet to do the work for them, and of course now, He has completed that work (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
One may ask now about how a Christian should live. A Christian should be striving, by the Grace of God (who now dwells in him or her [Ephesians 1:13]), to be living his or her life fully devoted to Jesus. This is called discipleship. It is THE BEST way to live, for myriad reasons. Believers are blessed/rewarded for obedience in this life and the next. The believer is also chastised for disobedience in this life (sin has consequences), and potentially loses blessing/reward in the next life. However the believer is NEVER damned; salvation is irrevocable (Romans 11:29). True discipleship cannot happen until there is salvation, which is a free gift (Romans 5:16-18), which will never be taken away from one whom Jesus gives it to (Romans 11:29, John 3:16, 6:47, etc.) when they believe on Him (Ephesians 1:13). Please see Angles and Aspects of Salvation, and other writings on this site for more on both salvation and discipleship. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions. I would love to hear from you.
God bless you.
How Do I Know That I Am Saved?
“How do I know if I am saved; can I know that I am going to go to Heaven when I die?” This is an age old question that both those who do and don't profess to be Christians frequently ask themselves and others, often in a great deal of distress and fear. There are a host of different answers that people give to others and themselves. There are often clergy (and others) who would point people to looking at the fruit of their lives for the answer to this question. They will ask them to look at things like how they typically react in a certain situation. Or perhaps ask them to look at what have they done for God. Perhaps they will ask them if they see any change in their life since their supposed salvation event. Perhaps in response they will ask the concerned person if they felt really, really sorry for their sins and repented of their sins hard enough when they said their sinner’s prayer. They may ask the questioning person if they have significantly stop sinning and stayed with it, no longer committing any of the “biggies,” as far as sins are concerned. They may ask if the person in question has given up a particular sin that they had notable trouble with before their supposed salvation event. They also may ask the person if they have completely surrendered and turned every single aspect of their life over service to God. They may ask if they are truly living in Holiness and/or obedience. This supposed “evidence” of salvation; “genuine repentance” for “true assurance” of salvation that are often tragically given to people, often from people in positions of church leadership. However, when looking closely at Scripture, no one could ever have assurance of salvation, if assurance of salvation were really based on such things, for a number of reasons. One reason I will point out for this is found in James 2:10, where James points out the fact that if we break one point of the Law, we are guilty of all of the Law.
In conveying the points that mentioned above, these folks often point to a model that can easily be summed as the C.O.P. “gospel.” The C.O.P. here is of course an acronym. The “C” is for commitment. The “O” is for obedience. The “P” is for perseverance. Folks ascribing to this sort of thinking will insist that evidence for salvation comes from commitment; nothing but total commitment. He or she will argue that if one is truly saved that their life will be one of total commitment to service for Christ. They will also argue that you will be living a life of total obedience to the teachings of Christ. They also will argue that you will be always persevering. Persevering, as in never giving up, or never having any sort of a possible low point in your Christian walk where you may feel far away from God, or you may temporarily fall into some sort of sinful behavior that you may have struggled with in the past, or maybe even pick up a new problem that you may have yet to deal with. Granted, a Christian should strive to live in commitment to Christ, in obedience to Christ, and should persevere. This is indeed the best way to live, without question, for numerous reasons. However if you will notice with everything that I've pointed here so far focuses on the person’s behavior, feelings, etc. In other words, all of these things are having you look at yourself for evidence of salvation, as opposed to looking at the FINISHED work of Jesus. The major problems with these proposed solutions is that you do not, and cannot save yourself and give yourself eternal life. Only Christ can save you and give you the GIFT of eternal life, which in no way, shape, or form can any man earn even a small part of. This is why it has to be a gift (see Romans 5:16-18 and Romans 11:6, Ephesians 2:8-9 for starters).
Evidence of salvation comes from, and is in the one who gives you salvation, who is NONE OTHER than Jesus Christ. That evidence is found in what Christ has put in his Holy Word for us. Scripture tells us in many places of the evidence that we have for our salvation. We will look at only a few of them in this article. If Christians were automatically going to live the kind of life that are that are exemplified in the C.O.P. gospel, the Epistles of Paul (the books of Romans through Philemon in the Bible) would never have been written, they would never have needed to be written, because Christians would automatically already be living perfectly and they would not need the instructions in order to do so. Paul wrote these epistles specifically to Christians.
There are a lot of people who supposedly know that they are saved (or at least that is what they will tell you), who are not saved, who are in for a very rude awakening, if they die in their current standing with the Lord. Jesus explains this very well and Matthew 7, verses 21 through 23.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
As we look at verse 21, it would seem to me that in order to have assurance of salvation; to know that we have eternal life in Christ, we had better figure out what the will of the Father is. It just so happens that the Bible is very clear about what that is. John 6:39-40 spell out the will of father.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
If you'll notice in verse 22 of our Matthew passage, these folks are boasting about what they have done for Jesus. They're even calling him Lord. Once again, they are looking at themselves for the reason that they should enter the kingdom of God, they are not looking at Jesus, who is the ONLY reason any man can be saved. Satan is very subtle in his trickery here. He does not care if you or I worship Jesus, serve Jesus, or follow Jesus, just as long as we never trust him. And in Nahum 1:7, God tells us that he knows those who TRUST him. Notice in verse 23 of our Matthew passage, he tells these people who are talking about themselves in verse 22 that He never knew them. They never trusted (believed on) Him, therefore He never knew them. John 6:40 very clearly spells out the will of the Father and makes it clear that those who have looked upon the Son (as in seeing Him for who He is; God the Son, the Lamb who was slain, the Alpha and the omega; the beginning and the end) and believed (fully trusted in) on Him may have (present tense) everlasting (never ending) life (not death).
So now back to initial question of this post; how do we know if we are saved? We know we are saved because of what Scripture tells us. For starters, if you look in the paragraph directly above (as well as the Romans passages mentioned further above), it is made pretty clear that salvation is a gift and that it is a done deal. Also, in Romans 11:29 we are told that God does not repent of (repent meaning to change His mind about) of His gifts and callings. Jesus also tells us in John 6:47:
Verily verily I say unto you he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
As in John 6:40, notice the present tense implied by “hath” in this verse. If the life that you have truly is everlasting, it means that it never ends and cannot be lost, otherwise it wouldn’t be everlasting. Jesus emphasizes this with “verily, verily,” which is the translation of a point being of extremely emphasized truth, as it is represented in the original language of the text. God doesn’t lie, He can’t lie. God is holy. One who is truly holy, as God is, cannot sin. Lying is a sin, God simply is incapable of sinning; making a mistake, because there are no mistakes in what is truly perfect, even unintentional mistakes. God is truly perfect. Also note in the Ephesians 1:13. The apostle Paul, speaking of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us that when we believe the Gospel, that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise. The language indicates that the Holy Spirit himself is the seal. That is not a seal is going to get broken. Also, notice it says promise. God doesn't break promises, breaking promises is a sin, and as pointed out already, God just cannot do that!
What is the Gospel? The Gospel is the good news. This message of good news is summarized very quickly and easily in 1st Corinthians 15 verses 1 through 4. It tells us that Christ died for our sins (paid for them) according to Scripture, that He was buried and rose again, according to the Scripture (defeating death). Do you believe on Jesus? Do you believe the Gospel? If so, you are saved. You are going to heaven whether you like it or not! Jesus tells I'll send John chapter 10 that no one will snatch us out of his hand. There are many more examples of scripture did make it clear that eternal life is received by believing on Jesus, and cannot be lost. Therefore, us, with our works, are not the evidence of our salvation. Jesus Himself, and His finished work (John 19:30) is the evidence of salvation for the believer. Should we be serving Jesus with all our heart soul and mind? Absolutely! However, we cannot do that at all, until we have unbreakable seal of the Holy Spirit, which sets us apart (or sanctifies us) for salvation.
Jesus tells us in John 10:28-29 that no man can pluck those who are His (his sheep, those of us who have trusted in Him) out of His hand. That includes you. Again, if you have put your trust in Jesus, you are going to Heaven.
Jesus tells us that we find rest in Him (Hebrews 4:3, Matthew 11:28-29). His yoke is easy his burden is light. He will also never leave us or forsake us. Our salvation is accomplished by Jesus alone. In Hebrews 1:3 it is made clear that Jesus purged our sins by Himself and then sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High. If you have not done so, put your trust in Him right now, and receive this wonderful gift that God wants to give to you (2 Peter 3:9), that will not and cannot ever be taken away from you. He and His Word are how you know if you are saved. He, Himself seals the deal. God bless.
If you have more questions regarding this eternally important topic, PLEASE contact me. Also, this is dealt with additionally in Angles and Aspects of Salvation, here on this website.
Rightly Dividing and its Eternal Importance
Know Who’s Saying What, And To Who, And Why It Is Being Said
We must always be very careful to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15); this essentially means to correctly apply the Scriptures. The Bible is, among many things, a book of instructions. It contains instructions on a lot of topics. Those included are salvation (receiving the free gift of salvation/eternal life), and discipleship, which is the growing in the Lord that we do AFTER we have received the free gift of salvation. Salvation of course must come FIRST (I really hope I have made that clear). Think of a mechanic using a comprehensive repair manual for instructions to work on a car. If he is trying to fix the brakes, but refers to the chapter on the electrical system for instructions on how to repair those brakes, no matter how diligently he may do so, it is not going to go well. It may very well wind up resulting in the death (again, like sin) of the driver, as well as anyone else who may be in the car with him, and/or whoever may be in his way! In comparison, when passages that are meant for instructions on discipleship are treated as instructions that are necessary for salvation (words works being mixed with grace for “salvation”), a situation resulting in a far deadlier disaster very well may occur: that being people believing, as well as teaching and spreading, a deceptive false gospel that has zero power to save, thus resulting in them ultimately receiving the second death; eternal damnation; the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14-15)!
Please know that this unspeakable, incomprehensibly terrible and permanent second death is the fate of ANYONE, no matter how “good” or “nice” or religious they may be, who goes to their death without believing on/fully trusting in the finished work of Jesus! Satan does not care who or what you may trust or believe in, just as long as it is not the real Jesus Christ of the Bible, along with the finished work that He accomplished for you. Satan does not care, because no matter how he can keep you from fully believing on/trusting in Jesus, he gets the same result (John 14:6). He hates you and will go any length to keep you out of the Kingdom of God, and in eternal damnation, which he is destined for (Revelation 20:10). To those of you who are parents: Satan hates your children and wants eternal damnation for them as well. Ponder that for a little while!
Seeing Clearly Through The Correct Lens
When we read the Bible through the lens of the true Gospel message, with the understanding that the believer has two natures (the flesh that is born of man in sin, and the spirit that is born of God in perfection), treating discipleship passages as discipleship passages, and treating salvation passages as salvation passages, differentiating between the addressing of a nation or a church (such as the letters to the 7 churches in Revelation 2 and 3, and the numerous prophecies made about NATIONS in the Old Testament), versus the addressing of individuals, also differentiating between the addressing of people before the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, versus addressing people after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, etc.; all of these being examples of rightly dividing, the supposed “contradictions” in the Bible seem to just go away. When we read the Bible this way (the correct way), we see a perfect love letter written to us from outside of/beyond time and space, at least as we are currently able to know and perceive it (just think of all of the fulfilled prophecies for starters!). This love letter shows us how to live life abundantly (John 10:10), and gives us ASSURANCE of the most wonderful promise imaginable; that being of eternal life in a state that is free of any sort of pain, physical or otherwise, in the presence of, as well as in perfect communion with God (Revelation 21: 1-7). A side note: When you find something that seems to be “contradiction” in the Bible, do some proverbial digging (studying) and you will uncover a gem.
Some Common Objections
I have heard people say such things to the effect of: “Well, my loved one didn’t believe this, so even if this message is true (which it is), I don’t want to go to some sort of heaven where they won’t be allowed in, because it wouldn’t really be heaven without them there.” I have a couple of things to humbly suggest in response to this. First, please know that no mere mortal living here on this side of eternity has the comprehensive list of those residing in or destined for heaven or hell. None of us know who may have in their last moments, or even seconds, put their trust in Christ, which again of course is the one and only requirement for salvation. Secondly, if your loved one is in Heaven, he/she wants you to join him/her there. If he/she is not in Heaven, he/she most certainly DOES NOT want you to join him/her where he/she is (Luke 16:27-28).
Another objection that I have heard from people when they are pondering suffering, either their own or that of others, is something to the effect of them asking: “If there is a God, then why does He allow such terrible things to happen?” Or perhaps they do believe there is a God, but they are angry at Him for allowing something to happen to them, or to someone else, that they do not see as being “right.” One of the early church “fathers” said something to the effect of, “If God could be fully understood by humans, then he wouldn’t be God” (Isiah 55:8- 9). Also read Job chapters 38-42 for more perspective on this. A God who’s entire scope that one could fit inside the confines of a 3 and-a-half pound human brain wouldn’t be much worth worshiping, as he would certainly have limits; something the real God does not have. The only ability that God does not possess is the ability to make a mistake. I give this topic additional treatment in the section below entitled “Live Your Life In Order To Please God.” Please also know that Jesus (God) is well acquainted with suffering and has done plenty of it Himself, on our behalf (Isiah 53, also read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). In the scope of all things, some suffering seems to be necessary (please refer to most of what is written above in this book).
Please understand that man brought death into the world by his sin that he chose to commit (1 Corinthians 15:21, Genesis 3:19). Having already discussed here at great length the just deserts/wages of sin, the current predicament that our world is in makes perfect sense. As I have also already discussed here at length, God has provided us with a way out, at His own expense. There will be some suffering in the meantime, until we (those of us who have believed on Jesus) see Jesus face to face and are then like Him, and see Him as He is (1 John 3:2, 1 Corinthians 13:12). He does indeed love us, and He will not allow the suffering that we (believers) experience to be in vain (Romans 5:3-4), as His suffering was NOT in vain. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for good for those of us who love God and who are called according to His purpose. The people who love God and who are called according to His purpose are those of us who have believed on Him, who are born again; born of God, with the sinless second birth (1 John 3:9), that keeps His commandments perfectly, and therefore loves Him as one should (Matthew 22:37-40); those of us who have been promised (possess) eternal life according to His will (John 6:40, 47). Remember that our new nature is perfect, but our flesh is sinful.
I most certainly believe that God did not create evil (Psalm 92:15), however I do believe that He did see it necessary to create the possibility of evil, so that those of His creation would have to love and choose Him by their own free will. Do you want to be loved because someone has been forced to love you? Do you want to be chosen because there is no other choice but you, or because whoever chose you was somehow forced into choosing you? You are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). I would respectfully argue that He sees such things as this in much the same way you do. He wants His relationship with you to be real and genuine, just as you desire your relationships to be.
We all know that there are times when we to have to go through difficult circumstances. We will have go through those difficult circumstances, whether we choose to or not, however we can choose to go through them with Jesus (God), and therefore have them result in growth and blessing from Him (Romans 5:3-4, 8:17). We can also choose to go through those difficult circumstances without Him, and not only miss out on that growth and blessing, but become more calloused; bitter; unhappy.
Please also know that God can handle your anger. Bring it to Him. He wants you to (Psalms 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7). He will use it for your ultimate benefit, as opposed to Satan using it to your detriment, if you stubbornly hold on to it. Read the Psalms. There is plenty of anger expressed and dealt with there, as well as other places in Scripture.
Another objection that sometimes comes up is that many non- Christians are nicer, more generous, helpful, etc. people than many Christians are (I agree). Please remember that each and every one of us have our flesh (which has sin), with each person’s flesh being unique to him or herself. The nature of some people’s flesh is simply more unpleasant and uncooperative than that of others. If a person is unsaved, yet generally comes across as being relatively pleasant, helpful, cooperative, etc. in their flesh (the old nature/man and the flesh being all that they have; being unsaved), they will likely be more desirable to be around than someone who does not come across as pleasantly and cooperatively in their flesh, who has indeed been born again, yet isn’t walking in the Spirit. If a Christian is not walking in the Spirit, he/she is living in the flesh, and thus really is not living any differently than he/she did before receiving salvation/the new birth.
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"When He Appears" is lyrically based on a few of my favorite verses about when believers meet Jesus in the air. It is from the pre-tribulation view of the rapture, which I believe to be true.