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WHERE DO YOU STAND WITH CHRIST ?
“ If a kingdom (or house) is divided against itself, that kingdom (or house) cannot stand.” Mark 3:24,25; Luke 11:17
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Q: I sometimes wonder if God loves me. If He is a loving God, why is there so much suffering and sorrow in the world?
A: In GOD’S book called the Bible, God explains that our sins are the cause for all the suffering and sorrow (see Gen 2:17, 3:16-19). “Whosoever commits sin also commits lawlessness:[violation of God’s law] for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4].“For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. “The sting of death [is] sin; and the power of sin [is] the law.”
1 Cr 15:56. Whose law? God’s moral laws: Subject to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Christians become "slaves of righteousness" (Rom. 6:16-22) as God activates His character of righteousness in our behavior by the dynamic of the life of the risen Lord Jesus. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness”…Rom 10:4. Law by its very definition requires behavioral action. Gal 3:10,5:3, Rom 2:14,25. In the Holy Bible, Christ outlines specific moral behavior, eliminating the guesswork, mandating Christian character and conduct.1 John 2:3-6.There can be no merging, no integrating of Law and Grace. Rom 3:19-31, Rom 7:4, Eph 2:4-5,Eph 2:8-10, Col 2:16-17, Heb 8:13, Rom 2:28,29,1 Cor 4:20, 2 Cor 5:17-20. It will be one or the other, and such will be evidenced either in "deeds of the flesh" ( Gal 5:19-21), Rom 1:18-32, Eph 4;14, Phil 3:18, Col 2:8, 1Jhn 2:15-16 or the "fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22,23), John 6:63,15:5, Eph 5:9-10, Mat 7:20, Col 1:10, John 2:27.Grace is the self-giving of Christ,
[God] to us, in which He both redeems and recreates us: God the Judge legally imputes the benefits of Christ’s righteousness to the Christian. “ For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. However, God has more to say: “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but He loves him that follows righteousness.” Proverbs 15:9 “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Psalm 1:6
Q: But I am not wicked. I am a decent, moral person. Surely the good I have done in my life far outweighs whatever bad I have done. How can these verses apply to me?
A: By God's standard of righteousness even the most moral person is looked upon by God as a desperate sinner on his way to the lake of fire. The Bible teaches that no one is good enough in himself to go to Heaven. On the contrary, we are all sinners, and we are all guilty before God. As it is written, “there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none who understands, there is none that seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way….There is none who does good, no, not one” Romans 3:10-12. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 . “If God puts no trust in His saints, and the heavens are not pure in his sight, how much less man, who is abominable and filthy, who drinks iniquity like water.” Job 15:15-16. Jesus Said: ….”for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Q: If I am such a wicked person in God's sight, what will God do to me?
A: The Bible teaches that at the end of the world all the wicked will come under eternal punishment in a place called The Lake of Fire,
and this time may be very near. “Then Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written
in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev 20:14-15. (also see: Rev 21:8, 20:10,19:20.)
Q: Oh, come on now! Surely things are not that bad. The Lake of Fire is not real, is it?
A: Indeed, the Lake of Fire is very real, and things are that bad for the individual who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. The Bible makes many references to the Lake of Fire, Indicating it is both eternal and consists of perpetual suffering. “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever..” Rev 20:10. “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:49-50 . ..“the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” II Thessalonians 1:7-9
Q: That is terrible! Why would God create the Lake of Fire?
A: The Lake of Fire is terrible; it exists because God created man to be accountable to God for their actions. God's perfect justice demands payment for sin. “For the wages of sin is death”. [Eternal damnation, the second death] Romans 6:23 “For we must all appear before the
judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.” II Corinthians 5:10.“But I say to you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment.” Mat:12:36
Q: Does that mean at the end of the world everyone who has died will be raised from the dead to be judged for their sins?
A: Indeed it does; that is, unless there exists someone who could be our substitute in bearing the punishment of eternal damnation for our sins. That someone is God Himself, who came to earth as Jesus Christ to bear the wrath of God for all who believe in Him.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:6 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5.“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” I Corinthians 15:3-4 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” II Corinthians 5:21
Q: Are you saying that if I trust in Christ as my substitute, as the One punished for my sins, then I will not have to worry about the Lake of Fire anymore?
A: Yes, this is so! If I have believed in Christ as my Savior, then it is as if I have already stood before the Judgment Throne of God. Christ as my substitute has paid for my sins. Christ frees the sinner from the condemnation of sin. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life: and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36
Q: But what does it mean to believe on Him? If I agree with all that the Bible says about Christ as Savior, then am I saved from going to Hell? A: Believing on Christ means a whole lot more than agreeing in my mind with the truths of the Bible. It means that I have come to trust the whole Bible, which is the way, the truth and the life, God's Word to humanity. It also means that I have an on-going earnest desire to be obedient to the commands of the Bible. Thus I find I am truly happy when I am living like God instructs me in the Bible. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”I John 2:3 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon [wealth].” Matthew 6:24
Q: Are you saying that there is no way to escape the Lake of Fire except through Jesus? What about other religions? Will their followers also go to the Lake of Fire? A: Yes, indeed. They cannot escape the fact that God holds us accountable for our sins. God demands that we pay for our sins. Other religions, including many who use the name of Jesus Christ, cannot provide a substitute to bear the sins of their followers. Christ is the only one who is able to bear our guilt and save us. Therefore one must leave his religion and come to trust only the Bible.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.Christianity is the function of the Spirit of Christ as He continues to live in Christians. Jesus said unto him,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; No one comes to the Father, accept through Me.” John 14:6.
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Q: Now I am desperate. I do not want to go to the Lake of Fire. What can I do to become saved?
A: There is nothing you can do to get yourself saved. The Bible tells us that only God can save you, “by Grace”. ( Eph 2:8-10.)
God performs the mighty miracle of salvation by applying the Word of God (the Bible) to the hearts and lives of those He plans to save. The effect of this miracle of salvation on the saved person's life is that now you have a love for Christ and the Bible.
You now are happiest when you are obeying God's Word in the Bible. Thus, if a person truly desires to become saved they should spend much time carefully reading or listening to the Bible. So then “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17.
“For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:8. “not of works..” Eph 2:9
"And a certain woman named Lydia. . . heard us (Paul who brought the Gospel to her) whose heart the Lord opened. . ."Acts 16:14
Q: You keep referring to the Bible. How important is the Bible?
A: The Bible is the most important book in the world because it is God's word of divine instruction and truth to the human race. By reading or listening to the Bible a person is in a place where God can save him, if that is God's will for that person. Additionally he will also learn many wonderful and awesome truths about God and His salvation plan. Effectively he is hearing the voice of God because God is the author of the Bible and therefore is speaking to him by His Words (The Bible).”The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7 “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.” Psalm 119:1
Q: Can I pray that God might be merciful and save me?
A: Absolutely YES! God is very merciful. Therefore, the Bible tells us that we can and should pray to Him, begging and pleading for mercy, for salvation, admitting that we are sinners who deserve the wrath of God. This will not get us saved, but we will have the assurance that God knows of our intense desire to become saved. “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner !” Luke 18:13.”For Godly Sorrow produces repentance to salvation, not to be regretted, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Cor 7:10. Grace is that expression of the divine love, which appears in the coming of Christ to deal with human sin and estrangement. Grace is what distinguishes Christianity from all man-made religions.
Q: Should I attend a church?
A: The Bible tells us that for 2000 years after Jesus died on the cross those who believe in Jesus, if possible, were to fellowship with the Church. But now we learn from the Bible that God has sent a famine on all people’s wherever they may be. Scriptures show with today’s events and clues given us in the Bible, that the Church Age has become severely corrupted, apostate, along with all ministries like the days of the Pharisees. This is because God's righteous Judgment is upon all people wherever they may be. God is preparing the world for Judgment Day, which is almost here. “Behold, the days come, says the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it….” Amos 8:11-13. (Matthew 24:15,16). Fact is...God commands in His book, the Bible, which the true believers are to use only the Bible as their authority, the inspired word of God. 2 Peter 1:20. Jesus is the only way to have access to God !! “However, the most High does not dwell in temples made with hands; as says the prophet,..” Acts 7:48-50. “But, if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another..” 1 Jo 1:7a. “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 Jo 1:3.”So we, being many, are ONE BODY in Christ, and individual members of one another”. Rom 12:5. We must remember we cannot be saved by a church, by a pastor, by a priest, by water baptism or by the communion service. Only the Lord Jesus Christ who is God Himself can save us. All Gods elect belong to the eternal Church, which is the Body of Christ. “And all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ”. 1 Cor 10:4. “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” 1 Cor 11:29. So regarding the local Churches remember: “ If a kingdom (or house) is divided against itself...” Mark 3:24,25; Luke 11:17 “Test all things;…1 Thes 5:21.”For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” 1 Cor 14:33.
Q: Please tell me more how God saves people.
A: The Bible in John 11 gives an outstanding example showing that God alone does all the work of saving us. Christ brought to life a man named Lazarus who had been dead for four days. Jesus stood outside of the tomb of Lazarus and commanded "Lazarus come forth". Obviously the stinking corpse within the tomb could not hear Him or obey Him. The Bible tells us that before we are saved we live for and serve spiritual darkness in agreement with the needs and interests of the flesh. Yet God commands us to seek Christ, to believe, to repent. However, just as it was impossible for the dead Lazarus to obey Jesus' command to come out of the tomb, it is impossible for a person not saved by grace to obey God's command to believe on Jesus for salvation. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44. Yet Lazarus did hear Jesus' command and did come out of the tomb, a live person.
Q: How did that happen? A: It meant that when Jesus commanded the dead Lazarus to come forth Jesus in His Spirit had to enter that tomb and gave that stinking corpse physical life, ears to hear, and a will and strength to obey the command of Christ. Likewise for those whom God plans to save as He commands us to believe, to repent, to become saved, He is speaking to spiritual corpses who of themselves could never become saved. Yet there are those who begin to believe on Jesus as Savior, who find that they are happiest when they do God's will. The evidence is in their life that somehow they had become saved. This can only happen because as God commanded them to believe, Christ also entered their life and saved them. Because He saved them they found they had come to believe on Jesus. They found that sin had become very unpleasant to them. It was evident God had chosen them to become saved and as they heard the Gospel, God did apply the Word to their lives and they did become saved by Grace through Jesus Christ. If you are not saved listen diligently to the Bible. Carefully and prayerfully read and read the Bible. It may be that you, too, will receive salvation as God through His Word, the Bible, calls you. NO MATTER HOW AWFULLY YOU HAVE LIVED OR HOW TERRIBLY YOU HAVE SINNED, IT IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE THAT BY GOD'S MERCY YOU, TOO, HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY GOD TO BECOME SAVED. Remember, however, that God does everything in His time. Therefore, you should patiently wait upon the Lord while you continue to learn from the Bible. “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:26.“In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah” Psalm 62:7,8. Remember! God’s inspired word was completed almost 2000 years ago. Nothing is being added or taken away from the original inspired words, NOTHING! Rev 22:18-19 and Galatians 1:8-9.“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” Matthew 7:15-27. “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Tim 3:12. “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” Matthew 24:13. “But beloved do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us”…. 2 Peter 3:8-9. ” Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecc 12:13-14. Only the Grace of Jesus Christ can save you ! Eph 2:8!! * Amen ! The Christian life works only when Jesus Christ works in us.
Website: https://the-way-2-life.page.tl ( Gospel Tract’s in 33 other languages available on the website ).