To Tell the Truth

Will the real gospel please stand upThere used to be a television game show called ‘To Tell the Truth’.  I remember watching it when I was younger.  The point of the program was to trick the contestants into believing a lie.  They did this by having three participants try to persuade the contestants of their occupation.  However, only one of the participants actually held that occupation.  The other two participants were lying through their teeth to make themselves seem more credible than the one who actually held the job.  The contestants were each allowed to ask the participants questions to get to the truth.  But of course, the fun of the show was to see the contestants put their votes on the one whom they thought was telling the truth only to see them select a liar.

In today’s post we are having our own game show of ‘To Tell the Truth’. Continue reading

Hatred of Scripture

 American Christianity claims to embrace the truth of the gospel found in the written word of God.  It claims to walk in the light and teachings of the scriptures and boast of a love of the scripture and the author of the scriptures.  However, it is been my experience that Christians only love certain verses of scripture that support their doctrine of liking.  They do not embrace the whole counsel of God as they claim.

The word of God clearly teaches that though Jesus Christ we have forgiveness of sin.  This I can agree with my Christian brothers on.  But scripture also teaches that being justified by the blood of Christ we must live in the newness of the life in the Spirit or we have not been transformed by the Spirit.  This is where my Christian brothers and I part company. 

They do not want to understand the following truths found in our scriptures. Continue reading

Most quoted books in the Bible… I & II Opinions

 Being a blogger, I like to go to other Christian blogs and check out what they are saying.  As in the church so is the World Wide Web.  The church loves to talk about the grace of God, which is good.  We all have to start with the grace of God in order to be born of the Spirit.  What I find troubling is the kind of grace that the church is advocating. 

The bloggers following the church say grace is grace sufficient to save everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.  They actually teach that Christians can not be like Christ.  That we really never do become new creations in Christ Jesus.  Instead they teach, that we still living in the flesh according to the sin nature, are covered by the grace of God, and for this reason we need to have passion to please God because we can never walk perfectly before the Lord.

I have tried to get others to discus scripture that says differently but I can not get anyone to talk of those verses.  They will tell me to get saved, that I am spiritually blind therefore can not understand the truths of scriptures.  I get references on good books to study, get told to go study this chapter or that chapter in the Bible, yet no one of them will address the verses I put forth. Continue reading

Is it worth it to serve the Lord?

Watching some of the televised preachers I could easily believe that serving the Lord is a hassle free endeavor.  With all of their promises of God’s blessing financially and spiritually we are lead to believe that serving God is an easy road.  Are we not continually told by these preachers that God intends good for us?

But what really happens to people that make the serious commitment to serve the Lord?  What happens to those of us who strive to live the life of godliness we are called to live?  What happens to us who go against the flow and seek to be true not to the gospel of men, but rather to The Gospel According to the Gospel?  Is it a road of ease without being buffeted with opposition to a life lived unto the gospel?

There is a group of people that were called the people of God who decided to return to the Lord.  They had backslidden and now were committed to repentance and recommitting themselves to the Lord.  But instead of a life of expected ease, they found life harder, almost impossible due to tribulation. Continue reading

We are not alone

Here at The Gospel According to the Gospel I advocate that our gospel was preached to those at Mt. Sinai, that God imputed Abraham and his descendents with righteousness and the seal of this covenant is circumcision.  As Paul says, we see the chosen people of God who were given something they rejected, this being the righteousness of God.  They chose to not live in faith concerning the promise of circumcision or went to serve other gods. 

I strongly advocate that it was God’s grace, and by His grace alone, that gave them what they for the most part rejected.  I further advocate what we see in the prophets before their fall to the Babylonians, they turned to God but not with their whole heart.  They did not walk in the faith of their father Abraham, they had faith with no deeds, to enter into the grace that God gave them.

We can see God calling to His people to repent,

Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.  Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?[1]

Not only has God called them His people, to whom He has imputed righteousness they have rejected, He is calling them to repentance so they will not die in their sins.  Truly the Lord calls us by His Spirit so we can know Him.  The people of His choosing, who have rejected the covenant of circumcision, need to walk in the faith of their father Abraham concerning the promises of God.  God calls them to have a new heart and a new spirit, but is this something we do on our own?

David in his failings before the Lord repented of his own freewill. 

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.[2]

But he looked to the one who was the author and finisher of the hope he had to change him.  He did not look to himself to live like a child of God, but to God Himself to change His heart.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.[3]

We understand from David, we are not alone in the transformation of our lives as we give ourselves over to the Lord in obedience.  Transforming ourselves into the image of Christ is not something that can be done by human effort or due diligence.  Left to ourselves we will fall short.

Being transformed in newness of life in Christ doesn’t have its origin in us.  But in the word of God.

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,[4]

We have the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us so that we may have wisdom and revelation from the Spirit to know Christ. 

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.[5]

For it is God who shares Himself with us if we will just seek Him and reach out to Him.

And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:[6]

So even though, we like the children of Israel have been imputed righteousness, we to can reject this.  But we do not have to be like those who were faithless and disobedient to what God had done for them.  We like they, as we submit to the word of God and the Holy Spirit, have the opportunity to let God work out in our lives to His will and pleasure as we work out our salvation.  This is why Paul taught we will be reconciled and presented to God if we remain in faith in the hope of our gospel.

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;[7]

This has been but a short post and it doesn’t mention scriptures that teach God will give His people of heart of flesh and take away their heart of stone.  Nor does it mention how He will draw all men unto Him, or how he intercedes for us.  There are many more that can be spoken of that show we are not alone in our Christian walk.  So let us encourage each other that we are not alone as we draw close to God.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.[8]

[1] Ezekiel 18:30b-31

[2] Psalms 51:2-3

[3] Psalms 51:10

[4] Ephesians 5:26

[5] Ephesians 1:17

[6] Acts 17:26-27

[7] Colossians 1:23

[8] James 4:8

What is worth your reputation?

Something wonderful has happened.  People who tend by nature to be more concerned for their every day lives and cares have looked up.  They have seen that there is something greater than their individual lives and agendas.  They have become aware that there is something worth struggling for more important than the whole of them all.

Men and women have left their egocentric mindset and looked out across history and peered into the future to dare a hope, to embrace a dream.  These people have dared to chart a new course.  They have dared to say no to the establishment that would keep their noses down with the heavy hand of fear upon them.

To this one cause has all division fallen away.  Not loosing individuality, rather grasping something worthy of the efforts of them all they have come together.  In their hope they have seen the blessedness of the light to be shed upon the hearts and souls of men.  They have counted themselves unworthy of the cause they have embraced, to the point of laying all their possessions and reputations on the altar of sacrifice.  Not for personal gain, rather for the others.  Not just those who have embraced the calling, but for those who would awaken to the call.

Who were these people and to what did they pledge themselves to?  What was it they saw that other men did not see?  What was it they were willing to sacrifice for the hope they had within them?

Who are you and what do you pledge yourself to?  What do you see that other men do not see?  What are you willing to sacrifice for the hope you have within in you?  Is there anything larger than you and your immediate desires and needs?  Is there anything so great, so important, so necessary that all other ambitions pale in comparison?  These men gave up all they considered gain to obtain liberty.

“we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”[1]

These men are our founding fathers who risked their lives, their families, their fortunes, their reputation to become an outlaw, to become antiestablishment.  History has proven it has cost some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence exactly that.

For those of us who feel a burden, a burning in our bosom for the word of God, how far are we willing to go for that calling?  Is your reputation at church more important than what God has set you on fire with?  Are your friends and their opinions of you more important than what God has revealed to you in scripture?  If we are not willing to be burned in the fire, to lay down our lives for the gospel that stands above the establishment, are we worthy of the burden God has given us?  To whom are you intimidated to speak your heart of the gospel the Holy Spirit has shown you?  To whom are you afraid to offend?

Give up all hope of what your burden is for the gospel.  Give up all desires for God to use you to achieve such ends, if you are not willing to offend the establishment.  To put the burden God has placed in you above that coveted relationship or position.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ[2]

If we really want to gain what we can not get through the establishment, will we be like our founding fathers, will we become like Paul?

[1] Declaration of Independence

[2] Philippians 3:7-8

Laying low until things blow over

There are challenges everywhere in the world.  There are political challenges, financial challenges, challenges within families, challenges with keeping or finding employment and religious challenges.  Governments face challenges, the environment is challenged the minds of men are be challenged.

Many people everywhere are finding themselves squeezed by many challenges.  At times these challenges go in direct opposition to our convictions.  Many times we try to work around these types of challenges because the cost may be more than what we want to pay, if we stick to our convictions.

I know of a man who has paid dearly for such conviction.  He saw a young women in their fellowship that had a lifestyle prone to repeated acts of fornication.  After being confronted the fellowship restored her several time and she made commitments to Christ, only to return to her sinful life.

This man read in scripture how we are to set such people out of the fellowship of believers and was convinced they were to do so.

But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.[1]

Even against his own family did he find himself with this position.  He was convinced that they must follow scripture but his family and the rest of the fellowship disagreed.  The disagreement was so strong this man found himself no longer welcomed in the fellowship.  They considered him to legalistic.

Not only did it cost him this, he was also disowned by his family.  He has a family that was very successful and their business was worth millions.  Instead of laying low until the thing blew over, he stuck to his convictions as a believer and was disowned by his family.  He was thrown out of the business and they do not associate with him at all, even after all of these years.

There is another man I know who had to only wait for thirty days for the trouble to blow over and he would be in the clear.  If he just laid low and made himself scarce, he could avoid trouble.  But this man on the first day didn’t not for an instant hide himself or show fear to publically do as he always did.

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.[2]

We all know this story and how Daniel went to the lions den.  We all know how he was saved by God.  But this story is not a story of how God will save all who stand up for him.  This story is about a man who stood firm in his convictions even to the point of accepting death.

We in these pressing last days are being squeezed and will be squeezed until we either try to acquiesce to those pressuring us or we do as Daniel did.  We live in days when killing babies is right and disciplining children is wrong.  We are told that homosexuality is good and those who speak about it from the scriptural perspective are hate mongers.  We all know and feel our own pressures, but be assured more is to come that will go directly against everything we believe about who we are to be as believers.

Will we stand up like Daniel and say I choose death, imprisonment or financial consequences.  Or will we bend our convections to not cause trouble, only to bend so slowly for so long we are no longer reflect the image of the people of God.  Maybe our denial of Christ won,t come in one question but in a thousand pressures, like the thousand cuts of a slow death.

[1] 1 Corinthians 5:11

[2] Daniel 6:10