You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences

Choices-Mantra

Racist, homophobe, Islamophobe, Zionist, bigot, xenophobe, white supremacist, hater, etc. are not actual arguments against points people make. They are simply character assassinations against whomever you perceive as your enemy. Yet, you cannot have dialogue without some form of discussion…pretty simple! You can continue to divide and conquer those you disagree with with the empty rhetorical assertions based on half-truths, lies, and misunderstandings OR you can enter into good faith talks with those you disagree with and either come to an agreement, compromise, or agree to disagree.

There are those who say you kill or destroy your enemies by making them your friend. It is  a hard feat to accomplish, but it can be done.

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I live, try to at least, by a certain moral standard – the tenets of the Christian faith espoused within the biblical text. Yet, I am considered a hater. Hmmmmmmmm, a bit hypocritical I believe! Considering the fact that those people who claim me and those who believe as I believe are haters are the ones demanding inclusivity, toleration of their acts and beliefs, etc. Yet, they are so intolerant of my thoughts, beliefs and ideas. It is a sad world we live in these days and it is getting much worse, day by day.

Sadly when you attempt to discuss anything, you get no where because you are deemed to be such a bigoted ass-hat. On that same note, when they want the floor to say something an you yield to them…part of their argument is to denigrate you, part is to assert that theirs is the moral high ground (without proof), and in some cases the rest of the dialogue is espousing anyone who thinks like you should be neutered to prevent any further spreading of this tripe which you speak.

People will refuse to accept your position as being valid – not because they have a valid argument that refutes your position, or that  your position is invalid, but rather because it is the antithesis of the all-inclusive agenda that is being pushed throughout liberal progressive America. Mob mentality, in essence, is what they live by and how they defeat we Christians is through gang and guerilla warfare. There are no arguments based upon common sense, wisdom, natural law, or true sciences. (I refrain from mentioning legal and lawful statutes because they are slowly changing toward the liberal hedonistic agendas that are being espoused since the 1950’s. Then, to make matters worse, they spew hateful epithets, slurs, character assassinations and we Christians are deemed to be the intolerant, bigoted, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, ass-hats…REALLY?

What has happened to society that it has allowed logic and common sense to flee from it’s ability to reason with wisdom, natural law, history, and truthful science???

As a Christian, man or woman does not matter, you are presently in the wrong, simply because you have a moral standard upon which you stand and base your life upon. As mentioned, I try to live by that standard, but I fail daily and I fail miserably! But God is forgiving if you seek His forgiveness. He is gracious to grant each of us forgiveness and salvation of our sins if we are willing to accept His gift.

Salvation is when God forgives a person of his/her sins and saves him from damnation — which is the righteous judgment upon all who have broken his law (i.e., do not lie, do not steal).  This judgment consists of God condemning the sinner to eternal punishment in hell (Matt. 25:46).  This is the destination of all who reject God’s provision for the forgiveness of sins. Being saved from this judgment is only accomplished through faith in Jesus as Savior who is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9). He died on the cross for sins (1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). If you want salvation, you need to trust in what Jesus did on the cross, receive him (John 1:12) and turn from your sins (Acts 3:19). Only then can you have eternal life and be with God (Eph. 2:8-9). ~WHAT IS SALVATION? by Matt Slick

Matt Click, a Christian Apologist and host to CARM.org (Christian Apologetic Research Ministry), explains assurance of salvation this way:

Let’s say that we are on a 20 foot boat out in the ocean. We are sailing along when we notice two men in the water. There is no other boat around, so it is obvious these two men are in trouble. We take a life preserver, tie it to a rope, and throw it to them. It lands just a few feet short. We start yelling and yelling for them to grab the life preserver so we can pull them in. “Come on,” we yell. “Grab it! Grab it!” One of the men, exhausted, reaches out his arm for the life preserver but falls short. “Grab it!” we yell again. He reaches again and his arm plops down in the water from fatigue. The waves slap his face, but he tries again. The other man is simply floating face down in the water. He isn’t struggling at all. But, the first man is trying for that life preserver. He is fighting against the ocean, the wind, and the waves, all which are greater than he is. That is when I ask the person, “Which one of the two men in the water is alive?” Always, the response is, “The one reaching for the life preserver.” “Right,” I say. “He is struggling for life. Dead people don’t struggle for life…. and spiritually dead people do not struggle against their sin. Only those who are dead, who have no life in them, do not struggle. The fact that you are struggling against your sin is one very good sign that you are very much alive in Christ. If you were not struggling at all, then it might be true that you weren’t saved. But, since you war against your sins, then it sure sounds like you’re saved to me.” ~THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

While we are assured of our salvation through our faith in Jesus and what He did for us (i.e., dying on the cross in our place.) We each should be crucified for our sins, but we have already yielded a sacrifice. God gave His one and only Son, Jesus, and substituted Him for our place. We each are to be regenerated and renewed creatures in Christ upon our submitting our lives to God and asking Jesus into our hearts. Though we may continue to sin, and yeah that is rhetorical, it is not a license to sin when we give our lives to Jesus. It is we who must rule over our carnal natures, our sinful and the wanton desires of our hearts. By delving into the bible, God’s inspired Word, we can become wiser with respect to what God desires of us and His very will and purpose for us.

Most of us have the problem of focusing on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Most of us have the problem of focusing on the example that Jesus showed us in His life here on earth. Most of us have the problem of using our God give will power to rule over those natural desires that give us immediate pleasure. We are not, nor have we been, promised a pleasurable life of hedonistic tendencies. We were promised a life, one human life here on this earth. We get one chance at this. We will answer for our sins in the flesh during our time on this earth.

Hence, the consequences for our choices while in the flesh. We will be judged. That is why we each must follow the word, not what someone say the word says…but we must read it and follow it ourselves!

If Jesus were alive today, on this earth, instead of the adulterous woman being caught it would have been a homosexual caught in the act (yet, the participant would have been let free because he would have been a man of the higher clergy or something similar.) Jesus’ words would have been just as memorable and applicable to the accusers of the homosexual caught in the act:

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

“…where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

…said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said… “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” ~John 8:1-11 NKJV

Jesus’ words ring true even today. Whether we want them to or not! Trust in Jesus and seek His wisdom. Find a way to get past your anger, lack of focus, and inability to rule over your own mind or body and work harder at it…struggle at it until your dying breath!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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…the way, the truth, and the life…

There is but one way to enter in to heaven, and that is through Jesus the Christ!

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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6 NKJV

In the words of Dr. Michael Licona, or some variation as I recall, “If there is a true religion, then I owe it my allegiance. If there is the one true God, then I owe Him my true allegiance.”

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Now, there are great reasons to believe that Jesus is the true Son of the Living God. The historical aspect, archaeological aspect, textual reliance and other witness accounts, perhaps the witness accounts of those who are extra-biblical and non-Christians. Perhaps, in comparing the numerous different religions is enough for you and the claims. What of the numerous documentaries comparing Christ to those perceived and asserted other gods, which were supposedly risen from the dead in the same exact way and so on. Unfortunately, if you do the homework and make the comparisons yourself you will find that those assertions are false.

  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did not the Sanhedrin show His dead and mutilated body to the people?
  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles preach the resurrection message to the people in Jerusalem? (Where the punishment was certain death by stoning.)
  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles die cruel and inhumane deaths without denying their Lord and Savior?
  • There are those who believe in the “Swoon Theory,” but there is too much to discredit such a belief.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.~Romans 1:16 NKJV

So, what is salvation? According to Matt Slick, CARM.org, “Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner…All who have sinned against God are under the judgment of God.  This judgment is known as damnation where God condemns to eternal hell all those who have offended Him by breaking His Law.” One allegorical representation of the weight of sin upon our soul is:

A Chinese evangelist was once preaching on salvation and the weight of sin. A heckler did what hecklers do best, attempt to shame or embarrass  the evangelist. The response was epic: “If you have a corpse lying in his coffin, will he feel a hundred pound weight on his chest any more than a fifty pound weight?” ~ROMANS, vol. 1, pg. 170, David Grey Barnhouse, (1989)

We are warned by the Apostle Paul for the benefit of our souls that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV) And at the same time we are promised eternal life being the gift of God, His gift of Salvation through His grace! All we have to do is ask for it and freely receive it. It is that simple, but people do not trust free or simple things. By considering the previously mentioned allegorical representation of sin upon our souls, this statement by the Apostle Paul should help solidify the matter. Our hearts should be weighted down AND we should be looking for the EXIT sign to get out of the cage/prison which we have cornered ourselves into, through every means of deceit, trickery, lying, deciding, etc. YES, we decided our way into a corner and must decide our way out of that very same corner. The decision should be easy and the solution is even easier! Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, believing He is the Son of the Living God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.

It is easy to accept, but rather hard to believe, isn’t it? That is why we must seek for ourselves…researching and studying the word of God. Because we were mandated to:

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

Which means we are to love God all our essence and being and by loving Him with all our mind, we are to love Him NOT with blind faith but rather with well informed, studied and researched faith. Loving Him with all our logic and reason! Many people, not just Atheists, believe that to believe in God we give up our reason and logic for blind faith upon the word of the bible alone. That is just not true at all!

God destined us to determine for ourselves through free will to guide our own paths. That includes turning off the primrose path by making mistakes and sinning, because God desired us all to love and honor Him with all of our heart by our free will choice. We will never be perfect, until God makes us so. But we must keep living the life as though we can be perfect by modeling the life of Jesus the Christ. By ascribing ourselves to the word of God and by living our lives accordingly. Not by the law, as presented in the Old Testament, but according to the simple teachings of Christ as presented by His Apostles & Disciples. Those words in the New Testament give a great representation of who Christ was and how He lived. If we use Jesus as the model, how could we go wrong?

Two final caveats:

  1. If the Apostle Paul was changed so dramatically on the road to Damascus from a Christian hating and torturing Jew to become one of Jesus’ greatest Evangelists and Apologists…how can we doubt such a change? How can we doubt such a drastic and dramatic change?
  2. The deaths of the Apostles were gruesome and heinous, to say the least. But no one recanted their faith or belief that Jesus was, in fact, the One True Son of the Living God, the Messiah, whom the Jews had been awaiting. That is another factoid which we must keep in mind. (Consider when the Watergate Scandal was plaguing the Nixon Administration each each of the major players involved made a plea deal and received felony indictments. Each turned on their master.) It defies logic and reason to discount their sincerity!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Some other things you may enjoy from great teachers:

Is Jesus the Only Way? Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Is Jesus the only way to be saved? (CARM)

We Get Attached To The Strangest Things

So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”  ~Jonah 4:5-9

jonah-and-the-gourd-vineA long mane can be just as emotional to cut off. (Reflections from my youth.) It was one year ago today (10/9/2016) when we had to put down our dog Bernie. Funny how you get attached to things. Jonah was attached to a gourd vine, we and many others were attached to dogs or cats, a neighbor of ours was so attached to her bearded dragon, my grandmother was attached to her parakeets. We are a species that desires to give and receive love and if we cannot receive it, we will just give it.

Jonah fell in love with that gourd vine, because it protected him from the hot sun during the day while he sat there on the hill just waiting for the Ninevites to fail God. Because Jonah knew that they would fail Him, as Ninevites could not be trusted. We all tend to have trust issues with respect to others, don’t we? My suspicion is that Jonah had witnessed the travesties of the Ninevites first hand and this is why he held them in such low report. Despite God was on His side and despite God’s mandate for Jonah. He did not care, Jonah just did not want those Ninevites saved.

Jonah knew that if he had gone and warned the Ninevites and if they would listen to the message from Jonah and if they sensed sorrow in their heart that God would forgive them. God is funny that way. Jonah loved the gourd vine for what it provided him and was angered when it withered away, despite the fact that he put no work or cultivation toward its growth. We on the other hand, tend to love the animals that we adopt as pets because we give up much time to train it up to do as we desire it to do for us, or to mind us. Other animals and creatures just kind of exist and we take their motions to be a form of love or caring toward us. But God loved the Ninevites NOT because of what they could do for Him, nor what they could provide for Him, but solely because of the fact that they were one of His creations and He could be a forgiving, compassionate, and loving God.

bernieJust something we need to remember is the fact that we are God’s creation. In God’s eye we are but a speck of sand, yet He knows our names. When you look at those who have done you wrong, what do you see? Do you see an enemy or a friend in the making? One truly kills and destroys an enemy by making him your friend. While we cannot destroy another man’s soul, we can surly be the impetus of saving it through the message of Jesus Christ and by living our lives as Christ lived His life.

This is a short message today as it touched a nerve when my wife reminded me of our dog Bernie going bye-bye for the final time.

The Assurance of Salvation by Matt Slick (CARM.org)

I came across this site and article, which has changed my perspective on my belief in salvation. I had posted some time ago (Once Saved, Always Saved? Part 1 & Part 2; Aug-Sept, 2015) where I had a problem with the essential belief in “once saved always saved.” This article, along with others by Matt Slick, have through well thought out arguments have changed my mind (for the most part.) I still have certain concerns, however these are personal issues; perhaps, I am trying to hang on to the old in fear of the new, I do not know. Please enjoy…

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ORIGINAL ARTICLE<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The Assurance of Salvation

by Matt Slick

One of the more annoying problems in Christians’ lives is the issue of assurance of salvation. We’ve all been there.  We’ve all wondered if we are really saved or not.  We’ve looked at our lives and actions and thoughts and sometimes just said, “How can I be saved if I am like this?”  I’ve counseled many Christians who have doubted their salvation and who have worked themselves into a worry and sometimes even depression over the issue.  I’ve always thought that the solution was pretty basic.  I ask the person, “Why do you think you might not be saved?”  Almost always the reason is, “Because I have a sin in my life.  Because I can’t beat this one sin.  Because of my thoughts.   Because I keep failing.”  “Okay,” I say.  “So you know you’re supposed to be doing better than you are, right?”  “Yes,” they say.  “I am supposed to be doing better and I’m not.  This is why I doubt that I am saved.”  So, I give them this illustration.

Let’s say that we are on a 20 foot boat out in the ocean.  We are sailing along when we notice two men in the water.  There is no other boat around, so it is obvious these two men are in trouble. We take a life preserver, tie it to a rope, and throw it to them.  It lands just a few feet short.  We start yelling and yelling for them to grab the life preserver so we can pull them in.  “Come on,” we yell. “Grab it!  Grab it!”  One of the men, exhausted, reaches out his arm for the life preserver but falls short.  “Grab it!” we yell again.  He reaches again and his arm plops down in the water from fatigue. The waves slap his face, but he tries again.  The other man is simply floating face down in the water.  He isn’t struggling at all.  But, the first man is trying for that life preserver.  He is fighting against the ocean, the wind, and the waves, all which are greater than he is.  That is when I ask the person, “Which one of the two men in the water is alive?”  Always, the response is, “The one reaching for the life preserver.”  “Right,” I say.  “He is struggling for life.  Dead people don’t struggle for life…. and spiritually dead people do not struggle against their sin.  Only those who are dead, who have no life in them, do not struggle.  The fact that you are struggling against your sin is one very good sign that you are very much alive in Christ.  If you were not struggling at all, then it might be true that you weren’t saved.  But, since you war against your sins, then it sure sounds like you’re saved to me.”  Usually, the eyes brighten at this point.  I then keep going.

“Do you believe there is only one God in all existence, all places, and all times?”  “Yes,” they answer. “Do you believe in the Trinity, that God is three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?”  Again, “Yes.”  I continue.  “Do you believe Jesus is God in flesh?”  “Yes.”  “Do you believe Jesus is the only way to salvation?”  Again, “Yes.”  “Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead three days later?”  Another, “Yes.”  “Good,” I say.

1 Cor. 2:14 says, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”  I continue by telling them that a natural man is someone who is not saved.  Now, these are absolutely, definitely spiritually discerned truths that they answered yes to above.  They are that there is only one God and that God is a Trinity, that Jesus is God in flesh, that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead three days later.  In other words, the fact that the person confesses these things and believes them is further, very strong evidence, that he is spiritually alive.  Usually, the person is encouraged even more.

And finally, I tell them that Jesus gives us eternal life (John 10:27-28) and He does not fake us out when we ask to be forgiven and for Him to be Lord of our lives.  He said in Luke 11:10-13, “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. 11Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?  12“Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?  13“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” In other words, you get what you ask for from the Lord (except for sinful and selfish things, of course); He does not bait-and-switch.  If you ask for eternal life from Jesus, that is what you get–no matter how you feel, no matter how your emotions may mislead you.  The truth is that God’s Word tells us that the Father will give the Holy Spirit to us if we ask.  The Holy Spirit only indwells believers.

We all have our struggles and we all need to take into account the fact that we are still sinful and we are going to struggle with our sin.  But, if you begin to doubt your salvation because you don’t “feel” saved, then stop trusting your feelings and start trusting God at His Word.  Ask yourself if you are struggling against your sin.  If you aren’t, maybe you aren’t saved.  But, if you are, then that is a sign of life.  Ask yourself if you believe in the Trinity, that Jesus is God in flesh, and that He died and rose from the dead.  If you do, that is a sign of spiritual renewal.  Ask yourself if you believe what Jesus said about Him not faking you out, about Him giving to you the Spirit if you ask. If you do, then that means you are believing Him at His Word.  Take your eyes off your feelings and failures and put them on Christ, His Word, and His sacrifice.  Trust in Him and Him alone…. not what you feel, not at what you fail.  He didn’t save you because of your works or your “goodness.”  He did not save you because of what is or is not in you. He saved you because of what is in Him: love and truth.

Matt Slick

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.