The Apple Of God's Eye

February 15, 2010

Seven Proofs Of God's True Church, Part 3

This is part 3 of our seven part series of proving the true Church of God.

PROOF THREE: THE TRUTH ABOUT PAGAN DOCTRINES

Look at the superstitions around you. In the modern world, we seemingly take for granted the various bizarre “doctrines” and “beliefs” of the many religions. We’re not even especially alarmed at the almost fantastic varieties of “belief” held by the average passersby on the streets of our modern cities.

A Plethora of Paganism

Some believe in “going to heaven.” Others believe there is no God — that evolution is true. Still others believe in various interpretations of pantheism, polytheism, deism, dualism, theistic evolution, and, give or take a few hundred, about a thousand more shades and colorings of “belief.” Fast friends in many social circles believe widely different things about religion.

Sitting across from each other at the bridge table may be one person fully expecting to be “raptured” away secretly some day — while another believes there is no living Christ. One thinks only his body dies, and his “soul” goes off to heaven, while another believes he will reappear in the form of a gnat, or a mosquito. (more…)

January 11, 2010

Can Christians Be Saved Without Obeying God's Commandments?

The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Many believe this verse says we don’t have to obey God’s commandments, but that we can still be saved just as long as we believe. Is this right? Not if you understand your Bible!

What do you mean by believe? The word believe implies faith, conviction, trust, certainty.

If we believe on or in Jesus Christ — and, more important, if we believe what He says — we come to know Him. Notice what I John 2:4 says about those who claim to know Jesus Christ: “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ ” — that is, he who believes on Christ — “and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

This is about as strong as a verse can get in the Bible. It is also abundantly clear and straightforward. Anyone who says he believes but refuses to obey is a liar, according to God. He doesn’t really believe what Jesus Christ said. What did Jesus say? What did He command us to believe? “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15, Authorized Version). The Gospel deals with obedience! Notice:

  • “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).
  • “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (I John 2:3).
  • “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:3).
  • Acts 5:29 says, “We ought to obey God.” And to whom does God give His Spirit? “To those who obey Him” (verse 32).
  • “Faith [belief] without works is dead” (James 2:26).

Why is obedience so necessary? Because “the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12). The law of God is good for you. Sin is bad for you. That’s why Jesus Christ commands you to obey God’s law — it’s for your own good! Will you believe Him?

December 25, 2009

Are The Saved Always Saved?

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To “save” means “to preserve alive.” The Bible clearly shows death faces all human beings because we consist today of corruptible physical matter (Heb. 9:27; I Cor. 15:50). Inasmuch as human bodies run down and decay, it is simply not possible for humans to live forever in the fleshly state.

However, a loving God has provided a method by which we might be granted eternal life. This is salvation. Like most English words ending with “tion,” salvation is a process. And as a process salvation is analagous to birth (John 3:1-8). Before a baby is born, it must be begotten or conceived. I Peter 1:3 shows we are begotten to a hope, the hope of being resurrected, just as a baby is begotten in hope it will be born.

At the resurrection, those to whom God will grant salvation will be given incorruptible spirit bodies that can never be destroyed (I Cor. 15:42-54). At that time, it will be impossible for those saved to become “lost.”

In this age a truly converted person is still flesh and blood and can die. Being converted, he has the begettal agent, God’s Holy Spirit, in him. In II Cor. 1:22, 5:5 and Eph. 1:14, the Holy Spirit, is described as an “earnest.” This is a legal term meaning a guarantee or surety. If we have God’s Spirit within us today and continue to have it, it is our guarantee that we will be saved. However, if we lose it, we no longer have the guarantee.

And we can lose it! God warns, “Quench not the Spirit” (I Thes. 5:19). He further warns, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance” (Heb. 6:4-6). So it is possible for one begotten of God’s Spirit to “fall away.” That, is called the UNPARDONABLE SIN.

July 8, 2009

What Does Predestination Really Mean?

alpha and omegaDoes God know ahead of time whether an individual will be saved or lost? Has God foreordained that some would be saved, while others are destined to be lost? Does one have any choice at all regarding his or her own salvation?

It stands to reason that if God knows beforehand how we are going to decide, then all is predetermined. And if that is the case, then why try at all?

On the other hand, if God knows we will repent, accept Christ and be saved, we’ll have to do it in the end anyways, whether we try or not. Our ultimate fate is already determined in advance. If that is so, then we are simply not free moral agents – we have nothing to say about it.

The subject of predestination has often puzzled and worried many people simply because they have accepted, without question, the teachings of their religion.But predestination has nothing to do with any particular decision one makes, or their fate – it has only to do with the time of their calling. There is not one word in the Bible about anyone being predestined to be lost.

Rom 8:28-30 says:  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Notice the hopeful language on the subject. Our calling is for a very special purpose; that of becoming sons in the family of God. Eph 1:4-5 verifies this:

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

These scriptures reveal that God foreordained, from the beginning, to call out a group of people to become rulers and teachers in His Kingdom when He will set His hand to call and bring salvation to all mankind.

From before the foundation of the world, God had formulated this plan – it was not hastily composed. God is not reacting to Satan – He knew that Adam and Eve were likely to sin, and had His entire plan formulated before that time.

However, there is no indication that God knew those He would call individually, thousands of years in advance. This would be impossible, as it is only those who endure to the end who will be saved (Matt. 24:13). God cannot possibly know what decision those called out will make because He made them free moral agents – able to choose for themselves whether they will live God’s way or not. The choice is clearly given to them. (Deut. 30:19)

What is the reason for predestination?

God has predestined that some would be called at certain times for a specific purpose. The rest will be called by God to understand the way of salvation later. God planned from before the foundation of the world to establish His Church to train the future kings and priests of His Kingdom – to have a part in teaching the way of salvation to the masses during the illennium. He knew far in advance that leaders, teachers and governmental administrators would be needed for His Kingdom, so He planned ahead – predestinated – that He would call some to this training, especially in this age.

Predestination actually proves that God is not trying to save the world now, but that He purposed to call only a small group as firstfruits, according to His plan, so that he can ultimately offer salvation to all!

April 30, 2009

Fact: Christ Did Not Come To Convert The Nations

 realchristianity.wordpress.com

 

realchristianity.wordpress.com

The popularly held concept is that in His day Jesus tried to save everyone and that He instructed His Church to do the same. It is widely assumed that whenever Jesus spoke in parables He did so to make His teachings more understandable to the multitudes who heard Him. 

However, Jesus gave no such reason. When His disciples asked Him about one of His parables, He said, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without (the unconverted masses), all these things are done in parables” (Mark 4:11). 

Why? To make what He said easier to comprehend? No, just the opposite! He often used parables so that “seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them” (verse 12). 

Now guaranteed, people will argue with these plain verses because of the common assumption that ALL the world is to be evangelized now. Mass altar calls for accepting christ are common in the evangelical sphere, but that conception is unbiblical. Although many where added tot he early Church in the days of the early Church, they were called by God so that His Church would have the necessary growth to carry His message to all nations, but only as a witness (Matt. 24:14). Nowhere did He say that His true ministers are to try to convert the nations. In fact, Christ Himself never employed mass altar calls. Only 120 disciples were present on the day of Pentecost. That is because often, when He employed parables, Jesus intentionally left the masses in their deception. He spoke in parables to cloud His message, not to make it easily understood. He Himself said so.

“For ye see your calling, brethren,” Paul wrote to the Greeks in Corinth, “how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” (I Cor. 1:26). Simply put, everyone on earth is not now able to come to God to be converted. Jesus declared, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). 

The Father of whom Jesus spoke has not been drawing the majority of people. This is obvious from the condition the world is in. Jesus pointed out that the majority of humanity is walking in the way of destruction and that now only a few are finding the way to eternal life (Matt. 7:13-14).  

Although God is not calling every person now, by the time His plan is finished, everyone who has ever lived will have had the opportunity to understand and to accept or reject eternal life.

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