An in-depth look into John 15

John 15 takes place during one of the teaching sessions to the twelve as he tries to expand their knowledge and give them ability to spread His message. What is to follow here is an in depth look into this chapter for it is one that few here or even acknowledge. It begins as Jesus continues His lecture:

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Here Christ begins an analogy much like His parables which allowed Him to give those listening a point of reference which would allow them to understand. Vineyards were prevalent through all of Israel as well as throughout the entire Roman Empire.
Jesus is the foundation, the root, the very plant, and His Father God is the land-owner on which the plant grows and is nurtured by.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

This verse above all others needs the closest attention.
The word “in” is the word “en” in the Greek which denotes a fixed position in place, and state.
The word “me” is the word “emos” which states of me, mine (own), my.
When you look at just these two words it clearly states that the branch (those that call themselves “Christian”) are in Jesus Christ. A part of His Body.
Yet He immediately states this: that beareth not fruit he taketh away.
So those in Christ that do not bear fruit for God are removed by God the husbandman and taken away.
Look to the words “taken away” they are actually one word in the Greek: “airo” which means make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up), but it also has a Hebrew meaning that needs to be mentioned: to expiate sin.
Simply you are removed from the Body of Christ.
But as the verse continues it states what happens to those that do bear fruit for God. God purges that branch, that person.
It is the word “kathairo” which means to cleanse, i.e. (specially) to prune; figuratively, to expiate:–purge. This means to tear away that which is no longer good within you and allow that which is precious to the Lord to come to the light and allow you to bear more fruit of Him. Why? For our growth in Christ is an ongoing and continual process. It is not just one event. It is not one day saying I will serve Jesus and then do nothing the rest your life. This one verse says it all. Bear fruit for God, grow in the faith, cast off those sins you discover within you along the way or be removed from Christ.
In the next verses Jesus spells this out:

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Now take special note of the verse above. Now remember in the second verse and clarified in the fourth and fifth verses that you are already apart of Christ, but if you do not live your life as if Jesus is in you God will cut you away and you will wither to be gathered up by men and then cast into the fire. This reinforces the second verse and makes it clear that heaven is not your destination if you do not follow the teachings of Christ.

Now in the next verses He instructs you on how to improve your place with God:
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Now what is to follow will make it clear that those we are to love are those that follow Christ and why, but it is also important that we love all so that they will see that light of God within us through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ so they too can become fruit that in time will turn into a branch that bear fruit for God.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
This last verse is extremely important to understand. Why? Because many that go about calling themselves “Christian” are welcome within the world. I have experienced hatred form those about me. At work in public and various other places. Why? Because I stood for my faith and did not back down. I see the hate written in their eyes, yet I do not hate them, for I am trying to be a light for God.
This is how it should be for all that call themselves “Christian” for this is exactly what Christ said it would be like. That the world WILL hate us. If the world does not hate you, they you are of the world. Very simply.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

The “I” syndrome

This is something that the Bible teaches over and over again to avoid.
“I” want this.
“I” want that.
“I” want to have sex because it feels good.
“I” don’t have time for a baby so “I” will abort it.
Selfishness the core to all sin. From the word “I” comes lust. A lust for power, a lust for pleasure, a lust for possessions, a lust to control.
“I” is what we are told time and again to turn from, to avoid. We are told to humble ourselves. To place others needs before our own. To place God first which means to ignore the word “I” when seeking to do God’s works.
The greatest commandments:
1) Love and honor God above all else and all others.
2) To treat our neighbors as we would desire to be treated.
Then the rest of the Ten Commandments follow these two.
The Ten Commandments, the preamble to the laws given unto Moses upon Mt. Sinai. None of which say to place yourself first in anyway shape or form.
We must learn not to please the “I” but to please God. To be truly humble is to never place yourself before anyone or anything for as long as you place the “I” above all else you are guaranteed to fall short of God’s glory.
So remember the next time you say to yourself “I” wish to do this or that it would be best that you didn’t do it at all, most likely.
James 4:6 – But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
James 4:10 – Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Matthew 23:12 – And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

True freedom

What helped inspire this post was the close of For King and Country’s song “O God Forgive Us”:
“Run wild. To risk everything. To hold nothing back. To lay it all on the line- your reputation, your success, your comfort. It’s that moment when fear is overcome by faith. Live free. It’s not the liberty to do whatever you want whenever and wherever you want. But rather it’s living in accordance with the Author of humanity, and finding freedom by connecting with the Creator who conceived you. Let the light flood into your eyes for the first time, feeling the blood course through your veins, finding the truest version of yourself by knowing the One who knows you even better than you know yourself. Love strong. Because you were first loved. Because without love, we all perish. Because the earth and the stars can and will pass away, but love, love will always remain…”
What got me going was the phrase: “It’s not the liberty to do whatever you want whenever and wherever you want. But rather it’s living in accordance with the Author of humanity, and finding freedom by connecting with the Creator who conceived you.”
This is the misconception that is being spread throughout the United States if not the world. Those that teach you can go about doing whatever you wish is actually teaching slavery.
2 Peter 2:19 – While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
The slavery is to this reality. To this temporal time within our eternal exist that we are promised by God. As is seen in the next phrase from For King and Country: “But rather it’s living in accordance with the Author of humanity, and finding freedom by connecting with the Creator who conceived you.”
For by doing this we are guaranteed true freedom. Not freedom to the here and now, but the freedom that will come once we enter into our true forms. Our eternal bodies that will allow us to travel throughout all of God’s Creation, the universe.
The bible states that those that embrace slavery are destine to live all eternity in one spot. Never moving, never leaving, chained to the sins which they have embraced. This mere fact that they will not be able to move freely about will tear at the minds of those that have embrace this world over the true freedom God offers unto all that are willing to accept His Son as their Savior.
Will God give us tasks to perform for Him? Yes He will but we will be able to traverse ALL of His creation. Free to spread His glory unto the entire universe. Do we now spend every single moment doing our assigned task for God? To a degree no.
Here is a point that I wish to make to those that aspire to see those that follow us ascend to a higher plain of existence. It is the ascension that is promised by those that do not acknowledge there is a God. They say that we must sacrifice ourselves to a mundane life with the promised that some time thousands of year from now those that come after us will reach a point where there body is no longer required and they will evolve and ascend into a new and enlightened form. Does this do you any good in your life time? No. For it is nothing but a trap an element meant to enslave you.
God promises this ascended body to all that follow His teachings and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. We are promised an immortal body that is pure and holy and will be able to go where ever they wish in the service of God.
1 Corinthians 15:53 – For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
This is the true freedom that we are promised and it can only be reached through God, by turning away from ALL sin and asking His Son the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and leaving that which has enslaved you behind.

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

I have massively cut back on my movie watching since the recent election due to the behavior of Hollywood. I have been waiting till they come on TV or not to watch them at all. So the fact that I actually went to the theater to see GOTGV2 should speak volumes in itself.

This movie is true and pure escapism. I found no underlying political agendas and found the story to be entertaining. Being a comic fan most of my life and seeing characters I have grown up with show up yet changed in most instances has bothered me in many movie adaptations. This is one reason I refuse to watch X-men movies even when they make it to the small screen.

More and more I am coming to disagreements with how Disney does things. Most recently the live action version of Beauty and the Beast which I will never watch. However their work with Marvel to date has been very good. The best of these has been both volumes of GOTG.

Once again they weave a well-rounded and funny movie with a whopping five post credit screen. SPOILER ALERT!!!!

I love the fact that they introduce the original GOTG team in a varied form that suits how the movie is presented.

I highly recommend this movie.

Base Story: 5 swords out of 5 swords
Acting: 5 swords out of 5
Special effects 5 of 5 swords
Overall: 5 swords out of 5 swords

God First

This is stated in the Bible, not actually directly, but when you think upon it does say that. In Matthew (22:37), Mark (12:30) and Luke (10:27), Jesus states that He is adding to the commandment. For He states two things that He calls the greatest commandments. It is also important to state that Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that He came to fully the law and the prophets not to replace them. These means that the rules that were established in the Old Testament still have power, just in some areas modified since Jesus Himself by dying upon the cross took the need for sacrifices away.
So what I am going to do in this article is define “first” and then I am going to break down the three verses in which Jesus states to place God first. I will then discuss the implication for follow this commandment.
First – Merriam-Webster – preceding all others in time, order, or importance. – being before all others with respect to time, order, rank, importance; before some other thing; in preference to something else; rather; sooner.
To be first is to precede and have more importance than anything else.
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Love – agapao – to love – I love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem
Here is a quote from the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament:
“The possibility of love for God stands under a radical Either/Or:…… (Matthew 6:24). To love God is to exist for Him as a slave for his lord (cf. Luke 17:7). It is to listen faithfully and obediently to His orders, to place oneself under His lordship, to value above all else the realization of this lordship (cf. Matthew 6:33). It also means, however, to base one’s whole being on God, to cling to Him with unreserved confidence, to leave with Him all care and final responsibility, to live by His hand. It is to hate and despise all that does not serve God nor come from Him, to break with all other ties, to cut away all that hinders (Matthew 5:29), to snap all bonds except that which binds to God alone.” (p.45 vol. 1)
All – holos – “whole” or “all;” all, the whole, entire, complete. NTD – “whole,” “complete,” “undivided,”…. In the NT mostly with a noun, and to express its totality.
Heart – kardia – (Latin cor, “heart”); the heart; lit: the heart; mind, character, inner self, will, intention, center. NTD – The use of this word in the Greek agrees with the OT use and concentrates on the heart as the main organ of psychic and spiritual life, the place in man at which God bears witness to Himself…..
2. That the heart is the center of the inner life of man and the source or seat of all the forces and functions of soul and spirit is attested in many different ways in the NT.
Soul – psuche – life, mind, soul; the soul, life, self. (a) the vital breath, breath of life, (b) the human soul, (c) the soul as the seat of affections and will, (d) the self, (e) a human person, an individual. NTD – the “soul” is the part of the human trinity that was created by God to live beyond the body we now live within. In the Theological Dictionary fifty-two pages is spent discussing the various elements within the meaning in the word “psuche” and breaks it down to each usage within the NT, but this is key element it boils down to.
Mind – dianoia – imagination, mind, understanding; intellect, insight. In the NTD the use of this word is used to signify the actual using of the mind to formulate a thought or decision.
These words are all used by all three gospels and so have the same meaning.
So Jesus is stating that we are to use our complete and undivided attention with our heart, our inner self; our soul that which is destine to stand in the presence of God; and our thoughts, our mind. To give anything, our complete and undivided attention means it is to be first and thus presiding anything else in our lives even in the exclusion of those things that would become more important than God.
This is what many do not wish to do. They wish to place themselves and their desires before God. They say we must change the teaching of Jesus to fit their definition of what they wish the Bible to say. They say if we do not do this we are the ones in the wrong and the problem.
Here is the problem with that mentality. These are the words of Jesus Christ Himself, and per them we are to place God above all and we are to do it completely. Those that follow this and insist it be followed for it is what Jesus Himself taught are the ones being honest to the Bible and following just as Jesus desired all willing to do so to do. So those trying to change the Bible to allow them to live in sin are the real problem and so we need to stay steadfast to the Bible and continue to follow its literal meanings. For to do otherwise would not place God first, but lower than first which is not where Jesus stated He is ever to be.
Placing God first prepares us for the eternal life that is to come. For God will be the center for all that choose to follow Him and His Son. They command me follow without question, even to the far side of the universe in His service. If you do not place God first you live in sin, for it is counter to the words of Jesus our Savior.

NTD = Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

The Greatest Commandments (Re-re-visited)

Why is it that I keep coming back to this teaching of Christ?
Mainly because Jesus Himself placed so much emphasis upon it. To love God first and always.
This is a very simple statement, but it is one of the hardest of all things to do. To place God before yourself ESPECIALLY in today’s society is one daunting effort. How do I know this? Because I struggle with it every single day. So since I know how hard it is, is it any different for anyone else? I am just an average guy, if you saw me on the street you would walk right passed me. I am in no way special. That means I know how others respond to this. I see how they act and compare it to how I act. We all do this. Some might call it judging, but that is not what I am doing. I am just comparing how we act to how we are told to act in the Bible.
How can you place God first if you are more interested in what is on the television?
How can you place God first if you are more concerned about how you look when you go out?
These are just two examples. There are thousands more and would take too long to list them out.
When you place life before God you are worshiping it. This is something that has been done for thousands of year and has caused thousands of wars, murders and other types of bloodshed and mayhem. All of which leads to a selfishness and desire to be the center or ruler of it all, in one form or another.
An excellent example is how people perceived the universe just before the Renaissance period of our history.
At this time, most not only thought of the world as flat, but that the sun, the moon and stars all revolved about this planet we live upon. This is mass selfishness. A selfishness that made people to build castles and fight one another for dominion over one another.
Well we again live in an era of mass selfishness. Are we due for a new renaissance? Maybe. Ever since we found out that the earth revolved about the sun it cause a change in how we thought for a time being. It enabled Martin Luther to post his thesis on the door, which in turn caused the church which was then solely the Catholic Church, which selfishly desire to control the teachings of the Bible to splinter and so protestants came into being in the formation of the Lutheran Church.
Now we are in an era where we find not only is our sun, even though the center of our solar system, is just one of a million stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy and that there are millions of other galaxies out there. Within them their own solar systems and within them their own planets that circle that a sun.
This has caused a rift in faith. It has caused many to run from God thinking that He is not real since we are just a speck within a huge universe, some place off to the side and we have no meaning.
I beg to differ with this thinking. One of the greatest qualities we can have is humility. If you are the center of it all are you truly able to become humble? The answer to that is no.
So to me, God placing this tiny speck of a planet on the edge of a galaxy is to teach us that it is not us that is important, but God. It is meant to make us look at the universe, even though we are in a small part of it and see that it is His creation. To see that WE are His creation. This universe is so vast and it expanse so big that it is immeasurable, yet here we are living, thinking beings. How can people even consider we are here as a random accident caused “maybe” by a comet that “maybe” carried the right combination of cells to “maybe” cause life? That entire thought process is laughable when you really consider it, yet millions are buying into it. Why? Because Christians do not understand their true existence themselves. They themselves question how and where they come from. Why? Because they are human.
Humanity is not perfect. All of us have doubts. All of us question, which results in a misunderstand of the teaching of the Bible. Which resulted in for example a Lutheran priest to tell his congregation the book of Revelation is nothing but a story made up to scare people. Yet at this very moment elements of the last book of the Bible are coming true at this very moment. A book in the Bible that is also witnessed by the book of Daniel reaffirming that in reality it is not a fairy tale but like the entire Bible the words of God given to us to know that we are His creation and that even though we are but a speck within this huge and wondrous universe. A universe so filled with beauty, that God sees us as something beautiful and wonderful. For we are His creation, something that He said is worthy of existing.
Think upon this, and become humble, and realize that if you seek to be the center of it all you are in reality denying God, since time and again He tells humans that they are not the center of the universe, but that HE is.
So as the second of the greatest commandments tells us to do. We are to love our fellow human beings as we love ourselves, but to do that we my first humble ourselves. For when you humble yourself you realize that you could never be at the center of anything and we are to treat ALL humanity as not only our equals, but as our brothers and sisters in this wondrous creation of the Creator our Lord God, the Father of our Savior the Christ, Jesus.

The eviction notice is posted

The eviction notice for the human race has been posted. Time is running out for humanity in this current temporal format. But what was the eviction notice. It came in two parts. The first was the acceptance of carnal sin and its legalization. The second, which in a way was the true first, but its actions being exposed after the first can make it the second, was the slaughtering of unborn infants for their body parts.
A huge celebration went across this nation for the first and the second has been buried into silence or over shadowed by the death of a wild lion. The mere fact that people celebrated the former and cared more for an animal over the slaughter of innocence showed God that the human race has crossed a threshold that has been crossed before. This time it took nearly a thousand year to cross, which was an improvement, but it has been crossed none the same. From here it is all downhill for humanity and it is time to choose your eternal fate.
But what are our options?
This is what the Bible states. Those that accept God and follow His teaching will most likely be persecuted, ridiculed and hated in the time remaining to those that are upon this planet at this time, but in return we will be rewarded by being allowed to explore the universe and all it wonders by doing this task or that task for the Lord God Almighty.
For those that accept this world and enjoy its pleasures will receive a pit of fire as worms eat upon their eternal flesh for all eternity.
Just for the record I have chosen the former and have embraced that fact that I may have my own head cut from my body with a dull knife. It is something that I know will hurt but I have accepted it and willing to die for my faith, my beliefs and my God.
I am willing to stand for the teaching of God and that the murder of an unborn child that is more important than a lion. I am willing to say you must not live in a sin to the point of “legitimizing” it by a ceremony you think God will accept and acknowledge when in fact it is compounding the sin and making it worse. You are actually sinning worse and so the result will be worse.
God knew us before we were conceived. If God can know us before the sperm and the egg join then our souls are present within the womb, and the child within the womb is a living human being. All this body we live within is just a vessel to carry our souls about till God says our time is finished in this temporal reality. We either have severed God and our task for Him is finished or God has seen enough and wishes our sins to end before they are made even more compounded as others have chosen to do.
Here is the thing. God may know who will make it and who will not, but we don’t. If we turn from God there is still a chance to return to Him.
God may count you as one of His, but you will only know this if you make the choice. If you make the effort to turn to God. We are governed by free-will. It is our choices that we must make. We are making them because how we choose will ultimately teach us and allow us to be able to serve God in whatever task we are to be assigned in the eternal future that is to come. What these tasks will be is unknown for we are not to know at this time.
But what we do know without any doubt is the fate of those that turn away from God and embrace the pleasures of this short and temporal life we all live within. The fate is listed in the Bible in Isaiah and in Revelation. It is within the pity of fire where those that will be sent there will always be thirsty, will be burned and will have their flesh eaten by undying worms, as undying as they themselves will be having been given an eternal body just as those that serve God will receive. It will be real, as real as you looking at this computer screen or cell phone as your read this right this moment. Just this real but never-ending.
This is the fate of those that do not turn from their sin. This is the fate for those that commit human sacrifices by crushing the skull of an unborn child and then cutting his or her flesh apart for their organs. Just as was the fashion for those that gave sacrifices unto to gods of stone and gold. The animal’s organs were cut out of them and each given in a further sacrifices to these carved blocks of stone, but that is not how these abominations are done now. They are done for the greed and glorification of humanity instead of a stone idol it is for Lamborghinis and fancy homes and vacations. This shows that this humanity that is so corrupt that these children’s deaths is seen has nothing when compared to the death of a wild animal in the middle of Africa. Weep. Weep for if you do not change, now your fate is sealed and it is going to be horrifying and ever eternal.

Which is more important? The person sitting in the pew or the soul of the person

From what I have witnessed throughout my involvement in many “churches” is they say the latter but it is really the former that is more important to them.
If they really sought to help the person to Christ they would have established long ago a method of outreach to those asking for God’s help and salvation. This lack of outreach is a major reason “churches” are shrinking and also why many look down upon Christianity as a whole.
I am reminded of the line from the movie “God is not dead” in which the professor says “The most ardent Atheist was once a Christian” (this may be paraphrased so forgive the inaccuracy). The reason behind this falling away is these people come into a “church” and they see people saying one thing and then living a life totally opposite that which they say they are doing in “church.” This is called hypocrisy and is the core of what is called a “lukewarm.”
In Revelation 3:15-16 we see what Christ thinks of the “lukewarm.” He said it would be best to be cold or against God then to be lukewarm. For He would spit out from His body those that are lukewarm.
This hypocrisy is not limited to those that go to many places that call themselves “churches.” It is also found within their leadership who have become no better than the Pharisees of the time when Christ walked upon this planet. For what is more important to them is not their congregation, but the money in the tithing. The almighty dollar is now their god, not the true God they feign to represent.
This is extremely noticeable in large churches where it is easy to have nonsense sermons that do not give any real growth for those listening. They encourage any and all to attend for their goal is not the soul but a new house or car or even more bling.
Many of today’s “churches” really aren’t. They are simply a type of social club and within them are their clichés and status structure, but no real nourishment of the soul and its need to connect with the Creator of the universe, God.
People use them to network and plan events meant for the world but not God. Instead of teaching what is sin and the need to stop sinning these social clubs encourage and even celebrate sin. All the time thinking they are one with God, but in reality are on the highway to hell.
This is what those truly seeking Christ come into these places and all they see is the world and so they turn their back upon God not realizing that what they witness was not Christianity, but what it actually was…. the world. So they leave disheartened and discouraged not realizing that it was not true Christianity they had witnessed, but the lukewarm.
To Christ the lukewarm are so distasteful to him that He rejects them yet they go on living as if they are fine with God living in their hypocritical lives.
This is exactly what Satan wants to see and so makes it easy for the lukewarm to be placated and content in their fantasy they call “Christianity” For they have fallen for the fable and are happy to be one with it. These social clubs are worse than prosperity churches, for at least with prosperity churches you can easily see the lie, but in the social clubs it isn’t that easy for the lie is just under the surface hidden just under true scripture, but these scriptures never tell those going that they are sinning against God for to say anything bad would make people leave and with them their money.
What is really sad is that there are more social clubs then real churches and so those that see the hypocrisy and have found the Lord leave them. Seeking to find a true church home, but rarely do. So those that can truly help those seeking to find Christ are not brought together as they once were when a church was the church which causes those that could have been saved or saved sooner to suffer in their loneliness and sorrow.

Works is not legalism

In James 2 the word “works” is defined as being applied to the conduct of humans, measured by the standards that are the teachings within the Bible. In other words either following or not following the instructions of Jesus Christ and His apostles.
Due to poor understanding of how faith plus works mesh together. Many construe works, or following the commandments as legalism. The best example of legalism is the Catholic Church; where you have to take the word of the priest that you are doing the right thing. Where you have to perform rituals and ceremonies to guarantee you are making it into heaven. All of which is the furthest thing from the truth. Now is there and had there been people that can call themselves truly “Christian” in this religion? I would say yes, however extremely few.
Legalism is a strict following of rules and instructions. Rigid without concern as to why or even with feeling. Simply legalism is works without faith. Repetitive motions without any feeling or concern as to why they are actually performed.
The works of James 2 are an act of love for our Savior. A desire to follow what He has told us to do. Jesus said we are to place His Father at the center of our lives. Yet most, even within the Christian faith, only place themselves as this center, the place reserved for God alone. Whenever this is done they are guaranteed to fail. That is why when Christ added to the core Ten Commandments, they become the greatest.
Matthew 22:34 – But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
When you place God at the core of your life, what is the most important thing to consider? None other than the Bible itself. Jesus made this clear that we are to follow the commandments, which is a reflection of placing God at the core of our lives.
Luke 11:28 – Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
These are the works to which He is referring. So those that call works legalism are just making excuses to place themselves at the core of their lives thus heading down a road to failure and misery. So we should live our lives in both faith and works, both equal and desired by God, through His Son Jesus Christ.
James 2:14 – What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. 25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

Confessions of a screwed up middle ages man: Negative consequences

Over the past several decades as we hear from the pulpit and dais of most churches. The statement that there is a negative consequence if you do not accept Christ as your Savior and live a holy life, is non-existent.
I actually believe that this omission is a form of lying. It has caused the inclusion to the point of allowing those that live in sin to be able to stand in the pulpit and upon the dais, thus killing this body of Christ they stand before once it occurs. For they only reach this point with the approval of all within this group.
The trail to heaven is narrow and filled with many obstacles. The road to negative consequences is wide and well-traveled.
Still people contact me and say: “hey you need to be more positive in your message.”
I hear this. However, I must ask this. If people do not understand that Hades is real, that the pit of fire will hold those that are told without question that live in sin. Why not let them know this?
Is not letting them know that their actions have negative consequences the most pure type of love?
Do I desire any to go to hell? NO!!!!!
Yet if all I say is God loves you. What have they learned?
They will live their lives as they see fit and how they wish to live. They will even rise up to be leaders in the church and say that God loves us all as we are.
I say this:
Yes God loves all of humanity, and He desires all to come to heaven. But He only gives one path to Him. It is through His Son Jesus Christ and the abandonment of living in sin. You cannot say Christ is my Savior and still live in sin. This is made clear within the Bible. It is made clear you can never get into heaven or enter into the eternal life in His service if you live entirely in sin.
I say this out of love. For I desire that which Jesus Christ desires, that all should make it into Heaven. Yet both and I Christ are realistic and know that most will not make. That most will enter into the Pity of Fire beside Satan Himself, and they will know eternal sorrow. For these are the negative consequences to living a life in sin.
This is what happens when you spare the rod. Without fearing negative consequences they become spoiled, selfish and self-serving. This is why knowing and understanding the Bible is so essential. If they do not know what is the correct way they should strive to live. How can they know what will lead to the ultimate of negative consequences.