The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

The Good-O-Meter

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 27, 2008

This was sent to me and I wanted to post this short video for you to watch…it reminds me of:

Matt 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [vs22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [vs23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

AND: Rom 3:10-12, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [vs11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [vs12] They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

One more thing: I wouldn’t have portrayed the Lord Jesus in a T-shirt, jeans, and “hip” wrist-wear, so try to look beyond that [You’ll see what I’m talking about close to the end…Lord bless!]

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Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Relationship vs. Fellowship

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 25, 2008

I’d like to follow-up my It’s a RESCUE! post with this one because I’ve been perusing around other posts and reading the many people who truly believe that the salvation the Lord Jesus Christ had so FERVENTLY GIVEN and is so FREELY GAINED and is so FIRMLY GRIPPED upon His own…can be lost by THEIR actions [or lack thereof].

Forgive my presumption, but just from what I’m reading, I’m seeing that many people do not have a spiritual grasp on what the difference is between RELATIONSHIP and FELLOWSHIP…so here it goes, and may it be a help to you!

RELATIONSHIP

Due to the fact that every one of us have been born into this world, every one of us has a standing before God…and it’s not good:

Ephesians 2:1-3, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; [vs2] Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: [vs3] Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

You see, every one of us had [or still has] a standing before God of “being dead in trespasses and sins”; “the children of disobedience”; and “by nature the children of wrath, even as others”.

But don’t stop there…listen to Ephesians 2:5-10!

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, [by grace ye are saved;] [vs6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [vs7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [vs8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [vs9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [vs10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

PRAISE GOD!!! By the Grace of God, and not by OUR OWN WORKS, can a person be saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…delievered from their debt of sin they owe and from their destiny of Hell. [BTW: just thought of this…isn’t it odd that many who don’t believe salvation is forever believe that Hell is?]

Now when a person has partaken by faith the Lord’s salvation, that person is now born into the Family of God! Remember the conversation Jesus had with a Pharisee named Nicodemus in John 3? In that conversation, Jesus said this in verse 5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

“Born of water” – that’s a natural birth [what happens right before a woman delivers…her water breaks]; “Born of the Spirit” – of course, that’s a spiritual birth. BOTH BIRTHS bring a soul into a family…”born of water” brings a soul into an earthly family, and “born of the Spirit” brings a soul into a spiritual family, or “the Kingdom of God”!

FRIENDS, THIS SPIRITUAL BIRTH IS A RELATIONSHIP! After salvation, God has become your Spiritual Father and you’ve become His child: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” [Galatians 3:26]

Now that salvation has been established as a RELATIONSHIP, the question has to be asked: “Can a child of God cease in being a child of God“? That’s the thought and belief that’s on trial! Many I’ve been reading believe because of something they did or of something they will do, they will not be saved or have that RELATIONSHIP anymore with God.

KNOW THIS: Sadly, Christians have turned away from God before – the Apostle Peter is a great example. He DENIED his Lord three times, but he DID NOT lose salvation…because salvation is a RELATIONSHIP.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE: THE PRODIGAL SON. Jesus tells us in Luke 15:11-32 the prodigal son forsook his father, took his inheritance, and went and wasted away all that was his. He turned his back on his father, but what did his father do? He received him back – not to be his son again, but because he was his son. Even when his son was away from him, and for all intended purposes he was considered dead, that boy was STILL his father’s son. That boy broke his FELLOWSHIP with his father, but his RELATIONSHIP was always that of his son.

THINK ABOUT THIS: When our children disobey or do wrong, they are still our children – they will always be because they were “born into the family”…but when they disobey or do wrong, FELLOWSHIP has been broken because by their actions they’ve gone against what we said to do or not to do. FELLOWSHIP can be restored if the child receives the correction and love of those parents, just like with the prodigal son and his father…and JUST LIKE WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER!

 

Is Grace greater than all our sin? Is God “God-enough” to not only save you, but keep you saved? When Jesus says in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: [vs28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. [vs29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” – Do His Words, “they shall never perish, neither shall any man [that’s means even we ourselves can’t!] pluck them out of my hand‘”, mean what they say? How about vs29…a child of God is sealed by the Holy Spirit, seated in the Hand of Christ, and secured with Christ in the Father’s Hand…now I’d say that’s ETERNAL SECURITY!

 

So after all this…WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REMOVE THAT RELATIONSHIP?

 

ARE YOU STRONGER THAN GOD – CAN YOU AND YOUR ACTIONS PLUCK YOURSELF FROM GOD’S ALMIGHTY HAND? I trow not!

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

It is a RESCUE!

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 23, 2008

The Biblical word salvation unfortunately means many different things to many different people. SO, when I talk about “being saved” or folks “needing salvation” or when I quote Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith…”, various thoughts come to mind with people.

Now my intention with this post is NOT to make salvation “hard” or difficult to understand…in fact, my intention is just the opposite. I pray there are some who are reading this who need an understanding of Bible Salvation.

Now don’t let me lose your interest here with this, but I must tell you: SALVATION in the Bible is translated from the Greek word soteria meaning RESCUE! I think that’s awesome to see…why? Well, when it comes to salvation, someone needs to be rescued from something! A person cannot say they are “saved” but have no testimony of being rescued, or saved, FROM something. Every one of us are in great need of rescue from something [and I’ll get to that later on], and that is why SALVATION has been provided for all!

BUT WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR A PERSON TO UNDERSTAND HE OR SHE NEEDS TO BE RESCUED?

Answer: There has to be such an affect on the heart of a person from knowing on what they need to be saved from! Needing to be rescued – needing to be saved – is a heart condition. A person’s heart must be “worked on” and “worked over” for them to see and admit their need of rescue…their need of salvation.

If only the intellect is peaked, but the heart not pricked, Man will split Hell wide-open.

WHAT DOES EVERY ONE OF US NEED TO BE RESCUED FROM?

SIN. Pure and simple. We don’t need to be rescued from loneliness, depression, or even sickness; and I don’t mean to belittle these for I would desire to be rescued from them; BUT our GREATEST RESCUE is the rescue from the penalty of sin. Because of our great, great granddaddy, ADAM, a debt of sin has been passed to all who are of mankind, and now, that penalty of sin rests upon ALL OF US – “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” Romans 5:12.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN GOD MAKES KNOWN THIS SPIRITUAL DEATH PENALTY BECAUSE OF SIN?

I. HAVE YOU EVER GONE THROUGH CONTRITION?

Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” A “broken heart” is one who has the heaviest kind of affliction and trouble due to sin. The word contrite literally means crushed. God rescues the ones who are oppressed and crushed by their sin!

BUT WHY WOULD A HEART BE CRUSHED OVER SIN – HOW DOES ONE COME TO THIS CONTRITION?

II. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN UNDER CONVICTION?

Conviction means that you’ve been convinced of your own condemnation through your own conscience. Before anyone can ever be brought to REPENTANCE of sin; and before anyone is ever CRUSHED by their sin and have a broken heart and contrite spirit; there must be a witness to the conscience that brings about CONVICTION.

WHAT CONVICTS YOU OF YOUR SIN?

What has witnessed to your conscience about you being wrong and guilty before God and needing rescue to be right with Him? How about this:

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:25

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 7:7

 God’s Holy Word – God’s Law and the Commandments – convict us of our sin before Him! Don’t believe it??? Take the Good Person Test and find out for yourself. It is truly amazing to see that God shows us from what we need to be RESCUED!

SALVATION is simply a RESCUE. The Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, came down to dwell among His creation, not just to be a Great Teacher and Healer, but to primarily be THE RESCUE for you and for me. Jesus claims that He is God AND He claims that HIS BLOOD ALONE would be THE PAYMENT for your sin debt and penalty before God the Father.

How do you appropriate or receive His Payment in your place?

Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”

John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name“.

HAVE YOU BELIEVED ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR WHO HE IS AND FOR WHAT HE SAYS HE AND HIS BLOOD CAN DO?

OR: ARE YOU SO CONVICTED AND BROKEN AND CRUSHED OVER YOUR SIN BEFORE GOD THAT YOU DESIRE STRONGLY TO TURN FROM YOUR WICKEDNESS – LEAVE THE ATTITUDE OF LOVING SIN BEHIND – AND SINCERELY TURN TO AND TRUST THE LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR WHO HE IS AND FOR WHAT HE SAYS HE AND HIS BLOOD CAN DO?

IT IS A RESCUE!!!

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The Truth of Hell

Posted by Pastor Szekely on June 26, 2008

Hell is an Awful PlaceA graphic pitcher of what a person may look like in hell or the lake of fire. Hell is no joke. Hell is a place, it is real, and it is the destination of all who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Pray for the one who’s face you see when you look at this person who is indeed in a state of torment. It will probably be much worse than even this pitcher shows. Pray for souls to be saved, pray that you won’t quit on God and that you can help some soul to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of their sins. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

This was just sent to me via email by a friend…pretty powerful and a much-needed reminder to us who know and believe the truth of Hell.

You don’t really believe in a literal, burning fiery place of torment called Hell, do you? ” This type of question and attitude is actually quite prevalent in our country today. I’ve read surveys that state while just 8 out of 10 Americans would agree that there is “some kind of afterlife” , only 3 out of 10 believe there is a Hell that is “an actual place of torment and suffering where a person’s soul goes after death” without God.

There are many skeptics in our country and in this world today who would love for you and me to never preach on, and never tell of, the truth of Hell. But friends, Hell is real. It is a place of real punishment for real people with a real penalty before God! Skeptics just cannot – and will not – accept that.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Greatest Hell-fire and Brimstone Preacher we can know. Out of 162 New Testament references on Hell and eternal judgment, 70 were spoken by Christ. Why did Jesus speak so much on Hell? He knew of the Truth of Hell AND He desired to warn men of Hell because He didn’t want to see anyone go to that awful place! So for the skeptic and the unbeliever, our Lord has given an expert witness on the Truth of Hell. In Luke 16, the Lord Jesus tells of a rich man who went to Hell…and is still there today.

 

Luke 16:22-23, “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; (vs23) And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

The truth is – Hell is a REAL PLACE!

Skeptics will try to discredit the reality of Hell – but the rich man lives it today!

 

Friend, Hell is a real place for real lost peoplePsalm 9:17 says,  “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God”. The rich man didn’t go to Hell because of his wealth…he went to Hell because of his poverty – his spiritual poverty!

 

Hell is a real place of real tears and tormentLuke 16:24 says, “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” The rich was being tormented – and he still is! His body and tongue still burn; he still desires “just a drop” of cool water; he still longs for mercy – but it’s too late! Someone once said, “For many, Hell is a truth believed too late“.

 

Hell is a real place of real memory.  Luke 16:25, “But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” Those words…“Son, remember” still ring in the rich man’s ears. I’m told that “we remember everything, but we just can’t recollect everything”. It’s an incredible thought to ponder…everything you hear, feel, see, taste, smell…you’ll record it all! How many people in Hell today heard and rejected Bible messages on Hell and the Gospel…they live with the memories of those words forever.

 

Hell is a real place of real prayerLuke 16:27-28, “Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: (vs28) For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” The rich man prayed for his 5 brethren! From what we find here from the Lord, you must believe that there are people in Hell praying for others right now!

Oh, if my wife would only listen…”

Please…someone go to my family…tell them of the salvation in Jesus, compel them…persuade them to believe…so they won’t ever have to come here!!!”

 

Friend, whether man believes it or not, Hell is a real place – for real lost people – with real tears and torment – where there’s real memory – and real prayer. Skeptics will try and discredit the reality of Hell, but this rich man that the Lord Jesus speaks of still lives it today.

 

For many, Hell is a truth realized and believed too late…

Won’t YOU listen to the Lord and the rich man instead of the skeptic?

 

Lost soul – Please turn from sin and turn to and trust the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from the penalty of your sins – repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is [He’s God] and for what He says He can do [wash away your sin debt with His Blood].

Child of God – Hell is real and real people are dying and going there! God sends you to their rescue before they perish…WILL YOU GO?

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Eating His Flesh and Drinking His Blood

Posted by Pastor Szekely on June 10, 2008

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” John 6:53-57

WHOA! What’s the Lord Jesus Christ saying here? Unless folks “eat His Flesh” and “drink His Blood” they cannot have eternal life? That’s what He said…but what did He say…let’s have “ears to hear and eyes to see”!

In John chapter six, the Lord Jesus was having a conversation with a great multitude of people. They asked Him a question in vs28, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” They were asking the Lord Jesus about eternal life…how do I know this? By what Jesus said in vs27,29, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” (vs29) “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

After they question Him on what He says, Jesus declares that HE IS the Bread of Life!

John 6:30-35, “They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? (vs31) Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. (vs32) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. (vs33) For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (vs34) Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. (vs35) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is the True Bread from Heaven – He’s the Living Bread – He’s the Bread of Life…and He goes on further to explain just what that means and entails – vs51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

“…came down from Heaven” = Divine

if any man eat of this bread, he shall live” = Life-Giving and All-sufficient

for ever” = Eternal

and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” = Whosoever Will

 

Now the Jews didn’t like what the Lord was saying – vs41, “The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.” So vs51 really threw them for a loop! “The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (vs52). Even some who were following Christ around and learning from Him were offended by what the Lord was saying – vs60-61, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (vs61) When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?”

 

WHAT WAS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST SAYING?

When Jesus spoke of “eating His Flesh” and “drinking His Blood” was He calling for us to be “cannibals“?

 

I was born into a Catholic family and to Catholic church I went. This is what I was taught. For my “salvation” one thing I had to do was eat His flesh and drink His Blood. I was in a belief that got “hung-up” on John 6:51, 53-56.

–This is what we had from the Council of Trent (a Catholic Council): “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly His body that He was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change in the whole substance [being, essence] of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation [meaning, ‘to change into another substance’]. The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist . . .Since they remain for about 15 minutes in the human body after being swallowed, we should spend this time in prayer, thanksgiving, and adoration, and not quickly turn to worldly occupations.”

–Also, we read of the town, Lanciano, Italy, where there are pieces of “human heart flesh” on display. Catholics say that in the year 700, there was a priest in that town that doubted that their sacramental host – wafer – actually turned into the “real presence of the Lord”. So, they say that while this priest was doing the Mass, the bread and the wine actually turned into real flesh and real blood!

THIS IS WHAT I HEARD AND KNEW OF IN CATHOLICISM!

 

THIS IS WHAT THE INSTITUTION OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM SAYS, BUT IS THIS WHAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST SAYS? Let’s search the Scriptures…

 

The ones in John chapter six didn’t “get it”, and neither do many today. God doesn’t call us to be cannibals! They were thinking carnally, and to think and to be carnal means to pertain to the flesh; sensual; opposed to the spiritual” – Again vs60-61, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (vs61) When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?”

 

HERE is what Jesus was saying, and let’s go about this contextually…

1) Vs26-29, “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. [the Lord is telling them they had the wrong motivation – they were coming to Him for the wrong reason!] (vs27) Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. [Christ is saying, “Stop letting the temporal be your boss!”] (vs28] Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  [They were asking for eternal life] (vs29) Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” [It is God’s work for you to believe – it’s not your work for you to believe]

THEY WERE FOCUSED ON THE CARNAL, BUT CHRIST WAS SPEAKING ON THE SPIRITUAL!

 

2) Vs35-36, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (vs36) But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.”

AGAIN, CHRIST WAS SPEAKING ON THE SPIRITUAL – “BELIEVETH” JESUS SAYS, BUT “BELIEVED NOT” THEY DID!

 

3) Vs40-42, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (vs41) The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. (vs42) And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?”

AGAIN, CHRIST WAS SPEAKING ON THE SPIRITUAL, BUT THEY WEREN’T THINKING ON THE SPIRITUAL!

 

We see that the whole context of John chapter six is Christ speaking on the Spiritual, and the multitude being carnally minded!

SO: why would the context change in verses 51, 53-56?

Why would Jesus all of the sudden change His context on what He was talking about with them in the whole chapter? These verses MUST ALSO BE in the same context – Christ speaking on the Spiritual!

 

Can’t believe that? Still having a hard time “digesting” it? Well, Jesus makes it “crystal clear” in vs63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” To Christ, it was “Carnal vs. Spiritual”!

 

ONE LAST THING – WHY did the Lord speak in this fashion to the multitude?

Couldn’t the Lord think of a “better way” to say what He wanted to say?

Friends, He knew EXACTLY what He was doing AND He said EXACTLY what He wanted to say!

 

How do I know this? Vs60,64-66, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (vs64) But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (vs65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. (vs66) From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

 

Many professed to be His disciples, but the Light of the world illumined the Truth in their heart!

(1 Cor 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”)

 Jesus gave them something that a lost person would stumble over and it showed them who they really were!

 

How did the Lord’s true followers respond? Vs67-69, “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? (vs68] Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (vs69) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” They may not have understood it all, but they “believed and were sure” that Jesus was Christ, the Son of the Living God!

 

So what is the Lord Jesus Christ saying here in John chapter six? Unless folks “eat His Flesh” and “drink His Blood” they cannot have eternal life? No…stop being carnally-minded and start thinking on the spiritual…

 

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

God the Son does not call us to cannibalism – to eat His Flesh and to drink His Blood – but to trust in the Words He has said about the Work He has done to be saved.

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , | 32 Comments »

Who Are You?

Posted by Pastor Szekely on April 14, 2008

“Who Am I?”

Who am I?

Do you really know who you are? Are you a Christian? Are you sure you are of God?

In my experience, I’ve become amazed at how many different answers there are to these and at how difficult those answers come. But back in New Testament times, true believers didn’t have the problem of wondering or of how to come about the answers.

The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 5:19, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” What a statement! He said, “We know“! There was no doubt. Back then, they weren’t just hoping they were or just trying to be Christians, they had a secure knowledge and assurance that they were children of God and receivers of His eternal life. They were fully aware of what had taken place in their life and of when it had taken place!

Again, John said, “And we know that we are of God”. He knew there was a difference between the world that “lieth in wickedness” and the person who had trusted Christ as their Saviour and Payment for their sin debt. John was very confident to write about there being a difference between those who are “of God” and those of a wicked world. What’s the difference in you? If you have “become a Christian“, if you call yourself a Christian, has the Lord Jesus Christ changed you and made a difference in you?

“And we know that we are of God”. It was noticeable. People reflected God’s Nature and Characteristics. They were being obedient to His Word and having the beauty of Jesus be seen through them. They talked a different talk and they walked a different walk because they were “of God”. They were different, and not just to be different, but to make a difference!

So who are you…really? Are you of God? If you say you’re a Christian, the Bible says in Philippians 2:12, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. This doesn’t mean that you must have a “works salvation”, but it does mean that you should have a “salvation that works”! Does what you say line up with what you do? I know none of us are perfect, but one who is “of God” will try to [by the aid of the Holy Spirit] reflect and live like and live for God.

Are you sure you are of God?

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If You’re Real

Posted by Pastor Szekely on March 15, 2008

This evening I listened to a young, college man earnestly and passionately give his salvation testimony to a bunch of young people – in our town’s public school gymnasium. Now, I do not want to sound critical on this, and I do want to say that this young man who gave his testimony sounded like he believed he was delivered from the penalty of sin through trusting in the shed Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But what got my attention was this statement he made when he was talking about coming to Christ, “Dear God, if You’re real, then please take control of my heart“. [I won’t get into the whole ‘praying-a-prayer’ issue here since this has been recently covered] Now maybe he was using the statement “if You’re real” for effect — or maybe, he made this statement because this is the way he believed when he came to Christ.

I was sitting there listening to all this, and the first thing that came to my mind was, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6.

Does anyone else have a problem with the statement, “If You’re real“, when used in context of a soul coming to salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ? Does anyone else see that phraseology like this could be a problem?

After some thought on this, many more verses can be quoted to show that if a soul will be saved, that soul must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for who HE IS and for what He said He could do. How can a person – and why would a person – even come to Christ for salvation if that person really wasn’t sure that the Bible is the Truth and that Jesus is real? Some may call it “fire insurance” where someone gets another to “pray a prayer” even though that praying recipient really isn’t sure he actually needs, wants, or believes in Jesus. [Oh, and by the way – I’ve heard of accounts from reputable brethren of this very thing happening with some zealous and ‘well-intending’ men on visitations]

Doesn’t a person have to believe that Jesus IS before that person can even get saved by Jesus? Now I know that may sound funny, and I’m not trying to be…but how can a guy trust in Christ to be saved by having the attitude, “God, if You’re real…“?

I’d love to hear your input on this! Do you share in my concern, or do you think I’m just looking at a statement too critically?

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Which Way Is It?

Posted by Pastor Szekely on March 6, 2008

Recently I’ve been perusing through many good Independent Baptist Church websites to read what they say about Bible salvation. What I’ve noticed is there are many sites which use as their standard to lead someone to Christ the text of “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation” from Lifegate, Inc. To read the full text, please click on the following logo:

Lifegate Logo

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this…but what I’ve found is actually confusing…and I admit, it’s confusing to me…but is this confusing to you? The following is a portion of the text from “God’s Simple Plan…” that, I believe, is contradicting – check it out [Note: comments I’ll make will be in blue]:

My friend, “God . . . commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross.

In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: “ . . . ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved . . . .’” *I believe they rightly emphasized by bold text how someone is to be saved! In fact, they state this emphasis in the next paragraph…:

Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior. *That’s good…simply believe! And to believe does not mean to only believe that Jesus existed or that He was a good example. Belief in Jesus Christ as Saviour is to realize that He died for you, and to trust in Him as YOUR Sacrifice and Substitute on the cross for to pay your sin-debt you owed before a Holy and Righteous God.

*SO FAR: I’m reading that Bible Salvation is not of any “works of righteousness which we have done”, but it is obtained or received by believing, trusting, having confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ and the work HE has done. In fact, the next verse that they quote is very powerful to reinforce this: But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).

*So from all this, I’m seeing that as a lost person, as I come from godly sorrow unto repentance which was stated in the full text version, I must trust, believe, put my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver me, save me, from my sin-debt penalty before God. So why is there another way in the following?

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13). Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved. *Wait a minute…I just found out I must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved, but now I also must “call upon the name of the Lord” as well to be saved? Really? Didn’t they read Romans 10:14a, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?” The Bible is telling us that a person must have a saving belief FIRST before they can call on Him. [For further explanation on this, please click on my post, Sinner’s Prayer] Let’s read on…: 

Surely, you realize you are a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer. [*Where does God ever tell anyone to do that? Here’s their answer to this:] In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: “God be merciful to me a sinner.” *Before we go on, can anyone prove or say that this publican was praying for salvation? Did he pray for salvation, or was this man who had come to the temple praying for mercy through forgiveness? Was the Pharisee praying for salvation? NO. The reason why I bring this up is for context. In Luke 18, the Lord is teaching on prayer. With this parable of the Pharisee and Publican, the Lord Jesus gave this parable “unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others” (vs9). God was teaching on Pride vs. Humility in prayer! This is the context! Jesus said in vs14, “for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” This was the outcome of the Lord’s teaching – not on “how to be saved”.

But what good men will do is ignore the many, many verses on “repent and believe” only for salvation, and they’ll take this one poor publican’s words, connect them with Romans 10:13 that they’ve taken out of context, and follow with this:

Just pray: “Oh God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen.”

*I don’t know how many times I’ve talked with people who’ve doubted their salvation because they were fretting over, “Did I pray the right prayer” or “Did I say the right words“. SALVATION IS NOT IN THE PRAYER!!! A prayer is not like a magic incantation that makes you saved!!! ONLY JESUS SAVES!!! And the only way Jesus can save a soul is if that soul, after being brought through godly sorrow and repentance, believes on Him for who He is and for what He says He can do…He says He’s God the Son – that means no one can be saved if they believe Jesus Christ is a created being or a god; and He says that His Precious, Priceless, and Pure Blood that was shed can be THE PAYMENT, THE SATISFACTION for a person’s sin-debt before the Father. Salvation IS NOT in a prayer…in fact, they “change back” to the first [right] way in their next paragraph:

Just take God at His word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it! *Right on target! That’s good! No good works can save you – not even the good work of prayer! “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

*Did you read 2 ways given to be saved? Is this contradicting or confusing to you? Which way is it – by believing or by praying? As I’ve said, many a good Independent Baptist Church websites and their church’s tracts use as their standard the “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation” text.

Why? Do we really believe this? Maybe there are those who never fully read the text. And maybe there are those who’ve read it, took the text’s word over THE WORD, and never really studied it out. PREACHERS: We are expected to expound, or to lay open the meaning of the Bible. Are you really sure the Bible says you must pray to be saved? Did the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 pray to be saved? Did Saul of Tarsus pray to be saved between verses 5 and 6 of Acts 9? When the Philippian jailer and his family were converted in Acts 16, did they pray to be saved? [Not according to vs31 & 34!]

Pray to be saved / Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…

WHICH WAY IS IT?

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Full Salvation

Posted by Pastor Szekely on February 7, 2008

This is truly important for a Christian to understand:

1. To even be a Christian, there had to be a time in their life when the Lord Jesus Christ saved them from the PENALTY of sin.

Romans 5:8-9, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (vs9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

2. As a Christian in their walk with Christ, Jesus can save them from the POWER of sin.

Romans 7:18-25, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (vs19) For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (vs20) Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (vs21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (vs22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (vs23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (vs24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (vs25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

3. One day when they depart from this earth, Jesus will save them from the PRESENCE of sin.

1 Corinthians 15:51-57, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (vs52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (vs53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (vs54) 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. (vs55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (vs56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (vs57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

How wonderful this is! A child of God has been saved from the PENALTY of his sin before God; through Christ, he daily can be delivered [saved] from the POWER of sin, either before he acts upon temptation which becomes sin or after the transgression by receiving forgiveness through confession and repentance; and then one day, sin will be no more for the Christian because Jesus will save him from it’s PRESENCE.

SALVATION, FULL AND FREE ~ HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOUR!

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