Feel His Love Rain Down this Christmas
The following is what being saved is all about
All quoted Bible verses taken from the (NKJV) New King James Version
I may not know much, but I do know that being saved by Jesus is very simple. Why is it simple? In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Jesus asks us to seek Him as children, therefore He made it simple for us to be saved. If you think as a child, you think simply, as a child, therefore what does He want you to do? In Matthew 18:3-4, Jesus said to his disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Just believe in the LORD Jesus Christ and ask forgiveness for your sins. That's it! That's the whole ideal of Christianity! Everyone has probably seen John 3:16 by now, but if you haven't, It states, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." You can't get much more simple than that! Just believe.
Jesus died on the cross, and when He did, he took all of the sins of the entire world, past, present, and future with Him. Think about it. Could just any man have done this. I think not. It had to be God himself on earth in human form to be able to withstand this inhuman torture, but when He died on that cross, He gave us the key to eternal life. All we have to do is ask for it. If you have placed faith in Christ's finished work on the cross for your sin, then you have been saved (past tense). From that moment on, your eternal destiny was secured, because Christ's atonement has made you righteous, or free to stand before God without guilt or penalty for your sins. To use Paul's word, you have been "justified" (Romans 5:1, 8-9). In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Think about it. Jesus does not lie. He used the word EVERYONE. That pretty much sums that up.
Someone asked Jesus how to pray. What did He tell them? In Matthew 6:6 Jesus said, "When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus said, "In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.
Is that so tough a prayer, that you can't remember it. It's in Matthew, in the New Testament.
Speaking of the New Testament, what is the difference between the Old and the New Testament. New Testament means "New Covenant' as Old Testament means "Old Covenant". The Old Testament was for Jewish people only. The New Testament is for everyone of us including the Jewish people. It is a New Covenant for you and I with only two commandments. It doesn't say to do away with the Ten Commandments, but if you follow the two in the New Testament, you won't go against the original ten anyway. Once you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Commandments are automatically in your heart. In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus told us the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets"
Think about it. These are simple commandments. If everyone followed these, wouldn't the world be a better place to live? We can follow both, and I still may not be too good at the second one yet, but I'm trying. Your neighbor is anyone you meet, not just your next door neighbor. It's everyone in the world. We all have emotions and we are all sinners, even after we are saved. It takes practice, prayer and faith. Always remember, NO ONE IS PERFECT except God!
In Matthew 18:21-22 the Apostle Peter came to Jesus and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." In other words, it doesn't matter how many times you ask for forgiveness from God, you will be forgiven. I do believe there is a limit though. Not in the amount of times you are to be forgiven, because God cannot lie. If you had a friend who stole one dollar from you everyday of your life, would you forgive him everyday, or would there be a time that you would stop forgiving or listening because your friend is hopeless in your eyes. In God, He is limitless and cannot lie, you would always be forgiven, but it seems like everyone Jesus healed, He told them to "Go and sin no more", but he also knew they were human. We're all going to make mistakes. If you keep repeating the same sin and asking forgiveness, God will forgive, but you grieve the Holy Spirit. If you quench what the Holy Spirit wants to do for you by continual sin, then you run the risk of not receiving any blessings that you would have had, had you not committed the same sin over and over! It's not for me to judge though. There's only one judge....GOD!
Have you turned away from God, only deciding now that you need to come back for forgiveness. Read the prodigal son of Luke 15:11-32 and I believe you will find that our Father in Heaven is standing by the gate waiting for you to return to Him. When you do, he will cover you with kisses.
Most people think you have to go out and perform miracles and great works to be saved. That would be nice, but we're not all put down here for the same purpose. I heard a story once, told by my pastor, of a man that was dying of cancer but he had Jesus in his life. When asked what he thought his purpose on earth might have been, he replied, "Maybe it was just to die a Godly man." Maybe some of us are here to be a good example to others. I pray that I can, at least, be like that man!"
You can't worry about semantics and works when you're first saved. As it is said, you are born again, and as a newborn, people will try to influence you to go this way or that way. Let the Lord lead you. The devil will try to control you. The Lord will lead you. Take time with the Lord. Pray, read the Word, allow your faith to grow, and know that God will show you in his good time what it is he wants you to do and where it is he wants you to be. Don't be influenced by good intentioned Christians you fellowship with unless you feel the Lord actually leading you. Boxcar Christianity can stack so many boxcars on the train that people forget who the engineer was that got them there in the first place. As a newborn, take the time to learn. You can still say no. It's not what other people want you to do, it's what God wants you to do. Spend some quiet time with the Lord before you jump in with both feet. Allow your spirit to grow, just like an infant grows. After all, you're a newborn.
Did you know that as a Christian in faith, you are one of the sons of Abraham. That's right. Even if you're not Jewish! Galations 3:7-9 is proof. It reads: Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, In you all the nations shall be blessed. So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
Don't be concerned about all of the denominational religions, as long as they believe in Jesus Christ and in accordance with the Bible's teachings. There is only one God, so find the church that you're comfortable with. Practice your newfound faith in your own way, but practice it always with God's will in mind, not yours. Don't let anyone tell you that the Bible has been interpreted many times. That is their excuse. True, but they all have the same message. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, believe in him and you will be saved. That's found in all interpretations of the true Bible. Don't worry about hypocrites in church, just don't be one. Go to church for the reason you're supposed to be there....JESUS CHRIST!!!! If you have a job that prohibits you from going, go when you can go.
Tithing is a personal commitment to give money to the church. Traditionally in the Old Testament, it's ten percent. It's personal to you what you give but God loves a cheerful giver. Don't give with a begrudging heart. The Lord rewards those who give. The reward you receive is not necessarily money. There are great rewards in all things done for God, especially the final reward of eternal life.
Don't get caught up in the fire and brimstone aspect that some people like to preach. That could scare anyone. Jesus came to save, not condemn. Avoid the negative approach to Christianity. Remember this though! There is a "Hell". God does not want anyone to go to Hell. Hell was reserved for Satan. However, if you do not believe in and are not saved by our Lord Jesus Christ, you will go to Hell. Also remember this! God doesn't send people to Hell. People send themselves to Hell by not trusting in God's only begotten Son...Jesus! No matter what anyone tells you....no amount of good works will get you into heaven! The only way to eternal life is through our Lord Jesus Christ! Beware of false religions! 2 Peter 2:1-3 (from NIV Bible) states, But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
Satan is real. If you don't believe it...just look around you. Jesus is just as real. Believe in him and you won't have to worry about Satan. Remember that Satan is not equal nor was ever equal with God as T.V. and movies show. Satan is a fallen angel, and therefore is not as powerful as God's angels. For that matter, Satan is not as powerful as us on earth when we are saved. Life is not easy as a Christian, as Satan will try to influence you daily. Don't let him. If you remember that Satan is a liar and recognize the lies he's telling you, you will realize that you are one of God's Children.
The Word (Jesus) will teach you how to avoid Satan and reveal many wonderful things you've never seen before, even if you've read the Bible before. Your eyes will be opened! Trust me. I know from personal experience as a person who grew up in the church, was a horrendous sinner and did not really get saved until at 44 years of age. I never understood until I quit fighting with God and surrendered myself to Him. I'm just thankful that He allowed me to live to see it!
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Your good works may be elaborate but they also may be very simple indeed. The point is, when you are saved by Jesus Christ our Savior, He will show you how to do good works. In your workplace, school, church, home and public life. Trust in the Lord to show you and in His good time, He will. Always remember....His will be done....not yours.
May this simple message guide you to eternal life with God, the Father of us all, in Jesus name Amen
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