Surviving a Deceitful World

“WHY SHOULD I FOLLOW the God of the Bible if all I see is Christians who are selfish, hypocritical, and self-righteous?”

“Why would I want some preacher telling me what to do?”

“Why do I need to be a ‘Christian’ to be a ‘good person’?”

I am going to agree: there are many who call themselves Christian who do not live accordingly. Even those that do will stumble at times. But that has nothing to do with God. Here’s thing, though: If you are truly interested in the Truth… stop looking at people. Furthermore, to know the Truth:

YOU DO NOT NEED CHURCH.

YOU DO NOT NEED PASTORS OR RELIGIOUS LEADERS.

YOU DO NOT NEED BIBLE STUDIES.

Am I saying, “Don’t set foot in a church”? “Don’t listen to anything anyone has to say”? “Don’t ever open the Bible”? No, I am not saying that at all.

I tell you the truth:  We are not saved by any religious practice. We are not saved by religious knowledge. We are not saved by listening or reading alone.

BUT WE DO NEED A TEACHER. WE DO NEED GUIDANCE. WE ARE NOT TO LIVE “FOLLOWING OUR HEARTS.”

“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” (Prov. 28:26)

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)

So, where does that leave us?

I’ve heard it said: “Everyone finds their own path to God.” That is a lie, and it’s from hell. No joke–because that is where that line of thinking will take you. There is only one Way and that is Jesus Christ. This is the only truth there is.

God is Holy. He is completely, utterly Holy. He is Holiness itself. I don’t think we can entirely grasp what that means. But this much we know: In His Holiness, He cannot coexist with sin. The Holiness of God destroys everything and everyone with sin–YOU and ME included. Without the blood of Christ covering us, we will be judged as sinners–because that is what we are without Him from the bottom of our hearts. God’s justice and wrath will not be contained forever. You and I WILL be judged by His Righteousness. What will you do? What will you say? What excuse can save you? Nothing you can present before Him on your own can exempt you from the wages of sin. On that day, God will not “understand your heart,” “overlook minor flaws,” or review if your good deeds “outweigh” the bad ones. If one sin is found in you or me, we have no hope for salvation. We are saved only by faith in Jesus Christ.

So…

What does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ?

Most people know what He did for us: He died in our place–He took all the sins of everyone and paid for them. Most people know this.

Understand: He took all the wrath of God upon Himself for YOUR sin. For MY sin. I can’t even comprehend that. I can’t comprehend that kind of self-less, all-giving, perfect love. Can you? He was the perfect Lamb of God–the last sacrifice ever needed to wash away our sins with His blood. He died in place of us a horrible death. And He resurrected. He is ALIVE forever more! His victory over sin and death is to gift us that same victory. This actually happened!

So, yes, to believe in Jesus Christ, means that we believe He is real and alive to this day and that He is the Son of God. But it’s not a mere intellectual belief–it’s a continual state of awareness of this reality. He is not only the Lord, but OUR Lord. It means that He is our MASTER–we BELONG to Him. We OBEY Him. We SERVE Him. We SEEK to PLEASE Him in ALL things we say, do, and think. Because He is God Almighty and He is worthy.

How can do we do that?

How can we say: “From now on, I decide to obey, serve and please Jesus in all I do”? It’s a little much, no?

Yes, it is. For a person on their own, it certainly is. But we are not alone in this.

When we submit our lives in repentance before Jesus Christ, He will fill you with His Holy Spirit. He promised. As long as we are seeking after God’s Spirit, He will give us the strength and holiness we need to overcome a sinful life style. And to obey Him, to do as He commanded and as He continues to command us today. If we try to “achieve” holiness by our own discipline and efforts… forget it.  God’s Spirit living in you is what makes you hungry to know Him, obey Him, and love Him more. He will never leave you. But you must make the choice to repent and turn away from your sin. He will give you the strength. And He will put it in our hearts to repent if we stumble.

You can go to church, read the Bible, read devotionals, listen to sermons, nod and agree, do good things for people… and NOT KNOW JESUS! I know because I was there. I thought I was a Christian, but I was just a religious (sinful) person. Church and its paraphernalia will never, ever, EVER save you. Church programs will not give you a better relationship with God. Bible studies will not do that either. Sure, you can gain knowledge and it can be enriching. But the need for a strong RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ, by far, outweighs everything else.

A relationship with Jesus Christ is not a result of attending a church or listening to a wise person. And it’s not talking to Him as if He were a vending machine to give us everything we think we want and “bless my plans, thanks, I owe you one.” We pray to die to ourselves more and more so that He can live in us more and more. We pray to KNOW Him and that He might know US. We do not deserve Heaven–He does. We have to be in Him and Him in us.

BREAKING NEWS: You will not live forever!!!

Do you KNOW for a fact what will happen to you when you die?

We NEED TO KNOW Jesus Christ from the bottom of our hearts. Jesus said that many will perform miracles and do great works in His Name… and even to them, if they do not have an exclusive Lordship relationship with Him, He will say: “Go away–I never knew you.” What will happen then?

But more than fear of eternal punishment… don’t you want to know the God who created EVERYTHING? The God who lovingly made you and who wants to share eternity with you in joy and gladness? Don’t you want to know the Truth? Seek the Truth honestly and with all your strength. If you do this, you will see the Truth is Jesus Christ.

There is no other way unto salvation, but Jesus. Let Him be your Master. Let His Holy Spirit teach you Truth. Don’t go to other people for guidance. Go to HIM.

He knew you in your mother’s womb.

He knows your name.

He knows how many hairs on your head.

He loves you unconditionally.

Repent and turn away from your sins. Pour out your heart to Him. He will be listening. No one guarantees your next breath. Today could be your last chance.

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