The John 9:2 Error

jun18,Brother H 1976This is one mistake which ignorant people make when they meet a disabled person or somebody who suffered a misfortune. They automatically assume that God must be punishing that person for sinning or for the sins of the parents. People I respected were especially cruel in their condemnation of me for not being healed when they laid hands on me.

Christ’s disciples ask if a blind man sins were the cause of his being born that way or if his parent’s sins caused it. John 9:3 (BBE) gives the real answer to their question. “Jesus said in answer, ‘It was not because of his sin, or because of his father’s or mother’s; it was so that the works of God might be seen openly in him.'”jun18a,Jesus hugs a child

What these cruel folks who blame disabled people don’t realize is that God made some of us with less-than-perfect senses. Exodus 4:11 (KJV) shows that truth well. “And the LORD said unto him (Moses), ‘Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?'”

Because of the endless cruelty of certain house church leaders, I turned my back on God for nine years. I finally realized that God wasn’t at fault for my poor sight and lack of healing. It was the lies I was taught by that bogus church’s leadership.

I wonder what they would have made of Leviticus 19:14 (KJV) if I had quoted it to them. “Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.”

jun18b,Bruce with bear memeThe fear of God certainly isn’t in the hearts of many professing Christians. That’s why I’m writing my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Many who claim to believe in God haven’t surrendered to Christ and are headed to hell. May the Lord use my book to turn folks from that horrific place.

I’ll be writing next time about a mistake I made more than forty years ago and how it eventually lost me a lot of money.

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Saturday Song: Blues Image, “Ride Captain Ride”

jun16,sailorThis song expresses the longing of people to find a place where they can start anew. “The old country” tends to become corrupt and a miserable place to live. Therefore, people strive to find some unspoiled place where they can escape the bad conditions.

There was a time where a person could do that. The discovery of the Americas led many people to leave their homelands to seek freedom from tyranny. Little did they know that they brought their human natures along with them, causing the same bad results as in their old world.

A band called Blues Image captured that sense of adventure in their 1970 hit, “Ride Captain Ride.” Those 73 sailors came off their ship but found an unresponsive audience. So they sailed away to find a new place where they couldlaugh their lives away and be free once more.

Listen to the song here.

What the people of this world don’t understand is that sin makes this place miserable. We cary this spiritual virus wherever we go and it always ruins any new attempts to start new lives.

But we need not dispair. Jesus provides us a way of escape. We read in Acts 2:38 (KJV)how to be changed from our miserable old ways. “Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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This is what Jesus told his disciples in John 16:13 (KJV) when he said, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.”

So no matter how bad things might get around you, having this comforter and the new life Christ gives makes things so much more hopeful

I hope you enjoyed this song. It certainly brings back memories to me, that’s for sure.

I’ll be writing next time how people’s misunderstanding of disabilities drove me away from God for nine years. Stay tuned for that.

The Unforgivable Sin Error

One of the biggest mistakes people make is fretting that they committed the unforgivable sin. Worse yet, some preachers teach this error as biblical fact. So, what is this unforgivable sin?

One passage trotted out is Hebrews 6:4 to 6. The Bible in Basic English renders it this way. “As for those who at one time saw the light, tasting the good things from heaven, and having their part in the Holy Spirit, With knowledge of the good word of God, and of the powers of the coming time, And then let themselves be turned away, it is not possible for their hearts to be made new a second time; because they themselves put the Son of God on the cross again, openly shaming him.”
Some ministers teach that one sin can nullify a person’s salvation. Cults, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim that people can’t be baptized until they’re on their death beds in case they sin afterward.

The problem is that they don’t understand salvation and God’s power to keep people saved until the Day of the Lord. Ephesians 1:13 (KJV) plainly states about our faith in Christ, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”
Paul likened our salvation in Christ to being married to a new husband after the old one died. And since God hates divorce, he won’t disown those who place their trust in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. Romans 7:4 (KJV) says, “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
Ephesians 4:30 (KJV) shows that this seal will last until Christ comes for us at the last day. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”(

I could write so much more of our assurance of salvation but I’ll save it for my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? I agree with John MacArthur that if we could lose our salvation, it would have happened a long time ago.

On my next post, I’ll be writing about how we bring our sin with us wherever we go. There’s no escape from it.

The “Closing the Sale” Error

 

cartoon of bunny relaxing (coloured

Another soul-damning error is that it’s up to us to “close the deal” when we share the gospel with people. Instead of convincing people, that approach tends to drive them away. It also leaves them with the sense that Christianity is an Amway-like religion of “getting” people to join.

So how should we preach the gospel? Jesus modeled how in the fourth chapter of John’s gospel. He sat at a well at noon and asked a Samaritan woman for a drink of water. That was highly taboo since Jews and Samaritans hated each other. Jesus then spoke with her about “living water” and she believed in him as the Messiah.

That woman told her neighbours and they too believed in Jesus. John 4:39 (KJV) reads, “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, ‘He told me all that ever I did.'”

Imagine what a failure in communication would havejun11 happened had Jesus given her a didactic lecture right from the start. Imagine if he had told her right away that she was headed for hell because she was a sinful woman. Instead, Jesus led her gently into the gospel and she believed him without any verbal coercion.

Another example of gentle leading into the gospel message is recorded in Acts 8:30 (KJV). “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, ‘Understandest thou what thou readest?'”

That Ethiopian eunuch had been reading the book of Isaiah aloud when the Holy Spirit directed Philip to go into the desert. When the man asked him how could he understand the text, Philip explained it. After the eunuch was baptized, he returned home with the gospel. Today’s Coptic church is the result of that one encounter.

I’m glad we don’t have to “sell” the gospel like it’s a lit stick of dynamite. Too many people have ruined the good news of redemption by being belligerent. Our job is to proclaim the gospel, not sell it.

I’ll be writing mjun11aore about this in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Far too many people have been turned away from the life-giving good news by overzealous Christians who were told they had to get as many people saved as possible. The Holy Spirit is who does the saving, not us messengers.

My next post will be about the unforgivable sin. Far too many Christians have been tormented by this misunderstanding that one single slip can damn them forever. I want to comfort them through what Scripture says.

 

Saturday Song: Boney M, Rasputin

jun09Believe it or not, I was in a house church led by a minister who claimed that the spirits of dead people took over his body and used it to preach. One of those he claimed to be host to was Rasputin.

Worse yet, I fell for his lies. I craved the high standing of being an advanced Christian who knew privileged secrets. This bogus preacher offered me that and more.

Then Boney M’s song “Rasputin” came out and I was instantly offended. I thought I knew so much more than that group did.

Click here to hear the song.

That contemptible minister taught me that Rasputin was actually a saint who was killed by courtiers in Moscow who were moved by Satan to murder him. Consequently, I turned off the radio when that song came on.

Now I realize the extent of my indoctrination into blasphemy and lies. The Bible teaches in many places that people shouldn’t talk to the dead. Yet here was this man pretending to have spirits occupy his body while he went elsewhere to preach.

Jesus especially had a thing or three to say about misleading naive believers. Matthew 18:6 (KJV) demonstrates how much he despised false teachers. “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

So, what are the memories that this song stirs up in your mind? Please let me know in the box below. And if you don’t want to comment, have a good weekend anyway.

I’ll be writing next about how some folks try to sell the gospel like it was a product. Shame on such people!

The Hellfire Preacher Error

jun07I wrote previously about the biblical injunction to warn all sinners about hell. Unfortunately, one group of preachers have made a mockery of that command through their histrionic rantings.

From the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries, “fire and brimstone” preachers used fear to motivate people to repent. But merely escaping damnation isn’t a good reason to follow Christ.

Look at what 1 John 4:18 (KJV) says about why we must love Christ. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

How can people love the one who they’ve been told to fear? Our response to Chrisjun07at’s purchase of salvation on the cross for his followers ought to be one of love and awe. Romans 5:8 (KJV) shows why. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” What an awesome thought!

Jesus could have refused what he called “the cup” but he didn’t. Matthew 26:42 (KJV) says, “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.'”

Furthermore, Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) explains why our Lord took the monstrous load of our sins upon his sinless soul. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

This topic is too big tojun07b explain in a mere blog post. That’s why I’m writing my book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Since there’s no “do over” after we die, it’s crucial that we be fully persuaded and informed about our eternal destination.

Saturday’s post will be about a song which I took offense at. The house church taught me lies about the man mentioned in the song. Now that I’m free from that wicked leader and his sheep dog sidekick, I realize how badly they misled me.

The Party in Hell Error

jun04I find it incredible that some people actually think that hell will be a fun place to be. There reasoning is that all the “fun” people will be with them. One foolhardy friend even said to me, “At least I’ll be warm there.”

But hell is anything but fun. It’s a place of eternal torment. Think of that. We all have had terrible illnesses or times of tragedy but they all came to an end. Hell never ends and the thought of that is mind-boggling.

In Luke chapter sixteen, we read a parable about a rich man who died and found himself in hell. He wasn’t partying with his sinner friends but was in agony. Furthermore, he wished that his five brothers would be warned by Lazarus, the poor beggar, not to end up where he was. Look at his request in Luke 16:28 (KJV). “For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”

Jesus had much to say about hell. He warned in Matthew 5:29 (KJV), “And if thy right jun04aeye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

The metaphor of cutting off one’s hand or plucking out of one’s eye warns us of the seriousness our Lord places on salvation. In fact, the worst tortures people can do to us aren’t comparable to what God will do to those who resist him until they die. Matthew 10:28 (KJV)shows just how foolish it is to joke about hell. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Even more horrifjun04bying, people who call themselves Christians but haven’t surrendered their wills to Christ have the worst punishment waiting for them. Matthew 23:33 (KJV) quotes Christ’s condemnation of the most religious folks in Israel. “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”

I could point to many more verses about the horrors of hell but I’ll save it for my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Hell is nothing to joke about. It lasts for all eternity and there’s no escape from it.

In my next post, I’ll point out why so many people mock those of us brave enough to talk about hell. Watch this space.