A Person may go to Heaven without…

A Person may go to Heaven without……

  • Without health,
  • Without wealth;
  • Without fame,
  • Without a great name;
  • Without learning,
  • Without earnings;
  • Without culture,
  • Without beauty;
  • Without friends and without ten thousand other things—–
  • But he can NEVER go to Heaven without Christ.

Sadly many Churches teach that salvation is through a series of works and by affiliation with their church or they teach you get there by Jesus plus works. Don’t you find it interesting that there are no denominations noted in scripture? But in God’s word to us the Bible it is crystal clear what is the way to heaven and anything added to Jesus alone being the only way is not the Gospel of the one and only true God.

The first question this morning for you is, do you know what the church you are attending teaches about how to get to heaven?

Here is what Jesus teaches;

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, except a man be born again he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

Titus 3:4,5 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

Eph 2:8,9 “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone would boast.”

 

Yes, it is a very narrow view and our world will see you as …….but if it is God’s truth then it can never be wrong and will never change! Don’t be found to be like…..

 

Mat 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘In ever knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

 

John 6:29 “Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he hath sent.”

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Learning from the MASTER…

Phil 4:5 “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Learning from the MASTER…..

I’ve learned-
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned-
that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned-
that it’s not what you have in your life
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned-
that you can get by on charm for about
fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t compare
yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned-
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned-
that it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I (God) want(s) me to be.

I’ve learned-
that you should always leave loved ones
with loving words. It may be the last
time you see them.

I’ve learned-
that you can keep going
long after you can’t.

I’ve learned-
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned-
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I’ve learned-
that regardless of how hot and steamy
a relationship is at first, the passion fades
and there had better be something else to take
its place.

I’ve learned-
that heroes are the people
who do what must be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.
With Calvary as the supreme example.

I’ve learned-
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
The love of money is the root of ALL evil.

I’ve learned-
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you’re down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes when I’m angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me
the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned-
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned-
that just because someone doesn’t love
you the way you want them to doesn’t
mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned-
that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you’ve had
and what you’ve learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned-
that you should never tell a child
their dreams are unlikely or outlandish.
Few things are more humiliating, and what
a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned-
that your family won’t always be there for you.
It may seem funny, but people you aren’t
related to can take care of you and love you
and teach you to trust people again. Families
aren’t biological.

I’ve learned –
that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned-
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by
others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive
yourself.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned-
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we
become.

I’ve learned-
that just because two people argue,
it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other
And just because they don’t argue,
it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned-
that we don’t have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a
secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned-
that two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how you try to protect your
children, they will eventually get hurt and
you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned-
that your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don’t even know you.

I’ve learned-
that even when you think you have no more
to give, when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned-
that credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned-
that the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned-
that it’s hard to determine where to draw
the line between being nice and not hurting
people’s feelings and standing up
for what you believe.
Author unknown.

Learn from the Master!!

Heb 12:2 “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.”

 

Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are of lovely,
whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there is
anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

Faith of a Child…

Mark 10:15 “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom
of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Faith of a Child

Tess was a precocious eight-year-old when she heard her Mom and Dad
talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very
sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment
next month because Daddy didn’t have the money for the doctor’s bills and the
house. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like
there was no one to loan them the money. She heard Daddy say to her tearful
Mother with whispered desperation, “Only a miracle can save him now.”

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding
place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted
it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No
chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and
twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks
to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big Red Indian Chief sign above the
door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but
he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing
noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she
could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged
it on the glass counter.

That did it! “And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed
tone of voice. “I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen
in ages”, he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

“Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess answered back in
the same annoyed tone.

“He’s really; really sick and I want to buy a miracle.”

“I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist.

“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and
my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle
cost?”

“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,”
the pharmacist said, softening a little.

“Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest.”

The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and
asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does your brother need?”

“I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. “I just know he’s
really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. My Daddy can’t pay for it,
so I want to use my money”.

“How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago.

“One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audibly. “And it’s all
the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.”

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents is the exact
price of a miracle for little brothers.” He took her money in one hand and
with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said, “Take me to where you
live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have
the kind of miracle you need.”

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in
neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t long
until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking
about the chain of events that had led them to this place.
“That surgery,” her Mom whispered, “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it
would have cost?”

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost, one dollar and eleven
cents, plus the faith of a little child. A miracle is not the suspension of
natural law, but the operation of a higher law……

Luke 18:17 “Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the

kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence
of things not seen.”

Things you’ll need to Know after Birth…

Phil 4:8 “Finally brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be anything praiseworthy think on these things.”

Things you’ll need to Know after Birth!

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.
  • Jesus must be number one in your life.
  • Character matters.
  • Family is vital.
  • Love your neighbor as yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember, most stuff is small.
  • The most boring word in any language is “I”.
  • Nobody is indispensable, especially you.
  • Life is full of surprises. Just say “never” and you’ll see.
  • People are more important than things.
  • Listen 90% of the time & speak the other 10%. Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.
  • Only Jesus can make you eternally happy. Make Him Lord of your life.
  • There’s so much bad in the best of us.
  • Gossip is sin.
  • Live by what you trust, not by what you fear. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (If He is our Savior)
  • If you wait to have kids until you can afford them, you probably never will.
  • Baby kittens don’t begin to open their eyes for six weeks after birth. Men generally take about 26 years. Maybe longer for some of us. I was ‘born again’ at 28…..!
  • The world would run a lot smoother if more men knew how to dance. That one I have still not mastered!
  • Television ruins more minds than drugs. Do you suppose satan or many of his army reside in Hollywood?
  • Sometimes there is more to gain in being wrong than in being right. If you are willing to admit to it!
  • Life is so much simpler when you tell the truth. Even the little white lie is sin.
  • People who do the world’s real work don’t usually wear neckties.
  • A good joke beats a pill for a lot of ailments.
  • There are no substitutes for fresh air, sunshine and exercise both spiritually and physically.
  • A smile is the cheapest way to improve your looks, even if your teeth are crooked.
  • May you live life so there is standing room only at your funeral. And may those at your funeral be confident of your new home.
  • Mothers always know best, but sometimes fathers know, too.
  • Forgive yourself, your friends and your enemies.
  • If you don’t do anything else in life, love God first.

Deut. 6:5 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

Religion or Jesus…

Religion or Jesus….

Most Religious organizations are manmade. Did you know that none of the denominations you hear of today are ever mentioned by name in the Bible? The early CHRISTian Church is called “The Way” but the current major denominations you and I know of are not mentioned in scripture.

Having said that I do want to say that Jesus does mention His worldwide Church and the importance of placing yourself and your family under a doctrinally sound local church. The structure of the church is actually designed by God in the Bible. Sadly the reasons that many use to choose a local church have nothing or very little at best to do with sound doctrine from the Bible. Many times people choose a church based on the size of the congregation or newness of the church building or the programs it has available to every member of the family or where their family has traditionally attended. While those items offer value they are not the reason Jesus wants to place you and your family in a local church.

Doctrine very seldom receives much or enough value in the decision making process of where should I and my family fellowship. Nor does the decision take into account that maybe the reason a program is missing is because I have not yet started to serve using my spiritual gift(s). Maybe that church that is missing something is exactly where I am to be…………so that it is not lacking that ministry. What a change of thought in the decision-making process. As God reminds us in Isaiah 55:8, His ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts so we dare not depend on what we think is best while not seeking God’s wisdom.

We are by nature a selfish people and it carries over into our decision making as to where we fellowship. What matters to Jesus is that the decision must be based on where He wants us to serve not where am I most comfortable. And of course, that first means you must have Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

First and foremost, in our local church selection process is what doctrine a church practice. The cornerstone of doctrine is “what must I do to be saved?”. False and manmade religions teach a doctrine of works plus Jesus for salvation. Check out (Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”) on that one.  The name is Jesus. Many have the name of Jesus in their church but attach works such as Church Membership, Attendance, Giving, Baptism, etc to the Gospel to be saved or ‘born again’ (John 3:3). While those are all good things and spoken of in the Bible none are ever added to the doctrine of salvation in the Bible. Attaching anything or any activity to Jesus sacrifice for our salvation means His death was not sufficient and as scripture says is, “another Jesus and another Gospel”. It is not of God.

Gal 2:21 “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

For where I will spend eternity is not about the church I attend but about who is my Lord and Savior.  Eternity with God and not satan comes down to what do I believe about Jesus and what He said. Jesus made one Church. To be a member you must…

John 3:3 “For truly I say unto you, unless a man is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

 John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am THE WAY, the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father, BUT BY ME.”

Our first requirement is to align with a local church that is professing the Gospel with sound doctrine and then to let the Holy Spirit use us with the spiritual gift(s) He has given us in that setting. Once again, the local church must be doctrinally sound. We must use the correct motive for serving there and that motive is to serve Jesus.

Luke 22:26,27 “But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.”        So, what is the doctrine of your church and more importantly what are you and your family trusting in and being taught? And is your focus on where you fellowship to be entertained or to serve? If you are not sure ask those leading your church one question and listen for the answer.

The question is; WHAT MUST I DO TO SPEND ETERNITY WITH JESUS.

The answer should be;

John 3:3 “For truly I say unto you, unless a man is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

 John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am THE WAY, the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father, BUT BY ME.”

Adversity, a Tool for Spiritual Growth

Romans 5:3-5 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation develops patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Adversity, a Tool for Spiritual Growth

Can adversity in my life come from God? How should I view that adversity? Or is adversity in my life simply a result of fleshly or spiritual issues that I have and if I were spiritually stronger these things would never happen to me? These questions are asked by Christians of all maturity levels.

Some church organizations focus on the “Health, Wealth and Prosperity” theme and that adversity has no place in the life of a Christian. Is that true? Those churches teach that God would have you to be healthy and wealthy with never a hint of adversity in your life. That teaching is attractive to our fleshly emotions. If you are experiencing adversity their answer is that it is because you are weak in faith. They say if you just come to their church, support the programs, join in with the emotional message that God lift you up physically and materially. Many get deceived by this because it offers what the flesh wants. And the flesh always wants only what is best for it.

II Tim 4:3,4 “For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.”

So, how does God view adversity and our spiritual development? Our answer as with all questions in life is right there in the Book. There are many examples in scripture that help us understand how God views this topic and the depth of His love for us. Our obvious best example is our Savior Jesus. He came to display unconditional love while doing the will of the Father. We will never have to experience the depth of pain that Jesus experienced for us. If we are looking for our own will to be done it is easy to fall into the Health, Wealth and Prosperity trap.

Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

We could also look at the lives of Noah, Jonah, Moses, Job, David, Joseph, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Rehab, Ruth, Daniel, Paul, Peter, Mary and on and on. What we see are individuals that were molded by the circumstances that God sent into their lives. Those circumstances were simply not a result of their weak faith and fortunately they never viewed them like that. God loved them as He loves us and wanted the best for their lives. The question was what was best for their lives to bring glory of God and not to provide comfort for self. Each of those mentioned above experienced adversity and out of it came growth and more importantly God was pleased and glorified. That growth occurred only after they got to the place in their lives where they said, your will be done and not mine. None were blessed or avoided adversity simply because of strong faith. Their spiritual maturity grew as they presented themselves to God as living sacrifices to perform His will through their lives.

James 1:2, 3 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

Rom 12:1, 2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

For me when I accept adversity as being from God the benefits are spiritual growth. When I reject trials as being from God the result is frustration, heartache and even tears. I have memorized II Cor 12:9 to help me in those times of adversity. It reminds me that God is in control and wants to lift up His name by His work in my life. WOW, you cannot have anything more than that if you are looking for purpose in your life.

In II Corinthians 12 Paul first viewed his “thorn” as a limiting handicap. After requesting that God remove it multiple times he received the answer. It was no. By the way, no and wait are answers to prayer. He evaluated the answer and came up with the spiritually correct answer. God had a purpose for the thorn and he was much better off accepting it than ignoring or complaining about it. After coming to the true perspective, he regarded it as a heavenly advantage. Pains and problems come into our lives and if viewed properly are tools reminding us of God’s all-sufficient grace.

Whatever your “thorn” today, remembers—His grace IS sufficient and it is available right now!!!!!!!

II Cor 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

God’s Definition of Guidance…

Luke 22:40-42 “ When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

God’s Definition of Guidance…

When I meditated on the word guidance, I kept seeing “dance” at the end of
the word. I remember reading that doing God’s will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn’t flow
with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.

When one person realizes and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow
with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or
by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It’s as if two become one
body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and
attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word guidance. When I saw “G,” I thought of God,
followed by “u” and “I.” “God, “u” and “I” dance.” God, you, and I dance. This statement is what guidance means to me. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead.

My prayer for you today is that God’s blessings and mercies be upon you and
your family on this day and every day. May you abide in Him as He abides in
you. Dance together with God, trusting Him to lead and to guide you through
each season of your life.

And for those of you that know me closer than others you realize how poor of a dancer I am. I truly need my Lord leading me every step of the way…..HIS WAY!

Rom 12:1,2 “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by
the renewing of your mind, that you prove what is that good and acceptable and
perfect will of God.”