The Bible has the answer for everything in life. All we need to do is search the scriptures.
Acts 17:11 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
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about Eternal Life...
Do all religions lead to the same place?
A common thought in society is that all of the world’s religions are not that different from one another, and that, consequently, everyone is just taking a different path to the same place. Therefore, Christians should fellowship with Muslims, Baptists should worship with Catholics and Mormons, etc. However, the truth of the Bible is that there are false religions and prophets in the world, and that there is only one way to God and Heaven.
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.” I
John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone into the world.
Col. 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
I Tim. 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
Eph. 4:5-6 “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all…”
Exod. 20:3-4 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image..”
Matt. 7:21 “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.”
I Pet. 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
I Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
Gal. 1:9 “As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Any belief system, church, prophet, preacher, professing-Christian, etc. who preaches and teaches contrary to the doctrines of the Bible is of the devil. Furthermore, churches and Christians who fail to point out false teachers and doctrines are not doing their job (see the following “Judge Not” section).
Is it wrong to judge?
Mathew 7:1 is often held by the scripturally and spiritually illiterate as a commandment to Christians to not say anything or anyone is wrong (Matt. 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”). However, neither this passage nor the Bible forbids Christians from judging, rebuking, reprimanding, or warning others. When reading Matthew seven in context, it is clear that the teaching is this: if you judge, you should be prepared to be judged, and before you worry about your neighbor’s sin you should first remove the sin from your own life (Matt. 7:5). In other words, the passage tells us how to judge not to not judge. For the Christians who are not hypocrites, i.e. living in sin, the Bible is very straightforward.
Jude 3-4 “... earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
II Tim. 4:2 “...Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.”
I Cor. 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things…”
I Tim. 5:20 “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”
Phil. 3:17-18 “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.”
Eph. 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Gal. 4:16 “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”
John the Baptist judged (Matt. 3:7)
Paul judged (Acts 13:10)
Stephen judged (Acts 7:51)
Jesus judged (Matt. 23:33, Mark 11:15)
David judged (Psalm 139:19-24)
(Also read Jude 23, I John 4:1, James 4:4)
If God is love, why would He send people to hell?
Perhaps one of the most misconstrued concepts in the Bible is the character of God. From a person who cannot find the book of Genesis to tithe-loving, fake-smiling present day preachers, everyone knows that “God is love,” but nobody seems to know what else the Bible says. Yes, God is love, but God is also so holy that He cannot even look upon sin, let alone allow it a presence with Him in heaven. God is a righteous judge and he will judge righteously. Furthermore, God has a number of holy emotions including hate, anger, jealousy, etc. As John 3:16 says, God did love the world. He loved it enough to send his only begotten Son to die for it. However, God is angry with people who reject Him and the Bible and choose to remain in and seek their sin instead of seeking the Savior.
Hab.1:13 “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity...”
Psalm 5:4-5 “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”
Psalm 7:11 “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”
John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Heb. 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
Psalm 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Hell is a place of actual fire and actual pain.
Mark 9:43 Jesus said, “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:”
Matt. 13:50 “And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
(Also read Rev. 20:15, Matt. 25:41, Luke 16)
Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom:”
What about people who have never heard the gospel?
One reason people give for their decision to not believe the Bible and what it says about heaven, hell, salvation, etc. is because there are people in remote parts of the world who have never read the Bible and have never been told that the God of the Bible is real. So, by their logic, it is unfair for such people to die and go to hell. Sadly, most people who are hung up on this idea have never cracked open a Bible to find the answer (perhaps because they like having an excuse not to believe in a God that judges people for sin). The answer is simple. Everyone is born into this world with the knowledge that there is a God. And all of God’s creation (including your own conscience) points to this truth.
Psalm 19:1-3 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”
John 1:9 “That was the true Light [ Jesus], which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
Rom. 1:19-20 “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible thing of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and God-head; so that they are without excuse.”
Whether you are in Liberia, Lewiston or anywhere else, you have to choose to seek the truth—to seek God. If a person is seeking, God will send them the answer. It takes faith to seek though. Both a pastor’s son in the U.S. and the son of a man in Liberia must have enough faith to seek and believe in something they cannot see.
Heb. 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Matt. 7:7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find... For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth…”
Do good works save?
Before reading further, ask yourself this question: When you die, why would you go to heaven?
If your answer has anything to do with how “good” you are, the good things you’ve done, the bad things you haven’t done, or how hard you are trying, then it is a Biblical fact that you are unsaved and bound for hell, a place of literal fire and pain, when you die. This is because such an answer would prove that you're trusting in yourself and not Christ for salvation. Christ is dependable, you and I are not.
The entire theme of the Bible is that mankind is sinful and that the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God’s son, is the only thing that can pay the price for our sin. Salvation is a gift from God. You don’t work for a gift, you simply must have enough faith to accept it.
Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”
Rom 6:25 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Eph. 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,: it is the gift of God: Not of works, let any man should boast.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Rom. 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Does water baptism save?
Nope. That false notion is called "baptismal regeneration" and we cover it on this page: truthlewiston.com/lies/baptismal-regeneration
Can you lose your salvation?
Nope. That lie, which is promoted by Arminians (including Nazarenes), is covered on this page: truthlewiston.com/lies/arminianism-nazarene
Attending – Should Christians attend church?
Yes. You should find the best Bible-believing, God-fearing church you can and go faithfully. In fact, the Bible tells us to not forsake a church gathering. It’s impossible to exhort or be exhorted if not present.
Heb. 10:24-25 “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
You will not find a Christian in the New Testament who did not attend and make the local church a center part of their life. The Apostle Paul spent his entire Christian life starting, helping, and attending local churches. It is the Christian way.
The local church is called the house of God. Don’t forsake the house of God.
1 Tim. 3:15 “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
Psalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
Psalm 84:10 “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
Psalm 84:4 “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.”
Psalm 92:12-14 "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;"
God has long used and worked in the assembling/congregation of believers. Where believers gather, God is. God doesn’t miss a gathering. Neither should you.
Matt. 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Psalm 35:18 “I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.”
Acts 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”
What about Sunday evening and Wednesday services? When the church doors are open, go. Don’t forsake an assembling. If life is in the way, change your life. There is no such thing as too much glorifying, seeking or serving God. Those who are truly panting after God will love multiple services a week. Those who aren’t, won’t.
Psalm 134:1 “Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord.”
Acts 20:7 “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”
Psalm 42:1 “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”
Membership – Should Christians join churches?
If you wanted to compete on the playing field you would join the team. If you wanted to fight in the war you would join the army. If you want to run the Christian race and join the spiritual battlefield you will find and join the best local church you can find. The local church is the front lines of the battle between good and evil, truth and lies, heaven and hell.
Absolutely. Christians should find the best church they can and join it in membership.
Your name should be listed somewhere
When local New Testament churches first started in Acts 2, we find the concept of people being saved, baptized, and then “added unto them” (to the church).
Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
Later in scripture we see churches are commanded to remove people from membership so that those in sin are not “named among” them.
1 Cor. 5:13 “But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
Eph. 5:3 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;”
Therefore, we see that the Biblical pattern is for people to be added and subtracted from churches. To add to or subtract from a church implies that an established listing of church members must exist (e.g. you could not add or subtract from a bank account that does not exist).
Furthermore, logistically, who would make such decisions to remove someone from a church? Would some unaffiliated random group of non-church members make this vote? No, the vote and decision would be made by existing church members.
The Biblical pattern is for a Christian is to be a member of a local church. And, instead of centering their lives around jobs, schools, and family, the Biblical pattern is for Christians to move because God has called them to a new church. Such a move is seamless for church members as one local church (composed of members) sends a church letter of approval to another local church (composed of members). Without membership, who would write such letters, who would read such letters, and why?
1 Cor. 16:3 “And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.”
You should have a pastor
Without church membership, who is your pastor? Who is over you? Who do you submit to? Who has the rule over you?
1 Thess. 5:12-13 “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.”
And, conversely, who is in a pastor’s flock if there is no such thing as church membership? Will a pastor give account for someone who pops into two services a year? How about ten or twenty services? The answer is that a pastor is called to watch for the souls and to give an account for those who are underneath him as members of his flock, not simply visitors. To believe anything else is confusion that is not authored by God.
1 Peter 5:2 “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;”
Hebrews 13:17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
Sabbath – What day should a church meet?
Learn more: Seventh Day Adventism
Tithing – Should Christians tithe?
Yes. You should tithe. Tithing is not just for Jews, or for certain believers, it is for all believers. Abraham shows us the timeless principle of tithing way back in Genesis – long before the Law.
Gen. 14:20 “And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”
Jacob also shows us that tithing (giving back a tenth of what God has given you) is Biblical. He calls it “the tenth,” as if hearkening to a well-known rule – long before the Law.
Gen. 28:22 “And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”
The New Testament is also full of the principle of tithing and of giving offerings (something above the tenth) as well. I Corinthians tells us to give as God has “prospered,” which means to give in proportion (10%) to what God has given you.
1 Cor. 16:1-2 “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
II Corinthians tells us to give bountifully (an offering) over and above the commanded (necessity) tenth, and to do it cheerfully. Why? Because God blesses people who give.
2 Cor. 9:6-8 “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work”
Malachi tells us that people who do not tithe are robbing God.
Malachi 3:8-10 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Women Pastors – Should women be pastors?
No, women shouldn't be pastors. Furthermore, they shouldn't teach men within the church at all. This latter point is being neglected as more and more lukewarm churches are having women lead congregational devotionals, lessons, sessions, marriage seminars, etc.
Other topic areas to come: