An Anchor For my Soul

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What anchors your soul friends? There are so many different religions, so much writing against God, be it philosophical or scientific. How do you know what you believe is true? The Bible exhorts us to have an answer for why we believe what we believe.

Had some talented debater, or gifted orator, come to me before getting saved and told me all their reasonings on why there is no God I would have had that seed of doubt planted within me. I had no clear evidence in my own heart, I was following after religion, not Christ. Judging by the heresy I had already been convinced of, I’m not sure just what I could have believed had God not stepped in.

This is my anchor, Christ and Christ crucified. Is this your anchor? If you find yourself, like I was, chasing religion, I urge you to work through your faith with fear and trembling as Paul said. How is it that now, unlike the decade I spent in church, I am now anchored so firmly?

IMG_4945It’s almost been two years since salvation came to our house. Repentance, conversion, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit does not produce emotional fervor like I had been taught. It produced in me peace, contentment, joy, deep desire for fellowship, the reading of God’s Word, and prayer. Rather than emotional highs enhanced by drums and repetitive lyrics, I was set free from the sin that had bound me. Free! Nothing had ever freed me from the sin hiding in my heart. Wretched, filthy sin that could only give birth to death. I had struggled for years with that sin, minute to minute, hour to hour, day by day. I wanted my sin, I loved my sin, but I knew it was wrong so I tried by my own merit not to do what I wanted to do. This, friends, is not freedom. Had someone ventured in to whisper the lie that my sin wasn’t really a sin, and no one would get hurt, I might have believed them.

Scripture
Romans-6-23
Praise God, the one true God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, He set me free! He took out my old heart of stone and gave me one of flesh in its place. This new heart had new desires. I no longer loved my sin, I hated it. It disgusted me. I’m still disgusted by it, every time the enemy reminds me of the person I use to be. I no longer want to sin, I no longer have to try not to do the things I want to do. He who the Son sets free is free indeed!

This anchors my soul when the enemy comes to tell me God is not real, I can point to the freedom I have. When someone comes with a false doctrine, I can point to the freedom I have. When false religions come, offering a different god, I can point to the freedom I have. This anchors my soul. Nothing can change the fact that what I once loved I now hate.

If you have yet to find such an anchor for your soul, if you’ve been in church for years and still love your sin, let me encourage you not to delay. Recognize your sin for what it is, the very thing that separates you from God, the very thing that damns your soul to eternal judgment. Repent! Flee from the wrath to come. Cry out to God, repent of your sins and ask God to forgive you. Do not think that you can save yourself, not by works, or by some sinners prayer. We can be saved only by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone!

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Testimony of Charo Washer

This was a very difficult testimony for me to watch, as it is so very similar to my own conversion story. My greatest fear is that there are so many more people sitting in church wearing themselves out, unregenerate, and unaware of the eternal consequences. The lie that saying a quick prayer can get you out of hell, that you can earn your way into heaven by saying that prayer, has fooled millions. Satan is so deceptive, he found a way to lull the world into this deception. Between this and evolution is it any wonder that we are seeing such a great falling away in the church?

I hope Charo’s testimony will be as much a blessing to you all, friends, as it was to me.

Charo Washer’s Testimony

Understanding How to Pray

I’ve been wanted to write about this for a while now, as much as salvation is confused by charlatans and wolves in the church, prayer is as well. It’s all packaged together in the same lie, that to get saved all you have to do is say the sinner’s prayer, then everything in your life will be perfect. You’ll be healthy, wealthy, and full of joy! What a selling pitch, I would suggest these pastors missed their marks as car salesmen but they’re making a bundle already.

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Proverbs-23-4-5

 

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James-5-11

 

This is disturbing, as we see statistics showing as many people leaving charismatic churches as there are coming in. Once the people coming in realize that their financial troubles never went away, their health is still bad, their marriage is still falling apart, they have no peace or joy, they leave. The sad part is that most of those disenfranchised by the lies peddled in modern churches leave the faith altogether, most becoming agnostics.

How can this be, when the truth is so clear in the Word of God? Most of these churches do not push scriptural knowledge, the pastors come in on Sunday with one or two short verses and a bunch of feel-good mush in between. This is why the music is so important, you have to pump the music and get the masses to an emotional state. Then you scratch their itching ears with personal stories, and everyone goes home feeling happy right? That’s not what the statistics show.

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James-4

When you spend hours each week praying for more money, bigger and better stuff, adoration from your spouse and children, respect from your family and coworkers, and yet nothing changes, you begin to wonder. If anyone is reading this right now and finds themselves in this very discouraging place let me give you one scripture that destroys the ‘name it and claim it’ TV evangelistic philosophy.

James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

You see, these men are promising things that they have no authority to offer. When they don’t come true, when you stay poor and sick, they tell you it’s because you don’t have enough faith. Thus, they hang heavy burdens on you, burdens they are unwilling to help carry. Christ said His yoke is not heavy.

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Matthew-6-9-13

Jesus gave us an example of how to pray in Matthew 6: 9-13, not once does He suggest to His disciples that they should name it and claim it. He gives another example when He, Himself, is praying to the Father before His crucifixion. He says Your will, not mine. Is this what is being taught? Pray for Gods will, even if it means pain, suffering, or death? What does Paul tell us, that when he prayed for the thorn in his flesh to go away it did? Did he pray for health and wealth? Just the opposite, in fact, he tells us that he thanked God for his many afflictions, and worked with his hands to provide for himself rather then taking money from believers.

Friends, please do not be fooled by the promise of wealth, or health. We are promised in the Bible healing, when our bodies are glofied and we live in a sinless world with no curse. There are those who God chooses to heal, but it’s for His glory not some egomaniac  on TV. Pray for the sick, pray for yourself when you are sick, there’s nothing wrong with that, unless you hope to heal someone so you can look spiritual. God searches the heart of man. It always comes back to the heart.fullsizeoutput_145d

If you’ve been told that saying a quick prayer when you were a teenager was a get out of hell free card, let me implore you…work through your salvation through fear and trembling. Where there is a conversion there is evidence of that conversion. If you have been saved you will bear fruit, you will HATE the sin you use to love. You will LOVE the God you use to ignore. A prayer can not save you. You’re confidence in that prayer can not save you. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

Wednesday Testimony – The Ethiopian Man

Acts 8 gives us another story of conversion as an example of what salvation is. Grace alone. Faith alone. Christ alone.

Today, in keeping with the series of testimonials, I want to give a short outline of another conversion story we see in Acts. Last week we talked about the conversion of Saul into Paul, this week we’re going to talk about The Ethiopian man. We don’t know much about him, but we know he was searching for answers in Isaiah when the Spirit led Philip to go and talk to him.

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As we learned when we went through Sauls conversion, repentence and a change of heart happen when salvation comes. In these verses we see the biblical docterine that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We also see what we, as believers, need to do to become fishers of men. When someone is seeking salvation we must preach Christ, and Christ crucified. Once Phillip had done this, interestingly enough using the Old Testment alone, the Ethiopian was saved.

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There is so much confusion over salvation, and the burden on my heart is to show what conversion is, and isn’t. There is no ‘sinners prayer’ in Sauls conversion or the Ethiopians. Nor did either of these men come to salvation because of a prayer. It was through expounding the Word, and finding a clear understanding there in. fullsizeoutput_145dThrough Gad’s great grace salvation has been offered, with faith alone we can now be saved, once we put that faith in Christ, and Christ alone, the one and only Messiah. To be saved we must have faith, once salvation comes and conversion takes place, there will be evidence of that change.

Another important thing we see here is that Phillip wanted to make sure, before baptism, that the Ethiopian had faith in the right person. Willy nilly baptising folks to gain numbers on the books, and bottoms in the seats, is not what we see here. If Christ is our example all else fades away, including ‘church building’.

As always friends, be good Boreans, study, pray, and use the full counsel of God’s Word.

Twisted Tuesday – Two or Three Gathered

Today I want to briefly untwist Matthew 18:20.

Scripture
Matthew 20:18

 

I had heard for years that this scripture meant that you needed to pray with brothers and sisters in Christ for your prayer to be really effective. When I first learned the context of this verse I felt like the confusion was benign. What did it really hurt that church folk over-romanticized this?

After focusing on this, the longer I thought about it the more concerned it made me. There are two problems with getting this verse wrong. But first, what is it actually about?

The context of this verse is actually church discipline, when someone has backslid, brothers and sisters lovingly need to help pull one another out of sin.

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John 13:34

First, you take your brother aside if they won’t listen bring two or three if they still won’t repent you bring them before the church. If they refuse to repent when the matter is shown them the third time, that is when they need to be removed from the congregation. Again, the heart is important, this needs to be done in love with a deep concern for the souls of the congregation and the individual in sin.

So, what’s the big deal about getting this verse wrong? First, suggesting that this verse means Christ is only with us when two or three are gathered is clearly a contradiction of other verses that say God is omnipresent. It also seems to say that we can manipulate God into doing what we want, so long as we say the prayer the right way.

The second and a more concerning point is the church disciple that is neglected. As churches move to watered down gospels, church discipline has disappeared. Due to this, many of the true believers are being hurt by the sinful conduct of false converts. True believers are also being neglected by church leadership, whose responsibility it is to confront sin.

fullsizeoutput_144bLastly, we need to remember that God’s Word is holy, it must at all times be treated as such. God’s Word is a light unto our path, let’s not muffle that light! Take the full counsel friends, not twisted scriptures used out of context to make things more comfortable.

Monday Fossils – Fooling the Foolish

A cold bug has found its way into our house, so my dear ones are sick.  I wish I had more time to write this really well, maybe we can go back over each of these individually when everyone gets to feeling better. I’m just going to mention a few things for everyone to research, in their free time, to help edify the body and build up your faith.

These are just a few short points, in a long list, where evolutions got…creative? That’s probably putting it too kindly for most of these.

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Albert Einstein

Particularly for the Piltdown man, and the Archeaoraptor.

The Piltdown man was a forgery introduced in 1912 that took over four decades to be revealed as a hoax. Artist renderings were drawn up, this was the missing link.

Piltdown Man
by James Howard McGregor

There’s Nebraska man, whose entire family was even rendered with him, all from a single tooth. One tooth is all was found of him. That is some creativity friends.

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Whale Evolution Update

Even “Lucy” has been found to have been a knuckle walker. The facial reconstruction of other bones even looks an awful lot like Chuch Norris. These findings are more clearly being labeled, the further science goes, as either ancient apes or people with bad diets.

Picture’s of fetus’ growing in the womb are replaced by horse evolution, which has been replaced with whale evolution.

This is not to say that Evolutionists are all purposefully trying to trick people. They are human beings, they get excited, this is their life. These are the very things they have searched for. When the announcement is made it makes big news, the link has been found! It’s quietly found out two or three plus decades later that there is disagreement or new evidence, and it’s refuted without fanfare.

The point is that Evolution is not fact, and the ‘evidence’ used to ‘prove’ the theory is always changing. As one point is refuted, another comes up to take its place. We should not base our faith in something so flawed. Put your faith in God’s Word, and science will eventually catch up. Don’t be dismayed, or discouraged, when the new missing link is found. Look carefully, take it with a grain of salt, they’ve been wrong before. Foolish people have been and still are, fooled by the multitude of ‘evidences’ which have been proven false. Enjoy science, read, learn, and pay attention…but stay watchful. Never let your faith be shaken, particularly not by something which is so often proven wrong.

Hold fast to the full counsel of God’s Word, run the good race friends!

A Book Review of The Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

Last week we talked about the Strong’s Concordance, a wonderful Bible help that is invaluable. Another Bible help that is comparable, and in some respects even more helpful depending on the type of study you’re doing, is the Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge.

1565638336If the Concordance is often left unmentioned, the Treasury is virtually invisible. This book is an absolute treasure, true to its name! I’m not sure how it is possible that the churches have forgotten the hard work believers have put into the blessing and edifying the body of Christ, but it’s time we were reminded.

The Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge is usually printed with R. A. Torrey’s name, although he promoted the book, he wasn’t the author.

Torrey was an important American evangelist who was even the superintendent of a little-known

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Moody Bible Institute​

school, although it was called something different back then, it’s now known as Moody Bible Institute. He was also born a decade and a half after the book was published, in 1830. Samuel Bagster was the man behind this jewel, this particular saint had a heart for getting the Word to more people.

If you’re doing a word study I strongly recommend the Concordance, however, if you are just reading a verse that you want to go deeper on, the Treasury is the place to go. It connects the verses, whereas the Concordance just gives you one word at a time. There are over 500,000 references in the TSK, and as with the Concordance, the entire book is available in App form! You can also find several websites offering this tool free, along with inexpensive copies for your own library on Amazon.

I hope you will all find this book friend, and use it, and that it helps each and every one of you grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.