Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Heaven - A Truth Used to Deceive


Rom.16: 17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.

II Tim.3: 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

Eternal life. There it is. Through faith in the Lord Jesus we have been given eternal life with Him in a place called heaven. It is a reality that is most like a dream. It is glorious and it gained through faith alone in Jesus and what He alone has accomplished for us. I do not discount eternal life or the place called heaven. Even Paul said it was “far better” to be with Christ. However if we read the writings of the Apostle Paul and the entirety of the New testament we can see that there is much more to following Jesus than just stopping for a moment securing a place in heaven, and then continuing the life you were living.

The faith called Christianity has been defined almost exclusively by the doctrine of heaven. To be sure all those who have been born again will inherit eternal life in a place called heaven, but over the years the blind focus on a future heaven has significantly compromised the commands and dictates of the Spirit as it pertains to the life here and now. Christianity has become a ticket to heaven with everything else being like a smorgasbord. In other words take what you like in great quantities, and leave what does not suit your taste. That is not the faith that follows Jesus Christ. That is a man made religion which makes man his own master and makes Christ the Master only within the pages of doctrine and His Lordship only authoritative in that place called heaven.

And there is an unspoken but observable practice within the pews of evangelical churches. It suggests that as long as I make it to heaven I can serve Christ in a way which costs very little and which for all practical purposes only interrupts my western lifestyle a couple of times a week when I must travel to a gathering place. The doctrine of eternal security, especially as it has been taught in evangelical churches, has done much harm and given much false assurance to baptized church members whose profession and expression of the faith can barely be distinguished apart from the lives of unbelievers. Again, it is a teaching which makes heaven an already achieved goal and makes obeying Christ fully as an elective.

And here is a disturbing fact if we are even willing to examine what is happening, and in this case what is not happening. Millions of church members who have made some kind of profession of faith live completely by the dictates of their own desires and lusts. They do not read God’s Word, they do not pray, they sacrifice nothing, they seek success and material gain, and they never share Christ with the lost. And yet these same people who the church has pronounced as “saved” simply by accepting them as “members” are not being chastened by God at all. Most of them are well fed and satisfied western patriots who enjoy their church and live as somewhat moral unbelievers and yet endure no chastening at all. That, my friends, is a very frightening scenario which has alarming implications, or at least it should alarm us. But since the pulpits rain down assurances without any conditions these kinds of people feel no conviction at all.

Think about what has happened. The place we call heaven, the place where God dwells, has been used by the evil one to deceive millions. Eternal life must never be downplayed or minimized at all. It is the supreme gift of God through Jesus Christ. That is without question. But when the faith has become almost solely about making heaven and with following Christ here and now as an aside, then the teaching about heaven becomes a deception. And millions of people who want to go to heaven punch their ticket without counting the cost because most gospel presentations have no cost in them whatsoever. This is not what Jesus taught at all.

Let us be clear though. Jesus paid it all. No one can add or subtract from the redemption that was bought and paid for and finished by Christ at Golgotha. His resurrection openly revealed Who He was and what He had accomplished. Human works are not only irrelevant as it pertains to the blood that was shed, but if human works are added it poisons the gospel. But here is where there is a sacred and fine line. The Author of eternal redemption presents a far different picture of saving faith than does the church today.

Today one prayer spoken by a sinner who has been affected by music and adept altar workers is considered air tight. And after this sinner repeats a scripted prayer he is automatically given assurance that he is saved and on his way to heaven. And there is also a well orchestrated push to have him agree to be baptized. It is an incredible assembly line technique that puts Eli Whitney to shame. The church is so concerned with growth and buildings and budgets that it has by necessity constructed and evangelism which is streamlined and designed to close the deal quickly, effortlessly, and have sinners become members and givers. It is a western technique to be sure which cannot be found anywhere among the teachings of the Savior.

What altar worker says to someone who responds to a well oiled invitation process, “Have you counted the cost?” No, the object is to have that sinner say a prayer, fill out a card, and agree to be baptized and during that process give him full assurance. And that sinner gets the impression that he is now on his way to heaven and from here on out he can slide into being just like the rest of the church. Cost? Sacrifice? Self denial? Repentance? Who are we kidding? He has punched his ticket to heaven and if he begins to tithe, well then he is a true disciple.

But this is a very dangerous and diabolical church culture in which we live. I do not suggest we put sinners on a one year probation before they can get baptized. There is no Biblical time frame. However there are some clear admonitions concerning true believers and followers of the Lord Jesus. And we have millions of professing believers who join churches because of the loaves and fishes while others want earth and heaven as well. And the visible church has become a ecclesiastical business that captures sinners, quickly teaches them the ropes, and consumes them into the general assembly to dwell within the ranks of the unremarkable devotees of a western religion.

But the carrot continues to be heaven. What a convoluted mess! Heaven should be a great and wonderful teaching of the church. But when it becomes the exclusive target without presenting what it truly means to follow Jesus then heaven becomes an idol. That is a heartbreaking reality. Jesus is Lord not a Santa Claus. He paid for heaven and through faith it is a free gift, however exercising faith in Christ involves more than mumbling a few words. There is sacred bond between faith and works, and faith alone is not genuine faith. It is a fraud and that kind of fraudulent faith is being perpetuated upon the masses.

The American church has been built upon earthly material blessings and a promise of heaven without any hint of self denial and sacrifice. That is a fraud. When hordes of people can join churches and still live the American dream it publicly and Biblically renders that church as a religious institution without Christ. And millions of evangelical church members place their heads on their pillows at night content with the notion that their heaven ticket has been punched. After all, their adulterous hireling has given them that assurance. But in the end I fear millions upon millions will find their eternal souls were at risk all the while.

These are indeed perilous time in which we live. And the whiles of the devil are more sinister and potent than we could have ever imagined. We recognize deception when it comes in the form of redefining Jesus, or salvation by works, or another form of Scripture, but could we ever have imagined that heaven would be used to deceive millions? God help all of us…

II Cor.13: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?


Anonymous said...

Matthew 7:13,14
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy
that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Anonymous said...

I wonder though, if the wayward church is even thinking beyond this life, and through to heaven. They seem stuck on themselves and power, building kingdoms of this world, showing the world that they are righteous and others should beg at their table.

I know Rick is probably addressing the churches that jump from salvation into blessings, without wanting the refining process. I hope that there are many more who want the refining process than there are those who just want to grab whatever they can from the fantasy that some preachers are preaching. I think that fantasy is living for the now and believing that God is ready to vindicate everyone now and blesses and enriches and sends bounty and joy unspeakable and riches beyond measure now (all in the form of material things).

I have faith that more christians, though, have met the true Jesus, repented, been redeemed, and felt the conviction of God's spirit on them to walk, knowing how wretched we were. I know that in the refining process, we take steps forward and sometimes take many more steps backward, then repent, and on and on. In my experience, every christian I met really had a life-changing experience when they met Jesus, and they were serious in their walk. I want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt that they really were touched and saved by God's grace and love and forgiveness and still receive chastisement and rebuke from godly men and most importantly, the Word. I think that valley of decision where many are faced with so many winds of doctrine and spiritual candy in a store, will have to make a decision soon, all of us. I am afraid I can't keep up; when I think I know scripturally what it means to stay in the fold, I then find another distraction and don't want to spend all my time trying to figure out how to stay on the shepherd's path. And then, there's the question of being the constant missionary.

My verse of the day for today was, "Be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." - Eph. 5:1-2

In my view, the enemy is trying as hard as he can to draw men to his fake promises, and create a schism in the church (which is so obvious now), and tempting the world to protect the compromised church and luring the compromised church into trusting man. Those who are true believers will be left in the lurch. The compromised believers have to decide, are they going to unite with their brethren and serve God, or unite with the systems and electorate and patriots and politicians and media celebrities and lose their souls?

I guess heaven is waiting for that answer.


Anonymous said...

Well, maybe part of the problem is the come as you are gospel, preached by Billy Graham, has caused much of the sad condition the people of God are in today. We are taught we are born in sin, saved in our sin and continue to sin after we are saved. Isn't that backwards? (Ezekiel 18) We choose to sin, we are not born in sin. We must repent of our sins first (Acts 2:38), Godly sorrow brings repentance, which leads to salvation. The Holy Spirit can only come into a clean vessel, cleansed from sin. God brings us out of the kingdom of darkness into his kingdom of light.. Jesus came to save sinners, set the captives free! When we repent, our past sins are forgiven us, not future sins. The power or grace of God is what is given us, through the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to keep us from sinning. We are to live righteous lives.

In studying the scriptures, I see that not all sin is the same. There are certain sins that lead to death (Gal 5:19-21). One example is that we are told to flee fornication because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. And we are not to defile the temple of the Holy Spirit.

If we continue without true repentance in the sins that lead to death..scriptures tells us we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Rev 22:11,12 He that is unjust let him be unjust still, and he which is filthy let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work may be.

We can not be as perfect as God is, we are not God, but God does expect us to be perfect in our devotion towards him, to be faithful in our love toward him. The same as in a marriage between husband and wife. Jesus is coming back for a spotless bride dressed in white wedding garments. Let us take up our cross and die to self daily and follow Christ.

Maybe we need to be taught that living righteous lives is possible for the born again believer and is a good thing.

Rick Frueh said...

We are both born in sin and also choose to sin. Even our past sins were future to the cross. When we are redeemed all our sins are forgiven. If we say we are having no sin the truth is not in us.

Anonymous said...

I think God's thinking is that if man is determined to live continually unjustly then He will grant him the desire of his heart. If however the unjust desire to learn from Him He will show Himself as a teacher of righteousness and lead them in the paths of righteousness.


Anonymous said...

What Rick is teaching is very good, for the Bible clearly teaches that man is born with a sinful nature. Jesus was born without a sinful nature and never sinned.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Rick, just seeking truth here, you quoted 1 John 1:8 "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us".

Isn't this verse speaking of before we repent of our sins and are born again? In verse 9 it says" If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness".
And isn't that verse speaking of what takes place in us after we repent and are born again?

1John 2:3,4 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.

1John 3:6-10 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commiteth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him and cannot sin, because he is born of God.


Rick Frueh said...

Everyone sins.
I Jn.2:My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Here John is writing to believers. He exhorts them not to sin, but when and if they do we have an advocate. Jesus told us to pray forgive us our sins as we forgive others. We should not desire to sin, but until we receive a new body we will not be perfect. Paul tells us that some will get to heaven so as by fire, but their works will be burned up. It is only by grace we are saved. Even the man in the Corinthian church who was committing a sin not mentioned among the Gentiles turned out to be a believer and was received back into fellowship after he repented.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that those who God loves, his children by faith, He corrects. We all sin and we all need God's forgiveness. If we say we do not sin then the truth is not in us.

Rick Frueh said...

I Jn.1: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we had no sin then what was His blood cleansing us of? And these are believers who are walking in the light. And if we, believers, say we have no sin...

Rick Frueh said...

Verse 8 is in the present indicative. Another words, "If we say we are having no sin the truth is not in us." Let us all admit that our experience bears this Scripture out.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog since August.
What stood out to me in this teaching was assembly line salvation . It opened my eyes to that is exactly what the church I attend does.
Alter workers? People are just asked to bow their head and raise thier hand if they wish to say Yes to Jesus. Then the entire congregation prays the same prayer every service. After that if you said Yes to Jesus you are askedto fill out a card or text CHANGED to 313131. and on your way out feel free to pickup a DVD if you have said Yes. How convinient. People used to be asked to come to the front. But we have been told because of large crowds on Easter one year they devloped this system. They found that more people responded if they didn't need to walk to the front. This is done every service even by guest speakers. no matter what the speaker talks on.
Not only is salvation scripted , but before they are baptized they all use the same scripted testimony.
At the beginning of the year they announced how many people said Yes and how many were baptized last year. Lots of applause. Now I really wonder how many were actually born again.
What Rick says here really does happen. It amazes me how blind I have been and how I have just followed the crowd.
I have started to pray Lord where should I go. there are 2 churchs near where I live one a Baptist was having a state politician to speak on the Sunday before July 4. The other an Assembly of God all decked out with American flags and God bless America. I don't want any more part of political churches.

Thank you Rick for what you have written.

Anonymous said...

I once heard a preacher on TBN say he goes for days without sinning. He has to try to sin.
WOW amazing!
I don't have to try. I have to work to walk without sin. Thank God for 1 John 1:9

Anonymous said...

I was in a church Bible Study where a woman responded to the sin issue by saying "I sinned only once this week." And why is it that most of the people who watch TBN, esteeming its preachers and teachers above the very Word of God, call us out on our sins, a.k.a. "God' police force," even blaming innocent individuals for the sins they themselves have committed (the scapesheep syndrome), all the while saying they don't do anything wrong/I have no sin delusion.

Is it possible that conservatism and the "we are little gods" false belief system are locked hand in hand in blinding the masses? My research indicates even Adolph Hitler was a fiscal conservative and used god's name as his beckoning call to nationalism.

We must be very careful and examine ourselves daily to see if we are in the true faith of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Rick, for taking the time to explain. I know we can sin after we are saved..we can get caught up in the things of this world and that happened to me and about 6 yrs ago the Lord showed me the condition of my heart and it put the fear of God in me because I realized that I was not prepared, if my life be required of me, to stand before Jesus. I needed to repent or be lost. God wanted my undivided love and faithfulness. We can't have one foot in this world and one foot with him. Back in 1976..as I was praying, I felt God's love surround me and I had this knowing inside that when I died he wanted me to be with him..it was so overwhelming to know that God, the creator of the universe, loved me, a nobody, and a few weeks later, when I asked him what was wrong with me.. he led me to Jesus by having me listen to a lady sharing her testimony on TV. All I could think about was Jesus and went out and bought a bible. I didn't go to any church and no one ever talked to me about being born again. After a few months got into the church thing and as I look back now ..I can see how it spiritually kills God's people. That's why we need to come out of her and repent and get back to our first love.

Anonymous said...

Great teaching from Rick on this vital subject.

Jann, a believer commits sin but isn't of the devil. A believer commits sin but doesn't continually as a lifestyle desire to commit sin.

A believer's response to his sinning is totally different to that of an unsaved person.

Least Brother said...

Dear Brother Rick,
Greetings the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus. I have been reading your blog for quite a while now and I just wanted to say what a breath of fresh air, to find a like minded brother. That being said this particular post hit a strong chord personally. Please excuse my long windedness as I attempt to express some thoughts. We all have heard it said from time to time “I can’t wait to get to heaven to see” fill in the blank. I too have been guilty of saying similar things in the past. Then one day I became so convicted by the Holy Spirit, of how selfish and sinful that attitude was on my part. The only reason I should want to get to heaven is to sit at the feet of the master and weep and say thank you for eternity, for loving me and laying down your life for a worm. By grace, I saw my shame, repented and received forgiveness. And by a series of events, I was given a little more light. And time by time, through carefully watching how I walk, God has and is changing me. The hardest part is realizing there aren’t many “in reality” that truly hunger and thirst for His righteousness. But I can personally attest that He is faithful if we keep a humble, broken and contrite attitude. You addressed “altar work”. I came to a similar conclusion in that area as well. Christians (virtually all denominations) have become God. Who do we think we are to confer “salvation” on another human being, as a result of a confession/prayer? How absurd and dangerous for both parties. I read a while back, that during the “great awakening” it was common to hear “bearing with you for a season”. For what one might ask? How about to observe “Luke 3:8” in the lives of those professing Christ! This is why IMHO, seldom ever do we hear or see the practice of [Corinthians 5] “so called brothers” or [Acts 5] “Ananias and Sapphira” or [1st Corinthians 11:30] “weak, sick, asleep”. Grace is preached almost exclusively, but obedience is glazed over. Consider these verses regarding obedience - [1st Peter 1:14-16, 2nd Corinthians 2:9, Romans 6:16, Hebrews 5:9, 2nd Thessalonians 1:8 Philemon 1:21, Hebrews 4:6, and Galatians 5:7]. However if “salvation” is preached as a “one time, get your ticket punched” event, in contrast to running a race and working out, we see how we have gotten to the sickly and weak state of affairs in Christendom today. This brand of “easy believism” does NOT require any “contending for the faith” action or lifestyle.
Blessings – least brother

Rick Frueh said...

Thank you, LB.

Anonymous said...

Jesus is far more interested in saving us from evil than in saving us from tribulation. He permits us to go through tribulation because He knows that that is the only way that we can become spiritually strong.
Such a message is strange teaching indeed to a comfort-loving Christendom that has been coddled in their pews every Sunday for years by ear-tickling preachers. But this is the message that the apostles preached to the early churches. “They (the apostles Paul and Barnabas) strengthened the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, saying, `Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:22).
The little trials that we face at home and at work now, are but a preparation for the greater ones that will come in the days to come. That is why it is essential that we are faithful now. For God says, “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses?” (Jer.12:
For His Name sake alone He must sanctify His Great
Name in his church that profanes his gospel
We should fear all if us who are in his loving hands

michael said...

I haven't read any comments yet but I will after posting some thoughts about this article.

I was taught and maybe you remember the teaching going around in the mid 70's, Rick, about the Church (female) wearing combat boots? What seems you are saying in this article sounds like what is missing from the Church today? In that teaching we were taught about the militant nature of the Church and just getting saved was just getting started in the spiritual war raging in the invisible realm. We were taught that there are three falls of the devil, Satan. He was cast out of that eternal life and fellowship with God by God. He then after the present heavens and earth were created seduced Eve and then waited for Adam to fall. Once Adam fell he took over the custody of Adam's place in life as this life's head and became by deceit the "god" of this world. God's "eternal purpose" kicked in after He pronounced that the seed of the woman would come forth from the loins of Adam and crush him destroying his rule, authority and power.

This teaching was called the three falls of the devil. The first fall has happened. The next fall comes by and through Christ by and through the Church. Then after this fall comes the climax, the third and final fall of Satan when an Angel throws him into the lake of fire!

Somehow this spiritual warfare isn't being taught much if at all anymore. Somehow the relationship we have with Satan and his angels destined for that climatic end has been forgotten or at least our role in effecting it has been lost in translation?

I suggest reviewing some Scripture to renew and double up our effort to see the end of Satan and his angels come to pass.

I'd weigh what the Apostle Peter wrote at 2 Peter 3 thinking carefully what the word "hastening" means in this verse quoted from that chapter, here:

2 Peter 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!

Also I'd revisit chapter 8 of the book of the Revelation and ask yourselves "what" and "why" the 8th Angel does what he does to cause the seven angels to start blowing their assigned trumpets?

There is a real and present spiritual war going on and it seems it no longer is apparent to the Christian world in the United States? If we don't know there are real evil beings that must be cast out of the created heavens and cast down to the ground to be trampled on by the Church why not eat, drink and be merry then?

Here's a couple verses I'd deposit in your spiritual bank and draw down on daily from here on out:

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Hebrews 1:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

Rick Frueh said...

The greatest and most powerful weapon against the devil and the kingdom of darkness is to deny oneself and allow Jesus to live through us.

Anonymous said...

We are His if indwelt by His Spirit. If we've been born again, He IS living in/through us. Once we are born again of His Spirit, the only weapon the enemy can use against us is to occupy the attention of our mind, i.e. distractions of the world and the flesh.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour

We, today, suffer the same malady as Paul mentions of himself in Romans 6,7,8. The struggle with the sin nature of the flesh.
The only "fix" is to delve into the Word to grow in grace and knowledge in order to mature in our relationship with Him.

Anonymous said...


This “get your ticket to heaven punched by impure pastors” magic has nothing to do with true salvation. Man playing God that's what these impure men are doing. Reject this brand of “easy believism” for the lie it is and have nothing to do with anyone who teaches it. Stay away from them!


Cherie c. said...

The comments here by some are getting weirder and weirder every day. Huh?

Pastor Rick, are you writing in code or something/

Anonymous said...

Greetings Cherie! The responses here are not weird or getting weirder. If you read carefully and thoughtfully the replies by people God would reveal that to you.

Why do you write that Pastor Rick is writing in code when he is writing very clearly?

Contributors are bound to make errors from time to time. Remember Cherie, those who love God ought to desire at all times to edify other people. Silly and direspectful comments help no one.

God bless you.

Josef Sefton

Cherie c. said...

"Why do you write that Pastor Rick is writing in code when he is writing very clearly?

Because the context of the comments are increasingly void of anything related to the original post. The question about using code was rhetorical in nature. I used it to make a point regarding comments that have nothing to do with the post.

I intended it to be silly, but it is not disrespectful.

"Cherie, those who love God ought to desire at all times to edify other people."

The above comment is not always true. I will let Scripture speak for me regarding that.

2 Timothy 3:16
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

And our conversation should be similar to the Scripture mentioned above. But correction and reproof does not have to be critical in nature. Sometimes a point is better made using a facetious manner. Why take it so personally?

Although I did not use Scripture in my comment, the intention was to point out that I have read the comments here and a good portion of them have nothing to do with the original post and I thought that odd/weird. I'm concerned if the brethren here are getting the message. Is there something wrong with that?

The comments make it seem like Pastor Rick is talking in code so that the reader is having a difficulty understanding the original post. So they write something completely out of context. This happens quite often. I was not singling out any one person, it has been done by all of us. I am concerned that some do not get what the post is saying and therefore miss a blessing of truth.

I put my comment in a light hearted manner as not to disrespect anyone, but feel free to attack me, I deserve it for breaking my vow not to comment for a while due to this very thing. My mistake.

When I read the comments here the passage in 2 Timothy 3 comes to mind; verse 7

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

If I didn't care I wouldn't say anything at all. But feel free to be offended. Could it be it just might be true? And if you called it silly, then you got what my comment was all about, but you are wrong when you say it is disrespectful.

I am concerned for my brothers and sisters in Christ who don't seem to get what the post is saying even when Scripture is used. How can that be? Like I said, I am not pointing a finger at anyone, but sometimes I wonder if the readers here understand what is being said and are taking what is said seriously. If my comment hurt anyone, please forgive me. It was not intended to be anything more than what it was. An observation. Peace

your sister in Christ Jesus

Anonymous said...

Cherie, the important thing is to make a reasonable effort to comment on Pastor Rick's commentary. Everyone did this except you. What you wrote had nothing to do with Scripture but your own "silly" opinions. I pray that the LORD will bless us with a more humble Cherie in 2014!

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Cherie, correction and rebuke are forms of edification. Love edifies!
If you decide to make an effort to study how Jesus used correction and rebuke I am confident that God will reveal to you that His manner isn't "silly" when He corrects and rebukes!

Cherie, welcome 2014 as year in which you decide to write more humbly every single time that you write and God will shower you with blessing upon blessing as never before!

God bless you!

Josef Sefton

Chris Baumgart said...

Christ is our Sanctification, not a change in our physical makeup... Your description above seems a bit misleading Pastor. And maybe we actually disagree here as much as I respect you and often endorse this web blog... Grace allows us to regenerate to learn to abide in the Holiness of Jesus. It is this that overcomes the sin in our lives. To say we will keep sinning until we die and get to heaven is misleading and keeps the believer in bondage. Only Christ and faith in Him alone through our obedience will we walk sanctified.

Anonymous said...

"But in the last days perilous time will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such men turn away! For this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Timothy 3:7

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor dodomites, nor theives, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

"And besides they learn to be busybodies, wandering from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not." 1 Timothy 5:13

It grieves me to say this, hut I do not see any difference between "the Christian" verses those we call out as unbelievers. A few of the Scriptures mentioned above, and there are many more God speaks of, clearly defines the character nature of man which is sinful. Believers and followers of Jesus Christ sin, and most sin with unrepentant hearts, ie. does a gossip know they are sinning, does a lustful pastor control his sexual urges or act on them in thought or action, does a covetor know how murderously jealous their heart becomes?

When I speak of the glorious wonders of God and the power of redemption through, and only through our LORD Jesus Christ, many have asked "Why do I want to become a Christian because they do this, this, and this (the very same wickedness that unbelievers do, with no guilty conscience?"

The answer is hard, so very hard.

Anonymous said...

The more a person loves God the more they realise the depth of their sinning before God and the graciousness of their Savior, Lord Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, open our eyes to reality that Christian and non Christian sin. Open our eyes to the ongoing importance to the perfect finished work of Jesus. Open our eyes to His ongoing role in our lives as our Mediator.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Chris Baumgart, your commentaries are feeling focused. You bemoan the situation as you see it that Christians don't have a guilty conscience when they sin. How wrong can you be. Focus on Christ for He longs to teach you the truth.

May God bless your efforts to gain a rightstanding of His word.


Anonymous said...

Thank-You for your comment Mr. Sefton; appreciate your sincerity.

May our LORD Jesus Christ be with you in all humility.

Anonymous said...

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright: but they have sought out many inventions.

James 1:14-15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished bringeth forth death.

1 John 5:16,17 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he should pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: there is a sin not unto death.

So not all sin is the same "there is a sin not unto death"..yes we all sin those kind of sins. But
then there is sin that if we commit after being born again, will keep one from entering heaven..such as murder, adultery, fornication, idolatry etc..unless we come to a true godly sorrow that leads us to repentance, a turning away from that sin.

Romans 3:23-25 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the REMISSION OF SINS THAT ARE PAST, through the forbearance of God.

Romans 6:6 our old man is crucified with him that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Hebrews 3:13 exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 4:16 (Jesus, our high priest, tempted like as we are, yet without sin) Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 10:26 for if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice of sin.

So shouldn't we fear God and live righteous lives, while here on this earth? As born again spirit filled believers we have the power to be overcomers...we have been freed from sin, bought by the precious blood of the Lamb and spiritually resurrected with Christ unto life.

Chris Baumgart said...

James, I'm not sure if my earlier reply went through? To clarify, Christians today use death as a type of "threshold" to enter into sanctification. Jesus is our Sanctification. Faith and abiding in His Holiness is Gods finished work. Example, Jesus walked abiding in the Father. That's why He said, if you have heard me, or seen me, accepted me you have received the Father. Jesus also says, there is nothing good in him, the Father is the only one who is good. Therefore like Christ who abides in the Father, we likewise abide in Christ. He is everything to us. Our Faith, our trust in Him grows. When we sin the Holy Spirit convicts us, yes. But as we grow in grace through faith our hearts learn to trust Him, his words completely, we sin no more. In this life I believe this is where our eyes need to be. This is the race we run to win in this life. To set yourself to saying it is not possible, then you agree with failure to let God do his work, your faith blows like a reed in the wind, to and fro. Stephen seeing heaven entered heaven as he died... Do you think he was still a sinning Christian then?

Anonymous said...

Mr Baumgart, after a Christian sins it is God who determines to what degree His child will be conscious of his sinning and guilt. God desires that you understand that both non Christian and Christian feel guilty after they sin.
And don't forget the work of God, for if anyone truly loves God they should focus on praising Him for making those He loves and those who love Him more Christlike. Are you aware Christ was without sin?

And Chris, don't risk falling into the trap of believing that the speech and deeds of Christians and non Christians are virtually impossible to tell apart, instead praise God, for He longs to reveal to you the error of your thinking.

May God bless your sincere efforts to glorify His holy name.


Anonymous said...

Jesus was God and God is good, therefore Jesus was good.
Jesus says, I am the good shepherd. That's a very clear testimony in the first person!
Jesus was perfectly good. He understood that. He would never say there is nothing good in me.

Anonymous said...

Chris writes:
But as we grow in grace through faith our hearts learn to trust Him, his words completely, we sin no more.

Chris, you are expressing a private opinion which isn't scriptural. Christ uniquely was without sin. No other human being completely obeys God. Everyone, including Stephen and Paul, fell far short of doing that.


Chris Baumgart said...

Mark 10:18 - Jesus said to him, Why callest me good? There is none good but one, that is God.

Chris Baumgart said...

1 John 3:9 - Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin. For his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin because he is born of God. - Are you a born again Christian? James, the scriptures are filled with this Truth. My "opinion" trys to express these teachings. God's Holy Spirit dwells in the believer, speaking to us, perfecting our faith. Jesus says that sin is of man's spirit not of his flesh. Jesus spoke to the core of our problem. It is our spirit that needs changing. And for the faithful it does.

Anonymous said...

Jesus isn't teaching that He isn't good for had He not been good He couldn't have been the sinless Son of God.

What is true is that a Christian can't sin if they remain totally obedient to Christ but this in practise doesn't happen all the time. As Pastor Rick pointed out to you Christ commands Christians to pray: forgive us our trespasses as we have forgiven those who have tresspassed or sinned against us. I choose as a Christian to take His words seriously.

Chris, you should study the Bible more attentively. Treasure His words and the LORD will help you to see some of the errors in your thinking on this important matter.

Anonymous said...

Mr Baumgart, can I encourage you to study 1 John 1:8-10. Insert your name in the text and then write again on this subject. May the LORD reveal to you what is written here.

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."

May God bless your efforts to learn more about Him.


Rick Frueh said...

I am not sure I follow this discussion, however these things are true.
Jesus never sinned.
All of us still sin.
When we are born again we have power over sin and we do not live in sin like we used to. When we are born again we do not want to sin, but when we do we repent and are forgiven.
When we sin it is not the Christ inside of us. It is our old man and carnal nature.
When we die we will be ushered into an eternal life in which there is no sin.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Rick, I totally agree although I would refer to the Christ as with us.

If Chris Baumgart says that he has no sin, he deceives himself, and the truth is not in him. If he confess his sins, God is faithful and just to forgive him his sins and to cleanse him from all unrighteousness. If he says that he has not sinned, he makes God a liar, and His word is not in him.

Enjoy your Bible studies.


Anonymous said...

Rev 19:7-9 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and HIS WIFE HAS MADE HERSELF READY. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: FOR THE FINE LINEN IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE SAINTS. And he saith unto me, Write, BLESSED ARE THEY WHICH ARE CALLED UNTO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB.

The bride made herself ready before the marriage to the lamb. She doesn't come in a filthy garment, she comes dressed in fine linen, clean and white..she is righteous, she kept herself pure and holy for the groom.

If the bride is out there committing fornication and adultery and all kinds of other sin right up to the day of the wedding, all the while expecting the groom to overlook that, I think the bride is going to be in for a shock when the bridegroom says, "depart from me, I never knew you."

Just a little something to think about...we better be prepared to meet the bridegroom.


Anonymous said...

Will the bridegroom say, ,"depart from me, I never knew you to to the bride?"

My understanding is that the bride is known by Their Lord. The bride has an intimate relationship with the risen Lord Jesus. It is to the unsaved person who Jesus will say "depart from me, I never knew you."


Anonymous said...

Exactly James, the Lord knows who his bride is..she is the one who made herself ready as Rev 19 says by the righteousness of the saints. The sad thing is that many think they are part of the bride of Christ when they have divided loyalties...one foot in the world. They continue to sin instead of ever coming to a true repentance. Maybe because they were taught in this false religious church system..that all they have to do is say a prayer at an altar call and they automatically have a ticket to heaven...once saved always saved. The bible is filled with scriptures that tell us we are to live holy and righteous lives and be found blameless when we meet our Lord. Jesus said "not all who say to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven..only those who do the will of my Father." Many are called, few are chosen.
Read Matt 22, the parable of the wedding supper for the kings son.

We have examples of people who lived righteous lives before God:
Job did Job 1:1
Noah did Genesis 6:9
John the baptists parents did
Luke 1:5,6 and also the angel Gabriel told them their son, John, shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. Question for Rick: If we are all born in sin, as you say, how come John wasn't born a sinner?


brcorcoran said...

Maybe to get to the bottom of this debate we need to "define" what sin is...

brcorcoran said...

For starters, we are told in Ephesians 5:1-2 to imitate God and love as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us...

This is a partial list, but since the bible tells us to "imitate God", I would think anything short of the following is "missing the mark" -

* never holding in account a wrong suffered
* forgiving 70 X 7
* loving our enemies
* doing good to those that spitefully use us and persecute us
* raining goodness on the good and the bad
* overcoming evil with good
* treating others as we desire to be treated
* walking in humility treating others as better than ourselves
* patience and long-suffering
* living in love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
* living the wisdom from above that is pure, peaceable, gentle, yields to reason
* full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy
* never envious or jealous, not boastful or vainglorious
* not conceited, arrogant and inflated with pride
* not rude and does not act unbecomingly
* not insisting on our own rights or our own way, for He is not self-seeking
* not touchy or fretful or resentful
* not rejoicing at injustice and unrighteousness
* rejoicing when right and truth prevail also when others are blessed
* bearing up under anything and everything that comes
* ever ready to believe the best of every person
* fadeless under all circumstances, and enduring everything
* Never failing anyone

brcorcoran said...

@Jann -

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

Romans 5:12
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned

Chris Baumgart said...

Romans 6:8-11, brcorcoran, Jesus the Word commands us to be dead to our sins. Is Jesus telling us to do something we can not? Or through faith can we obey Him? We are familiar with our sins exposed before God as you share, and repent of sin. But does the Gospel, the Word of God instruct us to stop sinning? The person who continues in their sin chooses to. The person who obeys through faith Jesus' words no longer sins. Sanctification through faith.

brcorcoran said...

@Chris Baumgart -

Define Sin

Rick Frueh said...

Sin in its simplest form is imperfection. Yes, it is rebellion as well, but it reveals an imperfect unholiness. And that includes the thought life as well. And sin is active within us even through disease. But the Scriptures exhort us to forsake sin but also provides a forgiveness for sin. Even the Lord's Prayer given to us a model by Jesus includes asking for forgiveness.
Everyone sins every single day whether they want to our not. And if you suggest that you do not is to prove you do.

brcorcoran said...

Amen Rick...

many believe sin is ie...lust, homosexuality, fornication and so forth and so it is...but also -

course jesting?...anything that comes out of our mouth that isn't edifying?

I'm thankful for the following scripture -

1 John 2:1-2
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you "may not sin". And (if anyone sins), we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and "not for ours only" but (also for the whole world).

Two classes of people listed above...those that belong to Christ and those that don't...

Anonymous said...

John 14: If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 he that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him and and will manifest myself to him.

John14:23 If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.

It doesn't say "if a man loves me, he will keep on sinning everyday until the end of his life."

Jesus warns us to Repent, to go and sin no more, unless a worse thing come upon you.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life.
1 John 5:3 tells us his commandments are not burdensome.

brcorcoran said...

@Anonymous -

What do you say are the commandments we are to keep?

Anonymous said...

brcororan, you asked what commandments we are to keep. That's a good question.. Jesus gave us 2 that he said fulfilled all the rest: To love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbor as our self. In John 14 it also said we are to keep his words, so I guess we need to search the scriptures, starting in the gospel of Matthew ending with the book of Revelation because Jesus words are the way to eternal life.

Jesus first words were to Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand...so from the beginning he was telling us we needed to stop sinning. Then there is the sermon on the mount, teaching us how to live righteously...to show mercy to love justice, to walk humbly before him, to be forgiving, compassionate toward others, take care of the poor.

Jesus told us we must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God.

Does God require us to perfect in every little thing we do? I don't think so, because we are not God. But He looks at our heats to see if we are perfect in our love and obedience toward him.

He has given us all a moral conscience, we know right from wrong..sin is a choice we make not a disease we are born with.

He freed us from the bondage of sin on the cross so we can now serve God in obedience..we don't have to be a slave to sin any longer.

It seems like people are still being deceived by the same lie the serpent told Eve back in the garden "Ye shall not surely die"..if you disobey God... When God told them the day they eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they shall die.

Today we are taught that we sin everyday and can't stop sinning.. and will still go to heaven.."ye shall not surely die"

brcorcoran said...

@Anonymous -

I'll share one story from the New Testament by "the gentile Apostle", Apostle Paul who said "follow me as I follow Christ" -

As a result of the sin in the Church at Corinth, a man sleeping with his mother, Apostle Paul said this -

1 Corinthians 5:5
deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, "that his spirit may be saved" in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Now, Apostle Paul told the Corinthian Church to deal with this...they kicked the guy out of their fellowship... Now read the following as a result of their judgement on the man -

2 Corinthians 2:5-10
But if someone [the one among you who committed incest] has caused [all this] grief and pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure, not to put it too severely, [he has distressed] all of you.
6 For such a one this censure by the majority [which he has received is] sufficient [punishment].
7 So [instead of further rebuke, now] you should rather turn and [graciously] forgive and comfort and encourage [him], to keep him from being overwhelmed by excessive sorrow and despair.
8 I therefore beg you to reinstate him in your affections and assure him of your love for him;
9 For this was my purpose in writing you, to test your attitude and see if you would stand the test, whether you are obedient and altogether agreeable [to following my orders] in everything.
10 If you forgive anyone anything, I too forgive that one; and what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sakes in the presence [and with the approval] of Christ (the Messiah)...

Did the man sin...yes...was he a Christian...yes...was he forgiven...yes

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with you, Christians sin and can be forgiven. Jesus is our high priest, who was tempted in all ways that we are, yet without sin and we are to come boldly unto his throne in time of need.

Looks like the man, when confronted with his sin, came to a godly sorrow which lead to repentance and through God's mercy he was forgiven and restored to fellowship.

Temptation can lead to sin, if one dwells on their own lusts and desires. That's why we need to deny self daily and submit to God's will, and keep our thoughts on the things above instead of the things of this world.

We have the power of the Holy Spirit within us to be overcomers. We are not in bondage to sin anymore...Jesus set us free.

No, we do not live in sinless perfection...we are not perfect..only God is perfect. But our hearts can be perfect towards our heavenly Father and if we love him we will obey him and keep his commandments...not committing those sins which will keep us from heaven, if we continue in them. Sin separates us from God and it hardens the heart and needs to be repented of.

brcorcoran said...

Agreed...all except for sins that keep us from heaven...as shown in 1 Corinthians 5 -

turn him over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that his "soul" may be saved...

God deals with sin in the believers life...

1 Corinthians 11 concerning the Lord's table shows us this...

Also, we read in 1 John 5 -

If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

You just have to believe the scriptures...this is so true -

1 John 2:1-2
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you "may not sin". And (if anyone sins), we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and "not for ours only" but (also for the whole world).

If you are one that never, ever, absolutely never sins, then God's Power and blessing are on you strongly...

I can say I am not one of them...I've missed the mark many times but God looks at me through the blood of Christ and in His eyes I am Holy, Unblameable and Unreproveable because of Grace...

Not a license to sin, but an advocate for me if I do...

I'm done...you can have the last word...blessings...

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous,

What does "godly sorrow" look like for I personally have not seen nor heard it in the church system. I have not heard sermons that moved people to such disgust and disdain over their own sins, leaving the building in a perpetual state of tears/sorrow. I have not heard sorrow/apologies/remorse from a sincere heart when church goers sin against one another; godly sorrow does not live in most church attendees.

I have not seen any church goers keep God's commandments for God knows the hearts of people and He knew from the beginning of time that we needed Jesus as our Savior.

brcorcoran said...

I fibbed...I will speak once more...

Apologies to Pastor Rick if this conversation is not the way you wanted this blog to go...

I jumped in somewhere towards the end...apologies

Anonymous said...

One last comment and yes, thank you Rick.

James 1:14,15 Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

This is something I am seeing.. that sin is a progression.

What does Godly sorrow look like?...read Psalm 51

May God's grace and truth be with you all.

Anonymous said...

No one never, ever, absolutely never sins. Anyone who lives as a Christian for any substantial amount of time ought to know that.