Have you ever thought about your soul – can it be saved?
Or perhaps you think that when you’re dead you just stay in your grave
Is God just a thought within your head or is he a part of you?
Is Christ just a name that you read in a book when you were in school?
When you think about death do you lose your breath or
do you keep your cool?
Would you like to see the Pope on the end of a rope
do you think he’s a fool?
Well I have seen the truth, yes I’ve seen the light and I’ve changed my ways
And I’ll be prepared when you’re lonely and scared at the end of our days
Could it be you’re afraid of what your friends might say
IF THEY KNEW you believed in God above?
They should realize before they criticize
that God is the only way to love
Is your mind so small that you have to fall
In with the pack wherever they run
Will you still sneer when death is near
And say they may as well worship the sun?
I think it was true it was people like you that crucified Christ
I think it is sad the opinion you had was the only one voiced
Will you be so sure when your day is near, say you don’t believe?
You had the chance but you turned it down, now you can’t retrieve
Perhaps you’ll think before you say that God is dead and gone
Open your eyes, just realize that he’s the one
The only one who can save you now from all this sin and hate
Or will you jeer at all you hear? Yes! I think it’s too late.
“DECIDE TO SURVIVE. Skills, fitness and fortune all play a key role in the fate of the survivor. But ultimately your survival depends upon one thing: your will to survive. SO KEEP FAITH in yourself and faith in the Almighty. They can be your greatest ally and Strength.
Bear Grylls. Priorities of Survival: Pocket Guide.
Walking through a Christian Bookshop I was supprised to see Super Man Bear Grylls staring at me from the cover of his Autobography ‘Bear Grylls Mud, Sweat and Tears’.
“Yes he’s a Christian”, spoke the saleslady. I should have known.
Thus the secret is out The Faith which makes Bear Grylls such a Gentleman… such a nice guy.
He’s an inspiration!
Descovering Bear is a Brother in Christ is enough to make a Hard man dance a little jig!
See what a Nice Guy Bear Is here on The Graham Norton show and watch Cameron Diaz Fizzing over Bear.
I bought my Wife Joy a Bear Grylls Knife like that for our 10th wedding anniversary… today 16-3-12 XOX Baby!
In the early part of the First decade of the New Millennium, The New Zealand Objectivists at The Free Radical Foundation invited one of their most revered Clerics to New Zealand. Tibor Machan. Joy and I traveled up to Auckland to hear him speak.
After everything had finished there was opportunity to have one on one conversations with him over a coffee. I had a question I wished to ask.
When my chance came, I introduced myself and asked him “ Do you think it is possible to live in perfect accord with Objectivist values?”
After a moment he said “Yes,… Of course.” He said he believed that was one of Objectivism’s most important attributes.
Now, as a Free thinking Christian, That answer has always provoked contemplation within me. It must be nice to have a system of values and ethics which is not only attainable, but also leaves you with an absolutely clear conscience, and faith in the perfectibility of Humanity… Indeed faith in ones own self- perfection.
When one understands ‘The Egoism’ which is the central tenet of Objectivism, it is easy to draw the inference that such a Religion requires one to think of one self as ‘The ideal Human Being’.
Now when this system is compared to the Judeo-Christian world view of Man as a Fallen and sinful being, guilty before God, One can see the appeal of such a faith, and the Temptation involved in wanting this world view to be true… by those whom seek to ‘shrug off’ Guilt, and a Code of Morality which says Man has moral obligations beyond self-interest, and that ultimately we must all give account of ourselves before a supreme Moral Judge.
This is what freedom means to the Atheist. They think obligation to a moral code set by a Higher Power is a form of slavery. (I wonder if they also think of themselves as slaves to the Law of gravity!)
Now to me these notions smack of subjectivity! Of whim. How convenient it is to invent your own code of values that magically sanitizes all your selfish actions and absolves you of Sin!
It also occurs to Me that Objectivism is a Patent rejection of Objective morality… which if they exist at all… are not merely a system of convenient sanctions that justify self interest… but are true whether convenient or not, even if their truth convicts us of evil.
“There are two types of people. Righteous Men whom think they are sinners, and sinners whom think they are righteous”. Pascal
From my perspective Objectivism far from truly being Objective reeks of Psychological motivation, and may be clearly seen as just one more revolt from Christian/ theistic values. What is interesting about this is that Ayn Rand cherry picked many Theistic values such as Human rights, limited Government etc as suited her, and attempted to cloak them in atheist Garb.
This is a laughable ploy because an Atheist reality is an Objectively A moral reality… the only codes of ethics and values of necessity being merely subjective conventions, and not Obligatory upon anyone.
There is good reason why I have started my post with this stab against Objectivism. It serves as a good back drop for contrasting my own beliefs and the dilemmas that they involve… and how My Christian world view causes me to humble myself, and confess my many short comings as a sinful Man.
It is my experience that the Biblical story of Humanities fallen Nature is tragically real…indeed it is one of the most established facts of Human Nature. This being so it becomes clear how far from the truth the ideas of Objectivism are Though they may appear to have very pleasant ‘opiate effect’ for the conscience… They are nonetheless a flight into pure self delusion.
Now I was born in 1967, into a world in which The King James Bible is a reality.
I did not write it. I did not invent the God of the Bible. I did not invent Christianity.
These were objective realities that existed independent of me, just as other realities like Beautiful woman, and Murder, and War.
How is a Man like myself supposed to treat this Objective reality call ‘The Bible’?
The decision to embrace it as truth, or reject it as simply one of many deceptive fabrications, requires a thorough and impartial investigation.
Though there are Millions of man made false religions in the world, and many things contained within the scriptures that are cause for alarm, esp the News that I am a sinner and that my sin puts me at variance to the Holy God …creator of the Universe… These things are not grounds enough to reject it.
Ie Just because the world is flooded with Primitive superstition, and the world is wracked by religious conflicts, does not mean Religion is evil, or that All Religion is merely the fruit of Human imagination. To reach that conclusion is a very shallow pitfall that sadly many people are quick to leap into. They do it with glee… thinking they are escaping Moral obligation… the self flagellation of guilt, and the eternal fires of Damnation.
It is my testimony that when the Bible is considered Objectively, that like a Man passing through a Labyrinth, with Dead ends, Booby traps, and even a Minotaur or two… that there is one route trough all the confusion, and that, though battered and brused, it is possible to make the traverse that establishes the Bible as believably the Revelation of God to man. It is via such a quest for truth… such a voyage of perseverance and discovery, that the Older man may contemplate his pilgrimage, and realize all the Snares and pitfalls were laid down by those of malicious mind, or of weak intellects overcome by the fashions of their times, and by those whom despise the implications that arise when one accepts the bible as truth. The world is filled with such Naysayers whom desire to halt the Pilgrim in his tracks, and to deceive them into thinking their journey of faith is a lost cause.
I will soften this a bit, as I know but by the Grace of God there go I also.
I marvel that The gracious God has seen fit to reveal himself to me!
So thick are the groves of the Labyrinth, and so prone to selfish whims that I am, I wonder how I managed to become a vessel so filled with the Magnificent mysteries of God Almighty!
I too am a creature of my Time. I have the luxury of Living today in New Zealand.… the luxury of hindsight. Thus I do not equate the luminosity I have received as a sign of my own genius, Indeed I wonder that I have received it, in spite of my manifold weaknesses and folly.
And perhaps this is the greatest secret of it all! God looks to the heart of a Man, rather than his intellect, and in this age of Grace God calls a man to his service, not because of his personal piety, but for His own Divine purposes…
“Who [God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2Tim1vs9)
This is where My story as a morally weak and insignificant human being connects with the Divine plan, and is an example of how Christianity is diametrically opposed to Rands Ideals of Egoism.
What is incredible to realize is that because of our fallen Nature, our intellect can easily be trained to think diabolically and to vain imaginations and Grand delusions.
Yes Intelligence is no safeguard to avoiding error! It can be the source of great vanity and foolishness! It is prone to inventing false accusations against God… and thereby exacerbating our alienation from him, and keeping us from a knowledge of the truth. This is why the Christian is told to avoid vain janglings of philosophy, and beware science falsely so-called. Thus it is when a philosophy or scientific assertion is made that contravenes the scriptures it must be thoroughly examined.
It is my experience that such assertions will inevitably prove to be vacuous. Or expose a false doctrine regarding the interpretation of scripture. Ie we must be careful not to simply throw out the assertion simply because it conflicts with our current ideas. I have learned mountains of truth from the critics of the Bible and Christianity!
They have helped me correct many errors.
Being a Christian does not mean shutting your mind.
Indeed though I am a man full of weakness and vice, yet still it appears to suit God’s Divine purposes to use such a weak vessel as I.
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For after that in the wisdom God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe… For ye see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; The Base things of the world, and the things which are despised, hath God chosen… And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with Excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified….And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of Man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God…” (1Cor1vs19- 2vs5)
Let us hear what St Paul says about himself…
7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
St Paul (2Cor 12vs 7-10)
Here St Paul confesses to his own spiritual imperfection… his sinfulness… his inability to live up to Gods Holy standards. Moreover he says that he glories in this because God uses his weaknesses, to achieve his ends… and thus we see that Paul is humbled by his knowledge of his own weakness, That he keeps his intellectual vanity in check, knowing that he is not saved…. Not raise to a higher plateau by his own genius, but rests in the grace of God Almighty, and the simple truth of The gospel… That Christ Died on the Cross for our sins, and was buried, and rose again for our justification.
There is no space for Egoism in the gospel!
The Gospel is not the preserve of Human genius!
And it is for this reason that many Vain intellectuals despise it!
Christianity is no elitist club… no Utopian enclave like Galt’s Gultch!
According to the Bible any Plonker can go to heaven! Indeed Christ seems to busy himself saving the simpletons and scum of the Earth!
And Happily… I am one of them.
The Bible is clear that as a fallen race of beings we cannot live up to Gods Holy (Objective) Moral standard. Though we can learn and reform ourselves… and become better people…We cannot perfect or Save ourselves.
Confession time. I am a man whom has many short comings. I am very Carnal… full of thorns in my flesh.
The words of St Paul ring true for me…
“For what I would, That I do not, but what I hate…that I do… Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”…. (Rom 7vs14-25)
Yes I assert the doctrines of St Paul to be 100% true!
When a Person receives Christ they are ‘Born again’ and are sealed by the Holy Spirit. They begin a new Life, and yet they are still carnal, Mortal…still sinful.
They have in fact become two people. Described as the Old man and the New Man, and will not become spiritually perfected until a special day called ‘The Day of Redemption’ when God creates us new bodies that are no longer full of evil lusts.
Until that day Life involves a struggle between our two Natures, between our sinful carnal Nature and our new spiritual Life from Christ.
And what a struggle it is! Depending which Nature we ‘feed’ the most determines which Nature rules in our lives.
And I confess to being hopelessly carnal. This is my Achilles Heel! For all my knowledge of the scriptures, my lusts and carnality consume me to such a degree that I am unworthy to minister over others. I could never be the pastor of a congregation because I don’t know how to live a Godly Life. If holiness is the measure of Christian success…I am a complete failure! A part of me is so ashamed that sometimes I wonder if I ought to stop preaching about Christ and go and hide somewhere… yet when I read st Paul I realize That apart from Jesus Christ, God has never had perfect servants working for him. All of his children have had to function under his benevolent grace and forgiveness.
I rest in his Grace, and stand fast in the liberty of Christ! (Gal5vs1kjv)
I trust in the Gospel truth that I have been deemed righteous by Faith without works, and that I have the righteousness of Christ, whom took upon himself my sins. (Eph 2vs8,9kjv)
Before I understood dispensationalism, as a young Christian I was taught that God only saves the Good people… that I must repent of all my sins and forsake them to be saved, and that if I ever returned to my old ways I would loose my salvation.
That was to fail to understand the gospel of grace and to be literally enslaved to the Jewish Law again…’the yoke of bondage’ (This is not the same type of ‘slavery’ that atheists think of when they condemn religion…This is talking about having to do works for salvation, not as atheists think… a system of Human subjection and control)
I was told Sex, Drugs, and rock and roll were all of the Devil, so I Tried to quit them all… burned my records, and avoided many of my old Lost friends… yet always ended up relapsing.
I failed to maintain my promises to God to be a good boy.
Thus I learned never to make such promises to God, and thankfully though I struggled to live a godly life, I never abandoned my faith, and eventually I discovered the dispensational truth that I was completely under Gods grace, and Free from the Law.
Thus being set free myself, and knowing my own short comings this led me to having grace upon others as God has grace upon me.
My own personal struggles with life have helped me to be more understanding, more compassionate, and more tolerant of the struggle and sins of my fellow human beings.
Gods grace towards me has made me a Libertarian, because I see the hypocrisy of being full of vise myself yet calling the Law and government to persecute the vices of others.
Gods has shown tolerance and forgiveness of my sins, and calls me as a Christian to preach this ‘Good News’ to other lost sinners… not lobby the State to persecute them.
Thus I am humbled before God, and the thorns in my flesh have helped me to see the glory of Gods grace clearly, and the true libertarian nature of Christianity.
Today though I am no Pastor, I am a witness for Christ and the truth of The King James Bible to anyone who will listen.
I wont caste pearls before self righteous Christ hating swine. As a Guy who Grew up in Glen Eden West Auckland, I have always Been a Bogan Westy and alway will be. I write this Blog with Richard in Bogan style, preaching a very Bogan Gospel.
I dont preach self-righteousness.
I despise Pharisaic Hypocrisy.
Putting my faith into practice, I busy myself in Libertarian Activism, standing up for justice and the rights of the oppressed minorities like Prostitutes and Drug addicts.
I don’t reject the Holiness of God simply because in the light of it I fall short.
I hold it to be objectively true in spite of the fact that such an acknowledgement means I must confess my own sinfulness.
This is an intolerable thing for an Objectivist to contemplate.
In their own eyes… to have self esteem… they need to delude themselves of their own perfection.
I read the news today oh Boy!
Horrible headlines, and Photo of a crumpled car.
A Waikato mother died after pulling out in front of a truck, and her 9 year old son is in a very bad way in Starship hospital.
In the same article another horrible tale of a Toddler killed in a driveway.
Oh the Humanity!
Such stories are tragic and disturbing.
We all fumble our way through life, driven by our emotions, or consumed by worries, and yet most of the time we survive. Most days the phone remains happily silent, and then out of the blue…because of a momentary lapse of Judgment, or distraction, evil conjunctions deliver merciless fates.
I find reading about these sorts of tragic misfortunes of others is almost enough to drive me insane.
I marvel at the courage of The Emergency crews, the doctors and nurses whose Job it is to clean up the mess, to try and mend broken Bodies. I wonder what mechanisms they employ to keep from flipping out?
Though I don’t smell the gore, or hear the cries and screams, I am still affected, shaken to my bones, experiencing a mixture of sorrow and dread, and troubled by a cascade of implications flowing from living in such a traumatic world.
I worry about the souls of those involved…Where do they stand before God? Have they received Jesus Christ as their Savior? I worry for the souls of those whom love the victims…Will this tragic event cause them to harden their hearts against God?.
And these events effect almost every one who hears about them. After hearing about these sorts of events via the media, many people allow themselves to take umbrage, and shake their fist at Heaven, as if it was God’s fault the dead woman pulled out in front of the truck. They look at such events as evidence that proves belief in a Good and caring God to be folly.
It is truly horrible when an innocent child is killed. It can rattle the faith of those like myself whom believe in a Good God and Divine providence. In this way I admit the difficulty…the test… of Faith.
C’est la vie!
It is in this type of world that the Christian salesman must pedal his wares.
Because Death, mayhem, and injustice hold such a sway over us mortals, It is in many ways a hostile territory.
It is the burden of the Christian to confront the darkest of realities and to shine a light to guide our Friends, neighbors, and loved ones through this valley of the shadow of Death.
I am grateful to God Almighty that he opened my blind eyes to his truth.
It truly was a miracle that someone as militantly Atheistic and as rebellious as I was, to see the Light of the Gospel.
It pains me to think of anyone dying without having the hope of Salvation.
Thus it behooves me to use my finite hours of life to share my faith in Jesus Christ, In the hope that my testimony can retrieve those whom walk in Darkness, Meaninglessness, and despair.
Much of the Despair that robs people of their love of life is founded upon nihilistic notions such as ‘Death is the end’…’I will never see my loved one again’… ‘There is no divine justice’… etc, thus if it be possible to instill faith that ‘Death is not the End’… ‘I will see my loved one again’… ‘There is Divine Justice’…,etc, then it ought to be obvious how such faith will alter how we respond to tragedies, and bring solace to ease our spiritual pains.
I declare that Evidence/Reason enough does indeed exist for such an uplifting and optimistic faith! (Keep visiting this Blog to find out what I’m talking about)
There are valid reasons why God does not intervene to prevent tragedies from happening… but allows the Natural Laws to take their course.
The first chapters of the Book of Genesis explains why we suffer Death, chaos, and evil. The picture it gives of Fallen Mankind wandering Naked, full of violence, and exposed to the elements still holds 100% true today.
And when the scripture declares That God rested on the seventh day, yet the Universe carried on functioning autonomously, shows that God has so framed Nature to obey fixed Laws, and it is by these laws that the Universe is stable, and constant, and rational. We can trust the universe to behave like the universe does… and this is a form of ‘Blind Justice.’… God is not a capricious God rolling dice, he causeth it to rain upon the Just and the unjust.(Mat5vs45)
Thus it is that if our car is in Good condition that we can rely on our brakes to work. The flip side of this is that if we put our foot on the Gas pedal… even though a truck is coming … Our Car will carry us out into oblivion… and terrible as that is… it is just.
If we send aid money to a disaster relief, we can help alleviate the suffering of people enduring calamities, yet still if we roll out of our driveway without first checking it is clear… we could cripple, or end an infants life… That’s how this world works… Our actions can have serious consequences for good or ill.
Though We may think of ourselves as Advanced Human beings in comparison to the ancients, yet still we must contend with the very same realities.
Rich or Poor, old or young, we are all equal in this sense. Like gamblers, We must all play the hand we have been dealt… with dignity, and not allow bitterness and envy to corrupt our souls.
There are Deeper truths yet still!
when I consider our lot, living upon this planet, in this solar system… the fact that every one of us frail creatures lives life poised upon a razors edge, yet day after day goes by and all my friends and family arrive home safely… I get a sense of Providence! Though it can not be proved… it is as if an invisible hand does indeed keep evil at bay…most of the time. I believe God can and does opperate in the world as suits his Divine purposes. He has been Merciful unto me.
Thus I would like to point out that while tragedies occur in all our lives… We all have an apointment with death… yet still this in itself does not negate the many days of Providential goodness that we ought to be very grateful for.
In fact If it were not for the punctuations of calamity in our lives, we would not be aware of Providence at all! We would become puffed up.
Yes Faith in God not only gives you someone to call out to in your darkest hours, but also someone to thank and to worship for all the blessings we enjoy every day.
For the atheist. Good days are as meaningless as bad ones. If they find love, or something fortunate happens to someone they love, they have nothing to thank… you cant be grateful to a cold and indifferent Materialist universe. The Christian can celebrate and worship His God!
So many people blindly take all the great blessings of heath and wellbeing for granted. They live an ignorantly ungreatful existance… whining about the smallest of inconveniences. Tragic events such as the death of innocent children or the loss of bodily health ought to make us appreciate the many blessings we have.
I am acutely aware that Death and Chaos stalks us all. Every day that goes by, that I arrive safe home, and I don’t receive any dread news or phone calls… I count myself blessed. I rest in God’s Mercy and Grace. The Bible tells me that through Jesus Christ I have peace with God. I know not what will happen on the morrow. I expect that I will switch off my alarm, Put my pants on, and head on out the door… ???
The Pendulum swings. The hour of my departure becomes less distant. I must use my time wisely. Every hour of labour doing Good, in the service of Christ is an hour well spent.
Yes I believe in Gods Blessed Grace and Providence!… yet also realize that I must walk wisely… It is evil to tempt God by foolishly taking rash and unnecessary risks. God is not our Fairy God-mother, not your Genie in a bottle.
Satan temped Christ by trying to get him to test God’s Providence by taking him to the top of the Temple and even quoted the Scriptures saying “Throw yourself off! God will save you…wont he?”
Christ replied “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”. (Mat4vs1-11)
When we face a tragic personal circumstance Remember that though God did not intervene, yet he suffers with us too.
He knows the pain we feel. He feels it. He felt it…yet did not intervene when his sinless Son Jesus Christ was arrested on false charges, was wrongfully convicted by a corrupt court, and was murdered.
Yes God knows what suffering is!
He herd the mockers enjoying Christ’s crucifixion who said… “Where is his God Now?”
Yes God allows things to transpire that many mistake as evidence that evil is victorious…
Mankind is quick to form such opinions… men love darkness because there deeds are evil.
Yet The Truth shall make you Free!
God was there when Christ was crucified!
Providence was working upon the Salvation of countless Millions!
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom8vs28)
Thus it is that, not only when the sun is shinning that we ought to rejoice in faith, but also during the terrible storms. That is the true test of our mettle.
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him… For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
End Note: I started this Post Last week. Since then I read the News that the little 9 year old Boy injured in the Car crash has Died. His photo was in the Paper.
Things happen on Earth that are not God’s will.
Two things I ask of you. Please take care… esp when driving on the roads, and secondly Don’t Let the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune blind you to the truth of Jesus Christ. Search him out. Make a decision to trust him with your soul. Life without Christ is hollow. Death without Christ is utter hopelessness. It is not God’s will that anyone rejects Christ … but he allows you to have your own will and make your own choice.
My Old Pastor and teacher of Dispensational Truth, The Late Dr Dennis Spackman. One of New Zealands greatest theologans.
Two weeks ago I posted an introduction to the doctrine of dispensationalism which may be described as ‘Rightly dividing the word of truth’ (2Tim2vs15).
This is necessary to distinguish changes in doctrine that have occurred with the process of time as God has made new covenants with mankind, and with the outworking of his purposes … each ‘stage’ and ‘Milestone’ being understood as Dispensationally relative.
Today I want to jump in boots and all.
I chose my title (why I follow St Paul… not Jesus) to provoke thought.
I have no doubt that a majority of readers will have already torn their shirts, accused me of heresy, … and are now not even reading these words that I’m typing.
They have already switched off.
How dare this Upstart Wikiriwhi teach people to follow Paul…not Jesus????
He must be deranged!
For those of you whom are still reading let me tell you that I am about to show you one of the most important…yet least understood biblical truths… Indeed nothing less than the ‘Revelation of the mystery’ *Which was given to St Paul to reveal*
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:”
The Apostle of The Dispensation and Gospel of Grace, St Paul in prison for his service to The gospel of Gods grace.
Thus I am about to show you that Paul was given his special ministry By Jesus Christ, and that by following St Paul… *we are being obedient to Christ.* to refuse to follow St Paul… is to reject the Doctrine that Jesus Christ Specifically gave to Paul…for us.
Note that this mystery revealed to St Paul *Was Hidden* in other ages. Thus St Paul opens up hidden truth unknown in other ages, and ironically not to follow St Paul is to be both ignorant and disobedient to Christ!
Paul said …” Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1Cor11vs1.
*We do not worship Paul. He is not our savior…Christ is yet Paul is our God appointed Apostle, minister, teacher whose authority comes from Christ himself*
Why God saved the Antichrist Saul.
Most Christians are blind to the primary reasons God saved St Paul and made him an Apostle. They think he is just a late comer to the faith, virtually a tag a long. This is because they have been taught to think that Jesus ministry is the most important part of the Bible, and that Christ made St Peter the Chief Apostle. This is a gross error, founded upon poor teaching, false assumption, and ignorance. I pray that the Lord uses my testimony here to open your eyes to the mystery he revealed to St Paul and made him the Chief minister.
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
(1Tim 1vs 15,16.)
Here we Read that there was something very special about Paul’s salvation.
1. It was a demonstration of absolute grace.
2. It was for a pattern of Salvation for those whom would believe afterwards.
Thus Pauls conversion is a Dispensational milestone. A Marker for a dispensational change. A change from what you may ask? I will attempt to show you. If you do not harden you hearts to what I am saying, the Lord may grant you understanding. Ultimately this will open up to you the realization that the purpose of the Book of Acts is not merely to record the history of the deeds of the apostles, but to show the dispensational change and transition from the God’s Jewish ministries through Christ and St Peter to that of an outpouring of Grace upon the Gentiles via St Paul.
Do not loose track of the fact that Paul *preached Christ* yet I hope to show you he preached Christ in a completely new way via *a completely new Gospel.*
Are you still with me? I know for many of you the news that Paul preached *a different Gospel* than was preached by Jesus or by St Peter is a mind blowing thing to contemplate… and that many of you will flat out refuse to consider it. Such people have blinders over their eyes. I will continue my message for the sake of those bold readers whom at least wish to see where I am coming from.
Enter Saul of Tarsus.
Before St Paul became the Apostle of the Gospel of Grace unto the gentiles he was a Zealous Jewish Pharisee of very high standing, and he was the chief persecutor of the Jewish followers of Christ. He was an Anti-Christ, whom rejected the notion that Jesus Christ was the true messiah of the Jews. He saw the Apostles and their followers as just one group of many heretical sects that followed one of many false messiahs that popped up from time to time, and that as a Zealous Jew it was his duty to suppress this heresy.
To understand the dispensational change that occurred at the conversion of St Paul on the Damascus rd it is essential to understand exactly what was going on prior to his conversion firstly under the Ministry of Christ before the crucifixion, and then under the ministry of Peter, who preached to the Jews that the crucified Christ was their Messiah… their King, and that they ought to repent from murdering him and be baptized as a token of their submission.
To understand what Peter was preaching after the cross we must go back to the ministry of Christ himself before the cross and see what he preached, and how he trained his disciples to preach and teach in his name.
Thus we will be looking at the chronological order of the ministries of Jesus, Peter, and Paul, and distinguishing what was common doctrine among them, and what was dispensationally distinct
Each of these ministries deserves thorough investigation, yet for the sake of maintaining the thread of this message I must necessarily skim over a great body of scripture and hope to go into greater detail at a later date.
The Good Shepherd
Why did Jesus visit Israel?
St Paul tells us this:
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” (Rom15vs8)
Now those are very important things to understand!
1. Jesus was specifically a minister to the Jews.
2. He came to confirm promises God had made to their fathers.
These promises are scattered through the Old testament and are the special deals/ covenants God made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacoob, Moses, King David, King Solomon…
and are the subject of many Messianic prophecies.
These prophecies take on a mysterious form, and are much easier to understand with the wisdom of hindsight …after their fulfillment none the less many devout Jews of the first century suffering under the Roman yoke lived in earnest expectation that God would soon deliver them from this subjection by raising up a Messiah born of the lineage of King David, who would overthrow the enemies of Israel and establish his Kingdom from which he would rule the world.
*This is the Redemption they expected from the Messiah* Not personal salvation from sin which they believed they already had via circumcision which made them part of the Abrahamic covenant, and the Temple sacrifices which atoned for their breaches of the mosaic Law), but National salvation from under the Yoke of the Gentiles!
This thread is found through out the four gospels.
Read Luke chapter 1vs68-74, Luke 2vs38,
They did not expect Christ to die a criminals death…but to rule as their King.
*Christs work of Salvation on the cross was unknown to them… It was a hidden mystery.*
It was to fulfill Gods Kingdom promises to the Jews Christ was born of the house of King David.
God visited his people. Luke1vs68.
Yet Christ came unto his own and his own (The Jews) received him not. John1vs 11.
And it is with this in mind that we can understand ‘The Gospel’ which Christ preached which is specifically called ‘The gospel of the Kingdom’
…Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Notice what Christ does not say! He does not say he has come to die on the cross to save mankind from their sins! That is a completely different gospel which st Paul would later preach… after the Jews had twice rejected their Messiah. Once before the cross when they rejected Christ and had him crucified, and they again reject him when he is preached as their Messiah by Peter after the resurrection, who preaches the cross…not as salvation… but as condemnation and the resurrection as evidence that Christ is indeed the prophesied Son of David.
It will be a surprise to many of you to be told that even after the resurrection St Peter did not understand the cross of Christ as we do today… as the Divine work of atonement. That was still a secret. In the early book of Acts Peter preaches the cross as a heinous act of murder and rebellion against God. He warns the jews that to continue to reject their messiah will result in the wrath of God falling upon Israel… thus for Peter the cross was not a glorious act of Love on the part of God, but a shocking crime against God perpetrated by Israel.
What most Christians fail to understand is that Christ preached the Kingdom…not the cross, and Christ trained his disciples about things pertaining to his millennial kingdom, and sent them to preach the kingdom was at hand. And he specifically sent them *to the Jews*. Why? Because it was to their fathers God had made his promises! Read Mat 10vs1-7, and Mat15vs-22-28.
Furthermore to enter his kingdom was not by grace alone but required obedience to the Law, and other special works of repentance.
It required Baptism.
They had to be faithful to Christ unto death…(Mat
It required the wealthy to sell their possessions and give their wealth to the poor to prove they were prepared to forsake all the benefits they had under the worldly system of Mammon, and to follow after Christ. Thus Christ said it would be easier of a camel to pass thorough the eye of a needle (a very narrow canyon-like passage) than for a rich man to enter his kingdom. Many people mistake these conditions of the kingdom gospel as evidence that Christ was anti-wealth, when in fact these are merely temporary conditions to pass trough the transition from the Kingdom of Mammon into the millennial kingdom of Christ. (See Mark 10vs17-27)
All these conditions do not apply today under Pauls gospel of grace.
The greatest proof that the Cross had nothing to do with the Gospel of the kingdom is that Christ began to progressively tell his disciples about his betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection very late in his ministry
… after they had been for a long time preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and that when he told them what would Happen they did not understand it at all! Peter in fact tried to correct Christ on this very thing because it did not make any sense to them.
“Be it far from thee Lord!” declared Peter.
He believed Christ was supposed to lead a revolution against the Romans and conquer them,…that was the what the gospel of the Kingdom was about!… Christ was not supposed to be defeated and killed!
Read Matt 16vs 21-23. Note this is when Christ began to show his disciples about his death, burial, and resurrection.
Grasp that before this time…when they were preaching the ‘Gospel of the kingdom’ (eg Matt 10vs1-7) they did not have a clue about the cross or the resurrection…thus it is impossible that they the gospel they preached said anything about it.
Whatmore even after he told them he would die on the cross and rise again the third day…they did not understand it…*and it was hidden from them*
Read Luke 18vs31-34.
Thus Peter and his fellow Disciples were completely ignorant of work of Salvation which Christ would achieve at Calvary! That’s an amazing fact! *It was a Hidden mystery* which was kept secret until The Jews rejected their Messiah twice, and God raised up St Paul and revealed to him the wonderful Gospel of Grace…and the secret of the cross…It was Christ’s sacrifice for the Sins of Mankind, and his resurrection was evidence of his victory over sin and death, and that whosoever simply believes and calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!
The one and only condition upon the sinner is believing that Christ died on the cross for his sins, was buried, and rose again the third day for our justification.
Here we see the Pattern which God showed us when he saved the Anti-Christ Saul. (St Paul).
In perfect Accord with his conditional covenants with the Jewish fathers, God postponed his kingdom and set Israel aside because they rejected their Messiah. Instead of establishing his kingdom in Israel, and them receiving all the blessing that would flow from that. Israel was to be destroyed, enslaved by the gentile powers…because as Christ prophesied
“knewest not the time of their visitation” (Luke19vs42-44)
The arch of Titus celebrating the Destruction of Israel
Thus Christ visited his people Israel… to fulfill the promises God made to their Fathers, yet because he did not appear as they expected him to appear…(Like a conquering King) they rejected him, and framed him, and gave him over to the Romans to be wrongfully crucified.
Another evidence that the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ was hidden from the understanding of his disciple is the confusion that occurred when Christ was betrayed and killed.
While Jesus was as harmless as a lamb, Peter resisted the party which came to arrest Jesus and sliced off one of the guards ears. (In his mind it was revolution time…yet Christ restored the ear and went peacefully into custody.
This was absolutely contrary to what the disciple believed the messiah would do! They began to doubt that Christ was the messiah and before the cock crew Peter denied Christ three times.
Then after the crucifixion and Christ was buried, They disciples were full of doubts about Christ because they thought he was to ‘redeem Israel’ and when the woman reported Christ was risen…they did not say ‘We knew this would happen’…we have been preaching about it to the people for years!…. They had to go and see for themselves…Thomas refused to believe it untill he put his finger in the nail holes of the risen Christ!….Thus The death, Burial and resurrection were complete mysteries to the disciples….even after Christ had told them it would happen… they did not understand it because it did not fit into their comprehension of the Messiah overthrowing the Romans and Ruling as King of Kings…Gods Kingdom on Earth…which they had been preaching. Read Luke 24!
Yet still when he was on the cross Christ prayed “Father forgive them for they know not what the do” (Luke 23vs 34)
And it is in accordance with this prayer that God gives Israel a final chance to receive Christ…after the resurrection when he sends out Peter and the Apostles yet again to the Jews, this time preaching that They had murdered their Messiah, and that God was wrath with them for this wicked deed, and that The Death, burial, and Resurrection of Christ was actually the fulfillment of prophesy , and Peter called them to repent…”Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts chapter 2.)… and God would send them Jesus their King.
Though many thousands of Jews did repent, ultimately Peters re-offer of the Kingdom was rejected…and they began to persecute Peter and the rest of the believers… culmination in the stoning of St Stephen. He preached to them about the Lord Jesus Christ and called them “Stiff necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears”…called them “Betrayers and Murderers” of Christ….and they cried out and ‘stopped their ears’ and ran upon him… And they stoned him to death. (Acts 7 vs51-60)
Saul was present. Before he died Stephen declared that he saw Christ ‘standing on the right hand of God’. Christ was ready at that very moment to descend from heaven and wipe out all the unrepentant Jews, and to overthrow the Romans and set up his kingdom…ie Christ was ready for Armageddon, Yet God the Father had other plans. God Indeed instead of establishing his kingdom at this point in time, he would judge Israel as Christ had prophesied, yet he had a most wonderful surprise in store for the rest of humanity! And to reveal this surprise he chose the very chief of Sinners Saul of Tarsus ( St Paul).
Up to the Conversion of St Paul, in the early part of the book of Acts the Cross of Christ was not preached as salvation but as condemnation. Yet the Jews having rejected their messiah as reoffered to them by St Peter, In the ultimate act of grace…God saved st Paul…”He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts9vs 15)
From this part of the book of Acts Peter and his Kingdom Gospel to the Jews fades out and is superseded by St Paul and his Individualistic Gospel of the Grace, which is a completely New Gospel… nothing to do with the establishment of God’s kingdom on Earth… and it is to Paul That God reveals the Mystery of the Cross of Christ as Salvation from sin for whosoever believes.
Paul tells us His gospel was received be special revelation (Gal1vs11,12)
He calls the Gospel of grace “My Gospel” Rom2vs 16.
“ Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: Rom 16vs25,26
Paul tells us the Gospel of Grace to the gentiles was given to him, just as the Jewish kingdom gospel was given to Peter (Gal2vs 7,8)
Paul declares that he is the Apostle of the gentiles.
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” Rom 11vs13
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. Col1vs 23-29
Paul declares … That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Romans 15vs 16.
The return of Christ in Power and Glory…as King of kings and Lord of lords.
The current Dispensation of grace will not last for ever. It will finnish at the appointed time of God known as ‘The Rapture’ Then begins the short but terrible dispensation known as the Great tribulation period which will be the Kingdom of the Antichrist. During this time the Kingdom of Christ will again be ‘At hand’ and christ will return in Power and Glory and destroy the Antichrist and save Israel from their enemies…and then will establish his Kingdom on Earth.
Christ will indeed appear in power and glory as the Jews expected and will overthrow the AntiChrist and set up his Kingdom upon the Earth, and rule from Israel… yet that is still dispensationally/ chronologically specking still in the future.
I must leave off now. I pray that you may see the truth of dispensational right division and realize that while all scripture is given by inspiration of God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness… that none the less there are important distinctions to be made, and that not every scripture is applicable doctrine for today. This means that we must be careful to give the doctrines of grace as taught by St Paul pre-eminence over the doctrine of other teachers and prophets…even over The 4 gospels which contain the teachings of The lord Jesus Christ himself! As Paul said to the Thessalonians…”For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which ye herd of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God which effectually worketh also in you that believe…” (1Thes2vs13).
*Understand that Pauls words are Christs words!* specifically given to him for us Gentiles living in the present dispensation of grace.
“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Cor14vs37)
Thus if any of my readers truly desire to serve God as they ought and to understand Gods plan and purpose for our dispensation… you must receive St Paul’s Gospel and doctrines which specifically apply to our age, and you must appreciate the The four Gospels primarily deal with Christ’s kingdom gospel and ministry ‘to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’ … most of which is not applicable doctrine for our age. I will expand upon these truths in future posts and contrast many differences in doctrine between What Christ taught pertaining to his Kingdom, from what Paul teaches us as being applicable today…here, and now. Thus I hope to secure in your minds the absolute importance of “Rightly dividing the word of truth”.
My next message will focus upon the political distinctions to be made between St Pauls doctrines and those of Christ’s conditions for Jews to enter his Kingdom.
(I will be editing this post over the next few days. I post it in the Raw as Sunday is fast evaporating… God Bless those of you whom have taken the time to read this message)
Tim Wikiriwhi Dispensational truth.
Life is tuff. And the response of many to the ongoing battle is ‘Get Hard!’ Now there is a lot of merit to that way of thinking. It is a heroic notion, and much better than wallowing in victimism and self-pity, yet it can also render a person cold and indifferent.
It can seer the conscience. It can be an armour plate. A Wall.
Now walls can be good at keeping trouble out, yet they can also keep you trapped within, and like lunatics trapped in an asylum, your Madness, your regrets, your Demons, are also trapped inside with you. A wall cannot give serenity. For that We need answers. Powerful answers. We need to have a shining Light in our lives. We need understanding and hope.
In todays ‘Post Christian era’, many People don’t believe hope is possible. Many people are suicidal. Many think the best that can be ‘hoped for’ is to spend the fleeting hours in pursuit of temporal pleasures, with little scruple on how they get their fix. ‘It’s a dog eat dog world’ they say. ‘Better to be a hammer than a nail’… a wolf than a Lamb. Believing this turns people into cold calculating predators and users, whom existing as slaves of their own lusts and envy, live in such an amoral manor that they become purpetrators and propigators of the very evils and misery in the world which makes life so hard to bear.
This is why I am writing this message. As a contemporary of this era, I myself have grown up steeped in this world view. I have tasted it. I have lived it, tested it, and by the grace of God I have survived it… so far. It has profoundly shaped the person that I have become. I carry about me the scares of Battle, the pain, and the perversions of a life lived as a selfish sinner among sinners. Yet I have seen the light my friends, and it is this enlightenment of the soul which I wish to share with you today. I wish to show you how it is possible to tear down the wall and live a life of victory, facing the world with your head held high… and most of all… with self esteem and real hope.
Many people wont like me using the terms ‘soul’ or ‘sinner’. They have been taught that such terms are ‘religious bunk’. I want to remove the scales from your eyes and for you to receive Sight! I want you to become an objective thinker. I want you to save yourself from self delusion. I want you to recover yourself from the snares of the Devil.
I want to declare to you that your anti-religious mindset is a product of modern indoctrination, and a heinous delusion, the myth that ‘Science has killed off God’. That is not ‘realism’, but a monumental delusion my friends, built upon a pile of false premises and mountains of Pseudo-science. In the following months I will take a pick to these, and hack them down, and cut a path trough to reveal a fantastic reality that can forever alter your perception. Dare you but open your eyes and Look. It infuses a dead reality with life, value, and meaning. *That is what is at stake* That is what the atheist materialist delusion has robbed from you. Surely the high stakes involved… seeing the consequences our personal world views… *our religion* has upon our lives makes consideration of what I say worth the effort.
*Atheism is a religion*… a very short sighted one at that.
I want you to open your mind up to Objectivity in yet another way. Understand that while Atheism robs its victim of all hope, of all value, of all meaning, it does offer one thing many people find irresistibly appealing… It removes Objective morality and thereby removes Moral obligations, and moral guilt. You don’t have to be a philosopher or a psychologist to understand how this ‘escapism’ has a powerful and addictive quality to us. To live a guilt free life… to have a conscience ‘as light as a feather’ is so powerful a desire that Millions of people are prepared to sacrifice objective reality, all humanity, and all value, to maintain the delusion. They become consumed with hatred against those whom suggest to them that there is an Objective Morality which is over and above humanity, by which they ought to live, and by which they will ultimately be judged. They decry such a belief in Moral reality as ‘Slavery’… as controlling lies etc. Thus they seek to render reality nihilistic, and mankind to be merely beasts, so that they may wallow in their own lusts and depravity. ( Maynard James Kennan )
If theistic religion is the opiate of the Masses, then Atheistic religion is Crack Cocaine!
It is here that I appeal to you to ‘wake up’ to the fact that your denial of Objective morality is nothing more than a whimsical self delusion… an escape from reality. Reality is Tuff for human beings. Reality is grim. It is difficult to live honourably. It is hard work to live by the sweat of our own brows, and it takes a powerful integrity to be able to admit to ourselves that sometimes we do things that are really morally wrong. That we are in fact *sinners.* . This may be distasteful, yet it is an objective fact and therefore a vital reality to grasp. You see being objective means having the ability to accept truths, even when they place ourselves under condemnation. Even when to admit their truthfulness, is to accept guilt.
It is here that I appeal to you to wake up the fact that the very best Ethics of the Western civilization are founded upon the Book of Genesis and the Bible. Such things as religious Liberty, inalienable rights, equality before the Law, Self responsibility, Free speech, The pursuit of your own happiness, etc, and that the very worst oppressions and dependencies we suffer today are a result of the corrosion of theistic values, via the subversion of the atheist materialist worldview inherited from Marx, Darwin, Mill, etc. (These are bold and sweeping ‘general’ claims which I shall do my best to elaborate in the coming months.)
I am asserting that most atheists whom claim themselves to be ‘Good people’, are living in self-contradiction. Many assume they can hold many ‘Christian values’ yet without the theistic underpinnings. ( Maynard James Keenen… though extremely deluded, is still a far more ‘honest’ atheist than most and in fact if Jesus Christ was a fraud, Maynard James Keenan would be a mighty prophet of truth… instead of the deranged fool that he is!)
Now The bible tells us That God created Mankind in his own image, and gave him a rational mind and freewill, yet that Mankind choose to forsake God, and to commit evil, and that this resulted in God passing a death sentence and hiding himself from us. The Bible says that we are members of a fallen race… lost in sin.
As an Atheist evolutionist this worldview was so Alien to me that it was beyond belief. Yet as Providence would have it I encountered some Christians, and I entered into dialogue with them… actually listening to what they had to say… and nobody was more shocked than I, the day that I realized their Theistic World view made perfect sense! ‘It was a Revelation! The explanatory power of that short paragraph above this one is massive! It can explain the whole of human history…but for one thing. The loving grace and interventions of God for the Salvation of mankind. It is in this context that that the historical advent of Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and Resurrection all make perfect sense.
And this is where the Hope, the value, and the meaning of life is to be found! For sin, judgment, and death are only half of the truth…grim reality. The glorious and life affirming revelation is that though we are sinners and stand in moral condemnation, God loves us, wants to forgive us, and desires to restore fellowship with us. He wants us to understand that he created us for a purpose, and for us to Live in the knowledge that our actions do have ‘moral weight’…that there really is Good reason to be Good, and that evil truly is evil, and that these distinctions are objectively true, they are not mere human conventions, not illusory.
I cannot adequately express how infinitely massive are the ramifications of grasping the reality that The Bible is *the truth*. The Bible says “Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness”. The whole Bible is about bringing individuals to grasp Gods reality…and thereby discover what they are themselves, and what is going on in this world. It is to reveal the truth, and to germinate faith and hope. The Bible Story is a message to save ‘the lost’. This is the beginning of a new life, in a universe of meaning and value.
I will leave you with some words from the Apostle of Gods grace unto us Gentiles, St Paul…
“ There is none righteous, no not one. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But God commendeth his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. For by grace are ye saved, through faith. And that not of yourselves; it is the Gift of God lest any man should boast. 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. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily…. And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the newmoon, or of the Sabbath days….Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. [of the Law]
The truth is stranger than fiction. It may surprise you to learn that only sinners like Alice Cooper go to Heaven. It was for guys like him that Jesus died. Its ironic that though Salvation is an open invitation to all it seems to be that only rebellious souls whom realize their moral condition want the grace of God which is in Christ Jesus. Self-righteousness appears to be a terrible affliction which blinds the proud. The Self righteous theist seems to believe they don’t need Christ. Many go to church yet think the story of Redemption via the Cross to be vulgar. They think they are holy enough to walk straight in Heavens front door! “Im not a whoremonger, or winebibber” they convince themselves and peer downward at everyone else . Yet the scripture says otherwise “ There is none righteous no not one for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3vs10+23).
Then you get the Self Righteous Atheist Materialist who hates God and professes “Morality is bunk”. He’s not a sinner! Typically/ Ironically these birds maintain delusions of being Good people. They condemn the God of the Bible outright reasoning that if there really was a God, He would have no right to throw such a nice person as they in Hell!
Whatever the logic Self-righteous people of all shades have no need of a Savior and this is why Hell will be filled with them. They have made a fantastic error! The sin nature of Mankind is the most self-evident of truths! Furthermore they assume reality must conform to their whims…to *their Judgment*… so that if there is a God he could not possibly set a higher standard of morality than their own, or demand they accept such humiliating terms as to think It was for their sins that Christ willingly suffered the cross.
They surmise they have no need of Christ. They reject the Gospel.
Wrong Bet! “…as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.’ (Hebrews 9vs27)
Yes Hell will be filled with the Self-righteous and Heaven will be filled with Sinners like me and my brother Alice Cooper… whom realized we need Christ. Not governed by vain delusions, we’re not too proud to humble ourselves before God, Confess our Sinfulness, and thank him for his mercy and grace in sending Christ to redeem us. Its that simple! “For The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom6vs23)
Gods chosen vessel to reveal and preach the Gospel of Grace to us sinful gentiles,St Paul says “This is faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that *in me first God might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting”* (1Tim !vs15,16). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” (Tit3vs5)
The truth is stranger than fiction My friends. Alice Cooper is saved! He’s a Brother in Christ! Will you remain Devils Food?
*The Gospel functions best under Political freedom*
Receiving the gospel is a matter of personal choice and conviction. Faith cannot be imposed via coercion. The only way faith can be propagated is via evangelism (Free Speech/ Free press) ie reasoning from and appealing to the scriptures hoping to convince the lost of the validity of the Christian Faith. Coercion being contrary to the modus opperandi of evangelism means Religious liberty is the ideal political environment for the dissemination of the gospel, not Legalistic moral tyranny which persecutes infidelity, and obviously it is obviously much harder to preach the gospel and function as a Christian under tyrannical systems like Communism or ‘The Holy Roman Empire’ which oppress and suppress beliefs which are not sanctioned by the State. Alice Cooper would have been burned at the stake had he lived 500 years ago. Indeed he would have been sent to a Gulag had he been born in the USSR. Thankfully he lived in a more enlightened era and had time to come to his senses and trust Christ. Salvation is by Grace, and may be freely accepted or rejected. Liberty to follow ones personal convictions is the vital component.