We've been asked various Questions here at SO4J-TV, so here is an FAQ List to help answer some of those Questions. For More Info on SO4J besides the info below go to: About SO4J-TV Lord Bless!
QUESTIONS ON: ISSUES - (CLICK ON LINKS)
QUESTIONS: BIBLICAL ASSURANCE OF SALVATION, SIN STRUGGLES, DOCTRINE OF ELECTION
FOR MORE ON THIS TOPIC & THIS BELOW INFO GO TO: BIBLICAL ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
QUESTIONS ABOUT SO4J-TV & VIDEO:
QUESTIONS RE: THE SO4J WEBSITE
Judging - "Who Are You To Judge?"
Excerpts from an SO4J Bible Study— Read MORE: Judging Others - Should Christians Judge?
We are NOT to Judge a person's MOTIVES (Matt 7:1), but we are to Judge a Fellow Believer's (a Teacher's) ACTIONS / FRUIT to make sure the Essential Christian Doctrine is Correct— to make sure it's NOT Contrary to God's Word, and the "Teachings of Jesus."
If A Preacher / Teacher is NOT Correctly Teaching Essential Christian Doctrine (the True Gospel of Jesus Christ, etc.) and the Teaching is keeping people focused on this Life & on the Broad Path to Hell, OR if they are Prophesying Falsely (Deut 13:1-18, Deut 18:20-22), we are to "MARK THEM" (Name Names of False Teachers & Deceivers)— of which Paul did 8 TIMES in 2 Timothy.
We are NOT to Tolerate False Teaching— Jesus didn't (Rev 2:2-3,6). Jesus warned us MANY Times to BEWARE of False Teachers & False Prophets (Matt 24:23-26, 2 Tim 4:3-4, 2 Cor 11:13-15)
If a certain Teacher continually Teaches error, it would be very UNLOVING if we didn’t Warn others (like Jesus, Peter, Paul, etc.) of the Dangers of these False Teachers, who are keeping people on the Broad Path leading to Hell. Acts 20:26-32; Gal 1:6-9; 2 Tim 2:17-18, Eph 5:11, Ezek 3:17-19
(Place 'Mouse' over the Scriptures)
FALSE TEACHER SCRIPTURES—
Matt 7:15-20, Matt 24:4-5, Matt 24:11, Matt 24:23-26, Mark 13:22, Acts 20:29-32, Rom 16:17-18, 1 John 4:1-6, 2 Peter 2:1-3, 1 Tim 4:1,2 Tim 4:3-4, Titus 1:10-11,Gal 1:6-12, 2 Cor 11:13-15, Col 2:8, Col 2:18, 2 John 1:10-11,Matt 16:4, 2 Pet 2:18, Matt 7:21-23, Amos 8:11, 1 Tim 6:8-10, Jude 1:1-17, Deut 13:1-18, Deut 18:20-22, Jer 14:13-15, Jer 23:1-40, Rev 2:2-3, Rev 2:6
We instead should be constantly Examining the Scriptures to see if what a Bible Teacher or Preacher is saying is True, that goes for here at SO4J-TV too. (Read - Acts 17:11)
Warning others of False Teachers is for the Safety of ALL, so that we do not become Deceived (Rev 12:9, Heb 3:13) and be Led Astray
(2 Cor 11:13-15,
2 John 1:10-11,
Jude 1:1-17). Jesus Warned us about a Great Deception in the End Times (Matt 24:11), it is here, Right Now (2 Tim 4:3-4, 1 Tim 4:1). There are MANY Preachers who Preach a Feel Good gospel which keeps people on the BROAD PATH (Matt 7:13-14), and focused on this Temporal Life (2 Cor 4:17-18, Gal 1:6-12) vs what Jesus taught us - Luke 9:23-24; Matt 10:37-39.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all Believers see eye to eye on many important Topics (KJV Only, etc), but that does NOT make each other a False Teacher. There are quite a number of Christian: Discernment Ministries, Websites, and Blog Sites who are wrongly Labeling True Believers & Godly Ministers as False Teachers because they have a difference of opinion on Non Essential Christian Doctrine which does not affect a person's Salvation. A True Believer is constantly growing in the Knowledge of the Scriptures (Acts 17:11), and none of us has arrived with perfect Knowledge (1 Cor 13:12-13); so we must show some Grace to those Believers who do not believe as you do on these Non Essential Christian Doctrines. That is our desire at SO4J-TV. We do believe that we are to Name the Names of False Teachers & False Prophets so as to warn fellow Believers of the many Deceptions in the Church (1 Tim 1:3-6, Rom 16:17-18)
We should however be reminded to be very careful not to make Judgments based on Non Essential Christian Doctrine— which does not affect ones Salvation.
We are not talking about those Ministers who are wrongly Prophesying Falsely (such as Benny Hinn), or who are Preaching the False Teachings of the Self-Esteem Prosperity gospel (Health & Wealth— see FALSE TEACHERS & FALSE PROPHETS - VIDEOS, AUDIOS, ARTICLES) for that truly is another gospel that is contrary to the Teachings of Christ - Gal 1:6-12.
More Here - SO4J-TV's Concern Re: False Teachers
EXCERPTS FROM "JUDGING OTHERS - SHOULD CHRISTIANS JUDGE?" -
NO! SO4J-TV is soo concerned that people who call themselves Christians are not ready for the Soon Return of Jesus Christ (Matt 24:44, Luke 12:40), or if they were to die today (Heb 9:27). We are not Legalistic— we're just trying to Obey the Gospel
(Acts 10:42), and warn people (Heb 3:13), and ask people to Examine their Faith (2 Cor 13:5) with God’s Word— while we still live in this Grace period.
We do NOT believe that one is Saved by the Keeping of the 10 Commandments. We are Saved by Grace alone (Eph 2:8-9), which is a work of God in a person (Phil 2:13), and not a work of man (Matt 19:26). A Person first becomes convicted of Sin (John 16:8) by the Holy Spirit, through the Preaching of God's Word (1 Cor 1:21,18). Jesus used the Commandments to convict people of their Sin (Matt 5:21-22; Matt 5:27-28, Matt 19:18-19, Matt 19:20-21,22-24, Luke 18:18-29), to show them their need for Him.
Re: This Video is about the Fate of FALSE CONVERTS (APOSTATES) who come to the EDGE of Saving Faith— but they eventually REJECT or WALK AWAY from the Truth. Read Matthew 7:21-23. Go Here for: Biblical Assurance of Salvation,
Q & As, & To Examine Your Faith. Go Here for: What is a Lukewarm Christian? Go Here for the: Gospel of Jesus Christ
VIDEO: SO4J-TV SHOW— RE: LUKEWARM CHRISTIANS (UNSAVED PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE SAVED)
STANDING BEFORE JESUS AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE - Matt 7:21-23
In SO4J-TV's Lukewarm Christians— Judgment Day - Are You Ready? Mini Movie & also the SO4J-TV Show: Judgment Day - Are You Read? we wanted to first show people the Bad News, that all of us have Sinned (Rom 3:23), and fall short of God's Perfect Holy Standards— we are ALL in trouble, and need Him. There's no amount of Good Works (See: Top 10 Ways That Unsaved People Think They Are Saved) that can make ANY OF US in right standing before a Holy God (Isaiah 64:6). We need God's Righteousness on the Day of Judgment, or we will Perish (Rom 6:23, Ezek 18:20). Only Jesus Christ (God the Son) can be our perfect Substitute, because He is God (Phil 2:5-11). After we have shown people the Bad News in our Video, then we show people the Good News— that Jesus was Born of a Virgin, and lived a Holy Perfect Life. When Jesus died on the Cross for our Sins, He took our Punishment of God's Wrath, which fell upon Jesus for our Sins. What we must now do to receive His Forgivenss of Sins & His Righteousness is to do what Jesus says:
• Mark 1:15 Jesus says, "Repent, and Believe in the Gospel."
As far as Sanctification goes, a Born Again Believer in Jesus (John 3:3, 2 Cor 5:17) is now to show our love for Jesus (John 14:15,21) by being Obedient to God's Word (1 Peter 1:15-16). Though we can & do still do sin (1 John 2:1), we are not to Practice Sin (Rom 6:15-16, 1 John 3:9-10, Heb 10:26-31). God wants His Children, Believers in Jesus, to live Righteous, Clean, & Holy Lives (2 Cor 6:17, 1 Pet 1:15-16) for the Glory of God. (1 Cor 10:31)
"We're NOT Saved by WORKS— But we PROVE we're SAVED by our WORKS"—Quote by Martha Mac, SO4J-TV & Video Productions
No! We do NOT believe in a WORKS based Gospel— and we say that all over SO4J.com as well. But just to Clarify— Salvation is a FREE Gift of God & it is a WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Sometimes Believers can be saying the same thing, but conveying things differently.
REPENTANCE and FAITH are TWO SIDES of the same COIN (so to speak) and happen SIMULTANEOUSLY and CONTINUOUSLY from JUSTIFICATION all the way through SANCTIFICATION.
REPENTANCE & FAITH CANNOT be separated, you CANNOT have ONE without the OTHER...Read More Below...
Below is what SO4J-TV means by "Repent & Have Faith in the Gospel."
Salvation is NOT a Result of all the Righteous Things we have Done.
• Titus 3:5-6 “He Saved us, NOT because of the RIGHTEOUS THINGS WE HAD DONE, but because of HIS MERCY. He washed away our Sins, giving us a New Birth and New Life through the Holy Spirit. He Generously Poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
• Isa 64:6 "But we are all like an unclean thing, And all OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS are like FILTHY RAGS; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away."
Salvation is First of all a FREE Gift of God, which should then Lead us to Produce GOOD WORKS
• Eph 2:8-10 (NKJV) “For by GRACE you have been Saved THROUGH FAITH, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should BOAST. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
God the Father Mercifully draws a person to Himself by the HOLY SPIRIT.
• John 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the FATHER WHO SENT ME DRAWS HIM; and I will raise him up on the last day.”
It is the HOLY SPIRIT who Opens our BLIND Eyes & Mind to Understand the Scriptures— as seen in the case with the Disciples below.
• Luke 18:31-34 Then He (Jesus) took the Twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32) For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be Mocked and Insulted and Spit Upon. They will Scourge Him and Kill Him. And the Third Day He will Rise Again." But they (the Disciples) understood NONE of these things; this SAYING WAS HIDDEN FROM THEM, and they DID NOT KNOW THE THINGS WHICH WERE SPOKEN (by Jesus).”
• Luke 24:44-47 Then He said to them, "These are the WORDS which I SPOKE TO YOU while I was STILL WITH YOU, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." And HE (JESUS) OPENED THEIR UNDERSTANDING, THAT THEY MIGHT COMPREHEND THE SCRIPTURES. Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that REPENTANCE AND REMISSION (FORGIVENESS) OF SINS should be PREACHED IN HIS NAME TO ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.”
It is GOD’S GRACE and a WORK of the HOLY SPIRIT WORKING in a Person to DO HIS WILL and to DO what is PLEASING to & for the Lord…to CHANGE HIS MIND…ACTIONS..etc
• Phil 2:12-13 “Work out your own Salvation With Fear And Trembling; for it is GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU both TO WILL and to DO FOR HIS GOOD PLEASURE.”
• Titus 2:11-14 “For the GRACE OF GOD that BRINGS SALVATION has appeared to all men. Teaching us that, DENYING UNGODLINESS and WORLDLY LUSTS, we should live SOBERLY, RIGHTEOUSLY, and GODLY, in this PRESENT WORLD; Looking for that BLESSED HOPE, and the GLORIOUS APPEARING of the GREAT GOD and our SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST; Who gave Himself for us, that He might REDEEM US from EVERY LAWLESS DEED and PURIFY FOR HIMSELF His own SPECIAL PEOPLE (a peculiar people), ZEALOUS FOR GOOD WORKS.”
REPENTANCE is (and must be), COMPLETELY a WORK OF GOD, NOT a work of man. Once again, it is GOD who gives a person a DESIRE to do His Will, and what is Pleasing unto Him (Phil 2:12-23).
Considering Repentance as a work of man, either Before or After FAITH, is IRRELEVANT as that would make it FAITH PLUS WORKS in either case.
REPENTANCE and FAITH are TWO SIDES of the same COIN (so to speak) and happen SIMULTANEOUSLY and CONTINUOUSLY from JUSTIFICATION all the way through SANCTIFICATION.
REPENTANCE & FAITH CANNOT be separated, you CANNOT have ONE without the OTHER.
We should also not derive the entire meaning of a word solely on its ETYMOLOGY (the History & Origins of a Word or Original meaning), but also need to understand its CONTEXT.
Merely saying REPENTANCE IS TO “CHANGE ONE’S MIND” robs it of its FULL MEANING AND APPLICATION. It is true the ETYMOLOGY (the History & Origins of a Word or Original meaning) of the word “REPENTANCE” is to “CHANGE ONE’S MIND” – but that by itself does NOT DO IT JUSTICE, as TRUE REPENTANCE “CHANGES ONE’S MIND” so RADICALLY and COMPLETELY that it CHANGES EVERYTHING— IT CHANGES ONE’S: MIND, HEART, ACTIONS, LIFE, ETC…. PRAISE JESUS that we can Truly be a New Person in Christ!
• 2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in CHRIST, he is a NEW CREATION; OLD THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY; behold, ALL THINGS have become NEW.”
That’s why Jesus says we must be BORN AGAIN.
• John 3:3 Jesus says, “Truly, Truly, I say unto you, unless you are BORN AGAIN, you CANNOT see the Kingdom of God.”
Otherwise REPENTANCE is reduced to merely “MENTALLY ACKNOWLEDGING THE FACTS ABOUT JESUS”— the kind of BELIEF EVEN DEMONS HAVE.
• James 2:19 “You say you have FAITH, for you BELIEVE that there is one God. Good for you! EVEN THE DEMONS BELIEVE THIS, and they tremble in terror.”
Unfortunately this kind of MISUNDERSTANDING OF REPENTANCE is very prevalent in TODAY’S LUKEWARM CHURCH and produces FALSE CONVERTS— PROVEN by their LACK OF BEARING FRUIT (no outward evidence of salvation).
When a Person is said to be TRULY SAVED they will PROVE (show evidence) that they are Saved by GOOD WORKS or GOOD FRUIT (Matt 7:16)…and by our ACTIONS (James 2:14-20 below).
"WE’RE NOT SAVED BY WORKS— BUT WE PROVE WE’RE SAVED BY OUR WORKS"
—Martha Mac, SO4J-TV & Video
• Matt 7:15-23 Jesus warns, "Beware of the FALSE PROPHETS, who come to you in SHEEP'S CLOTHING, but inwardly are RAVENOUS WOLVES. "You will know them by their FRUITS. GRAPES are not gathered from THORN BUSHES nor FIGS from THISTLES, are they? "So every GOOD TREE BEARS GOOD FRUIT, but the BAD TREE BEARS BAD FRUIT. A GOOD TREE CANNOT produce BAD FRUIT, nor can a BAD TREE produce GOOD FRUIT. EVERY TREE THAT DOES NOT BEAR GOOD FRUIT IS CUT DOWN and THROWN INTO THE FIRE. So then, YOU WILL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'LORD, LORD,' will enter the Kingdom Of Heaven, but he who DOES THE WILL of My Father who is in Heaven will enter. "MANY will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we NOT Prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name Cast Out Demons, and in Your Name Perform Many Miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I NEVER Knew You; Depart from Me, you who PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS (BREAK GOD’s LAWS)."
We show "FAITH" every day in soo many things.
EXAMPLE: You take a Flight on an Airplane— and even though you do not personally know the Pilots that are flying your Airplane, you BELIEVE that they actually know what they are doing, and are in fact going to get you where you want to go Safely— otherwise you would not be on that Airplane. You Show FAITH that you BELIEVE by your ACTIONS to stay on that Plane.
EXAMPLE: You go to a Restaurant for Dinner— You do not personally know the Cooks that are cooking you your Dinner, but you BELIEVE they know what they are doing and are going to not Poison you, and Cook you a nice Dinner. You Show FAITH that you BELIEVE by your ACTIONS to Eat at this Restaurant.
We show FAITH in so many People & Things every day— but the Bible says that we are NOT to put our CONFIDENCE in the FLESH (ourself, etc.), but we are to Put our Full Confidence & Trust in the LORD & in GOD'S UNFAILING WORD—for without FAITH (IN THE LORD) it's IMPOSSIBLE to please GOD."
"FAITH = FRUIT" or you could say the opposite "FRUIT = FAITH"
If you see GODLY FRUIT in a Believer (Gal 5:22-23) that is Evidence of FAITH (Matt 7:15-20)
If one does NOT have FAITH in God we PERISH. How is FAITH in God Produced?
1 - FAITH comes from Hearing the Word of God
2 - Which can lead one to BELIEVE God’s Word
3 - Which should lead one to OBEY God’s Word
• John 14:15 Jesus says, “If you Love Me, OBEY MY COMMANDMENTS.”
• James 2:14-20 "What good is it, Dear Brothers and Sisters, if you say you have FAITH but don’t show it by your ACTIONS? Can that kind of FAITH save anyone? Suppose you see a Brother or Sister who has NO Food or Clothing, and you say, “Good-Bye and have a Good Day; Stay Warm and Eat well”—but then you DON'T give that person any FOOD or CLOTHING. What GOOD DOES THAT DO? So you see, FAITH by itself isn’t enough. Unless it PRODUCES GOOD DEEDS, it is DEAD and USELESS. Now someone may argue, “Some people have FAITH; others have GOOD DEEDS.” But I say, “How can you show me your FAITH if you DON’T HAVE GOOD DEEDS?I will show you my FAITH by my GOOD DEEDS.” You say you have FAITH, for you BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ONE GOD. Good for you! EVEN THE DEMONS BELIEVE THIS, and they TREMBLE IN TERROR. How foolish! Can’t you see that FAITH WITHOUT GOOD DEEDS (WORKS) IS USELESS (DEAD)?“
"SHOULD WE STOP SINNING (REPENT) BEFORE WE BELIEVE THE GOSPEL?"
"WHAT IS FAITH?"
SO4J-TV ANSWER: We can do NOTHING apart from the Power and Ministry of the Holy Spirit. We are Not Saved, Sanctified, or able to live Godly lives without the Holy Spirit. We are Thankful for Gifts that God has given us as Believers, but we do Not merely focus on the Gifts, nor are we to Pursue them (they are Gifts given as God wills). The Holy Spirit does not draw attention to Himself, but rather Draws people to Jesus, Testifies about Jesus, and Glorifies Jesus (John 15:26,27; 1 John 5:5-12; John 16:13-14).
Though outward manifestations, such as speaking in tongues, may still occur today, not everyone does (1 Cor 12:4-11) and unfortunately there are far too Many False Manifestations (such as demonic false tongues) as well (Matt 7:21-23).
SO4J-TV’s concern is for the Lukewarm Christian— the Unsaved Person who Thinks They are Saved, but are Not (False Convert). These False Converts may even exhibit False Manifestations ("gifts") that are Not from God…(Matt 7:21-23).
SO4J-TV’s SCRIPTURE SPOTLIGHT ON THE HOLY SPIRIT—
1 - HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTS OF SIN, RIGHTEOUSNESS & COMING JUDGMENT- John 16:8
• John 16:8 Jesus says, “And when He comes, He will CONVICT THE WORLD of its SIN, and of GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS, and of the COMING JUDGMENT”
2 - WE PREACH THE GOSPEL BY THE HOLY SPIRIT - 1 Peter 1:12
• 1 Peter 1:12 “They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who Preached in the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT SENT FROM HEAVEN. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.”
3 - HOLY SPIRIT TESTIFIES OF JESUS & SALVATION (1 John 5:5-12; 15:26-27)
• 1 John 5:5-12 “And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by His Baptism in water and by shedding His Blood on the Cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is Truth, confirms it with His testimony. So we have these Three Witnesses— the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood—and all three agree. Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the Greater Testimony that comes from God. And God has Testified about His Son. All who Believe in the Son of God know in their Hearts that this Testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a Liar because they don’t believe what God has Testified about His Son. And this is what God has Testified: He has given us Eternal Life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has Life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have Life.”
• John 15:26-27 “But I will send you the Advocate—the SPIRIT OF TRUTH. He will come to you from the Father and will Testify all about Me. And you must also testify about Me because you have been with Me from the beginning of My Ministry.”
4 - WE ARE REGENERATED AND RENEWED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (Titus 3:5-6)
• Titus 3:5-6 “He Saved us, NOT because of the RIGHTEOUS THINGS WE HAD DONE, but because of His Mercy. He washed away our Sins, giving us a New Birth and New Life through the Holy Spirit. He generously POURED OUT THE SPIRIT upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
5 - WE ARE BORN AGAIN BY HOLY SPIRIT (John 3:3-8)
• John 3:3-8 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
6 - HOLY SPIRIT GUIDES US INTO TRUTH AND GLORIFIES JESUS (John 16:13-14)
• John 16:13-14 “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all Truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future.
He will bring Me Glory by telling you whatever He receives from Me.”
SOME SCRIPTURES ON THE HOLY SPIRIT (SUMMED UP):
1 - The Holy Spirit Convicts of Sin, Righteousness, and Coming Judgment (John 16:8)
2 - We Preach the Gospel by the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:12)
3 - The Holy Spirit Testifies concerning Jesus and Salvation (1 John 5:5-12; John 15:26-27)
4 - We are Regenerated and Renewed by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-6)
5 - We are Born Again by the Spirit (John 3:3-8)
6 - Holy Spirit guides us into Truth and Glorifies Jesus (John 16:13-14)
Below is from: Pastor & Author Bob DeWaay of Twin City Fellowship Church in St. Louis Park, MN:
On the Subject of: Why Would a Loving God Send Anyone to Hell?
From Bob DeWaay: "God is Loving AND Just. A loving God provides a way of Salvation. A Just God must Execute Justice in His own Universe. Since God cannot lie and God said that the Soul that Sins must Die (Ezek 18:20); God indeed sends people to Hell (because of His Justice) whom He loved (because of His loving Nature).
Story of the 19 Year Old Girl Sentenced To Life in Prison & the Compassionate but "Just" Judge:
An Illustration of this in real life is: There was a 19 year old who brutally stabbed to death her own new born Child. When she finally came to Trial, the Judge sentenced her to Life Imprisonment which is required by State Law for 1st Degree, Premeditated Murder. The Judge expressed great sorrow at having to hand down such a Sentence to a 19 year old; but it was her (the Judges) sworn duty to uphold the Laws of the State. So even in a human, there can be a Sense of Compassion for a person while simultaneously handing down a necessary Sentence.
Now in the care of God, He has provided a way to Escape His Justice. God’s Love causes Him to send His Son who lived a Sinless Life to die on behalf off all who believe in Him. That is the essence of John 3:16:
But to Escape from “Perishing” we need to put our Trust in Jesus Christ. We need to Turn fully to Him on His Terms. If we do not; we show that we prefer Darkness (John 3:19). God is still a Loving God; but in the end as the Just Judge He will have to hand down the Penalty that His own Perfect Law demands.
We can have Peace & Reconciliation with God through the Gospel (2 Cor 5:18-19).
We may all be Destined to Hell; but we do Not need to go there. We can Turn to God through Christ and be Forgiven
For a further Bible Study on why does God allow Evil, go to:
Copyright © / SO4J.com ® / SO4J-TV & Video Productions
"WHY WOULD A LOVING GOD SEND ANYONE TO HELL?"
No! Quite the opposite. We are not Making a lot of Money off of People. We shouldn't jump to Conclusions before getting the Facts, so thanks for at least asking us about this vs assuming things.
The Fact is, those people who are Directly or Indirectly involved with SO4J-TV, have given Sacrificially of their: Time, Talent, Finances, and Resources to get the Gospel out. We all simply love the Lord, and want to Obey God's Word and Reach out to as many people as we possibly can with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It has Truly been a Labor of Love for the Lord.
If someone does want to Donate financially, their Money will be put to Excellent use to further the Gospel, and not to line our Pocketbooks & make us Rich. We have a "low overhead" so any Money that we receive is put to good use. We have been Good Stewards of what God has given us. We are a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization. All Donations are Tax Deductible.
Our Judgment Day-Are You Ready? DVD is offered Freely Online for anyone & all to see. It's also available at a reasonable price in the DVD Case, and we've made at a real low cost of $2.00 each (in 10 packs - which includes FREE S & H in the USA). This also has been a Labor of Love for the Lord. Proceeds from DVD Sales help us to continue to do what we are doing. So we hope people can see our Motive is not to make Money off of people to buy a Big Jet (as somewhat stated in your question) etc, it is obviously about getting the Gospel out, and if we take a Financial Loss, which we have, so be it. God's pleased. Once again, we are also are not saying it would be wrong to receive Money to help us continue what we are doing to get the Gospel out.
As we state below, we are just soo concerned that many people who call themselves Christians are Not ready to face Jesus on Judgment Day, and we want to get this DVD, TV Show, Mini Movie (which is a warning to us all to Examine our Faith - 2 Cor 13:5 - while we still have time) into the hands of as many people as we can. It does take Money to do all this, so when you Buy a DVD, you are supporting SO4J-TV. Thanks!
For those of you who don't know, SO4J-TV speaks out against the False Teachings of the Health & Wealth Prosperity Gospel, as well as many other False Teachings. We have helped Speaker & Evangelist Justin Peters Produce his DVDs on this topic which can be seen here:
Justin Peters A Call For Discernment- Exposing Prosperity Gospel
To better understand the Problem with the Prosperity Gospel go to this Page:
SO4J-TV Explains Why The Prosperity Gospel is Unbiblical which also includes the below Video & Links as well, and more.
Q & A, Links, & More that Explain the Unbiblical Teachings of the Prosperity Gospel—
NOTE: SO4J-TV is NOT saying that God can't Sovereignly allow someone to succeed Financially (if SO4J-TV did not have some Finances we would not be able to operate this Christian TV Show & Website as it is right now), but once a person becomes Financially Successful (so to speak) we need to be willing to give up Everything for Jesus. (Luke 14:33, Luke 18:18-30, Matt 19:16-22,23-30, Mark 10:17-25, Acts 4:32-37, Luke 16:13, Matt 6:19-21, 1 John 2:15-17)
BELIEVER'S ARE TO BE FAITHFUL STEWARDS OF GOD'S MONEY—
People in the Bible that thought themselves to be right with God (but weren't) and Failed their Test of Stewardship with Money were: Judas (John 12:6), The Rich Man in Luke 18:18-30 (another Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31 as well), Ananias & Saphira (Acts 5:1-11)..etc.
Rich People in the Bible who God APPROVED of were people like: Zacchaeus (Luke 19:2-10), Joseph of Arimathea (Mark 15:43, John 19:38) - He was the Rich Man who buried Jesus in his Tomb..etc.
Zacchaeus (a Rich Man in Luke 19:2) is a contrast to the Rich Man of Luke 18:18-30 who will not let go of his Money, and his Wealth to Follow Jesus.
Zacchaeus, on the other hand (Luke 19) shows the RIGHT Attitude towards Money. Zacchaeus promises Jesus to give half of all his Possessions to the Poor (Luke 19:8), and because of that he becomes the Heir of Salvation (Luke 19:9-10). Zacchaeus was Humbly Obedient to the Lord...much like Jesus was to the Father (Phil 2:5-11).
Faithful Stewards of God's: Money, Time, and Talent will Receive a Reward from the Lord
Matt 25:21, 23,29, Luke 19:17,26
BELIEVER'S ARE TO BE CONTENT WHETHER THEY ARE RICH OR POOR—
For summed up info about the Gospel go to:
View these Gospel Videos on this Page along with Bible Study Links
We get quite a bit of Emails from Muslims, Professors, Religious Experts, etc, who are all Trusting in their Religion, Good Deeds, Religious Titles to get them into Heaven. See: ISLAM VS CHRISTIANITY COMPARISON CHARTS / CULTS OVERVIEW LIST.
Here is what Jesus did for All of us, and How we can escape Eternal Hell.
Below is an Excerpt from SO4J-TV's Martha Mac's Bible Teaching on the Gospel to Read the Full Story Go Here: GOSPEL - WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS? OR Watch an SO4J-TV's Gospel Video called: GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST - SO4J-TV SEGMENT - 7 MIN - VIDEO
No matter how many GOOD WORKS you & I do, we will never be good enough, or Perfect enough for Heaven.
If one dresses up a Pig to look real nice, and smell real nice— the Pig, by it's own nature, still goes back to the mud. They need a "new nature" (so to speak).
That's what a lot of "so called Christians" do to— they go to Church on Sunday (look good on the outside), but return to the mud— and live like the devil the rest of the week.
Since God is Perfect, not only is He LOVING and KIND, but He is JUST, HOLY and RIGHTEOUS—so He will someday punish all Law Breakers.
We need to look at Sin— the way that God sees Sin thru God's Laws of the 10 Commandments:
Here are Four of God's 10 Commandments: Lying, Stealing, Adultery, and Murder
- If you've ever told one Lie, you are a LIAR - Prov 12:22, Matt 12:36-37
- If you've Stolen one thing, you are a THIEF - Eph 4:28, Mark 7:20-23
- If you've ever looked at someone to Lust after them, God calls that ADULTERY - Matt 5:27-28
(i.e. sinning in your heart towards that person)
- If you've ever Hated a person, God sees this as MURDER - 1 John 3:15, Matt 5:21-22, James 2:11 (i.e. sinning in your heart towards that person)
Since God is Holy & Just— God's Word says: Liars, Thieves, Adulterers, Murderers will NOT Inherit God's Eternal Kingdom— because He is Perfect and Holy. (Rev 21:27)
This is BAD NEWS— for ALL of us, because we have ALL Sinned— We're all Guilty Sinners
Since God is Infinite (Forever), His Punishment is FOREVER (Hell) or His Rewards are FOREVER too (Eternal Life)— 1 Cor 2:9, Rom 2:5-16, Rev 20:11-15
The GOOD NEWS is God is soo Good, and soo Merciful & Loving, He did something completely Amazing— He made a way of Escape from us having to go to Hell.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS?
When Jesus Died on the Cross, God the Father unloaded His Fury, Anger, Wrath— PUNISHMENT (Isa 53:4-12, Isa 52:13-14) upon an Innocent, and SINLESS (1 Pet 3:18) Jesus (God's Son). God demonstrated His Infinite Love for us by sending His Perfect Son Jesus (who is God). Jesus willingly (because of His Love for us too) left Heaven to be Born of a Virgin (He was All God, and all Man), to live a Perfect sinless life (He never once Sin, though He was Tempted like we are (Matt 4:4), but He Never sinned - Heb 4:15). On the Cross, God treated Jesus as if He had personally committed every Sin— by every Person, in the History of the World— those people who would ever Turn to Him for Salvation (Matt 4:17). God the Father treated Jesus as if Jesus had lived OUR Sinful Life on this Earth— so that God could treat those who would Repent & Believe the Gospel as if we had lived His PERFECT LIFE! Sin has to be paid for— Justice has to be served, to satisfy God's Righteous & Holy Anger towards Sin (Rom 2:5-11, Eph 2:3, Eph 5:6).
Jesus became the SUBSTITUTE (1 Thess 5:9-10, 2 Cor 5:21) for ALL people— those people who would Repent & Believe the Gospel (Luke 13:3,5, Acts 20:21, Acts 17:30-31, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Acts 20:21).
HIS PROPHESIED: VIRGIN BIRTH (Prophecy in Old Testament - Isa 7:14 / Fulfilled in N.T.- Matt 1:22-23), Jesus' Horrific DEATH (Prophecy in O.T.- Isa 53:12, Isa 52:14 / Fulfilled in N.T- Matt 27:50), Jesus' RESURRECTION from the Dead (Prophecy O.T.- Psalm 16:10 / Fulfilled O.T.- Luke 24:6,31,34) was Prophesied HUNDREDS & THOUSANDS of Years in Advance.
ALL Bible Prophecies about Jesus were Fulfilled in the Bible!
WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO DIE FOR OUR SINS?
God used the Substitutionary Sacrificial Death of Jesus to Demonstrate (Rom 5:8) for ALL Time His Incredible Wealth of Kindness— and His Infinite Love for us. He did so by using the Backdrop of Evil (2 Cor 4:6)— which then allowed God to HIGHLIGHT to ALL His Goodness & Mercy (Psalm 23:6). In Eph 2:7 it says, "So God can POINT TO US in ALL FUTURE AGES as EXAMPLES of the INCREDIBLE WEALTH of His GRACE and KINDNESS towards us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with CHRIST JESUS." God will Forever Receive GLORY & HONOR for all He has done for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rev 4:11, Rev 5:12-13). Jesus, who is RIGHTEOUS, HOLY, and JUST, DIED for the UNJUST. (NKJV - 1 Pet 3:18). Christ became a "CURSE" for us (Gal 3:13) in order that we could become "the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus" (NKJV - 2 Cor 5:21). In other words, we did a Crime, and Jesus stepped in, and Paid our Fine. This is such Good News. Mark 1:1 "This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God." (1 Cor 15:2-9). This is a Work of God's Infinite Love & Mercy towards us Sinners (1 Thess 5:9-10, John 3:16, Rom 5:8, Eph 2:1-8).
THERE ARE 2 CHOICES TO HAVE OUR SINS "PAID IN FULL"—
1 - We can Pay for our OWN Sins by spending Eternity in Hell (Rev 21:7-8;20:11-15)
2 - We can Have JESUS CHRIST Pay For Our Sins. What Does That Mean?
Jesus, who is Infinitely Holy & Perfect took our Sins upon Himself, so God's Wrath & Punishment for our Sin can be Satisfied. God can then CANCEL THE RECORD OF THE CHARGES OF SIN that is presently being held against us (Col 2:14).
We need to Repent & Believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15). He will take our UN-RIGHTEOUSNESS, and Give us His RIGHTEOUSNESS, and we become BORN AGAIN (John 3:3). He will Forgive us, and Cleanse us from ALL UN-Righteousness (1 John 1:9, 1 John 2:1). He will ADOPT us as His Children (Gal 4:5-7)— and we become BORN AGAIN (John 3:3), into God's Family (1 John 3:9). As His Children, we are to Reflect the GLORIOUS IMAGE OF CHRIST in our Lives (2 Cor 3:18, 2 Cor 5:17, Matt 5:16), by living HOLY & Clean lives (1 Pet 1:14-15,16-17) for GOD'S GLORY (1 Cor 10:31, John 3:30)— out of a LOVE FOR JESUS (John 14:15, John 14:21, Luke 6:46). God will then make us CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST (Rom 8:17), and we will RULE & REIGN WITH CHRIST in God's Kingdom— FOREVER! (Rev 20:6, Rev 1:6, Matt 13:43) This was God's Plan long ago, to Adopt us into His Family (Eph 1:4-5).
IF however we REJECT JESUS, and REFUSE TO OBEY THE GOOD NEWS (Heb 10:26-31, 2 Thess 1:7-11), and/or we continue to PRACTICE SIN (1 John 3:9-10), we prove that we are NOT God's Children, but we Prove (Matt 3:8) that we are Children of the Devil (1 John 3:6-7,8, 1 John 2:3-6), who is the Father of Lies (John 8:44).
There will be a Judgment Day where Jesus will punish all Lawbreakers (Matt 7:22-23). A Righteous Judge reacts towards Sin & Wrongdoing with Justice, and does NOT let: Murderers, Rapists, Thieves go Free. Jesus is that Righteous Judge (2 Cor 5:10-11, 2 Thess 1:7-11, 2 Tim 4:1), and because He is Infinitely Holy & Righteous (1 Pet 1:15-17), His Punishment for Sin is Infinite & Eternal. (Rom 2:5-6,7-8,9-16). His Rewards are Infinite too (1 Cor 2:9).
WHAT DOES JESUS WANT US TO DO?
Repent & Believe the Gospel - Mark 1:15 (Acts 17:30-31, James 4:4-10). Repentance is truly a Work of God in you— it is God giving you a desire to do what pleases Him (Phil 2:13). So if you are Hearing His voice today (John 10:3-17), and we hear His Voice through the Preaching of the Gospel (1 Cor 1:18-31)— Don't harden your Hearts (Heb 3:7-14). Believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then Pick up your Cross Daily, Turn from your Sin & Selfish Ways (2 Cor 6:2), & Follow Jesus (Luke 9:23-26). Read Your Bible everyday (Rom 10:17), and Obey God's Word because you Love Jesus (John 14:15,21,24), and want to Glorify God in all you do (1 Cor 10:31).
TRUE & FALSE CONVERSION
Sadly there are Millions of people who call themselves "Christians" but they are not truly Born Again— so we see tons of Hypocrisy and A lot of people who have a lot of Head Knowledge about the Bible, or are real excited about Jesus (emotional), etc, but when TESTED with Trials & Persecutions of this Life they do NOT endure until the End, they do NOT have a a changed heart (2 Cor 5:17). They refuse to give up their Sin, and live for the Lord— they are False Converts. On the Day of Judgment they will cry out "Lord, Lord ((Matt 7:21-23, Luke 6:46), I was a Good Person, and did Good Deeds.." and Jesus will say "Depart from Me, I Never knew you, you who Broke My Laws" We are obviously talking here about those Lukewarm Christians (Rev 3:16) who were deceived by Satan (2 Cor 4:4, Eph 2:2), and used the Grace of God as a License to Sin (Rom 6:1-23, Rom 6:15-16). Those that use the Grace of God as a License to Sin will have to Face the Terrifying Consequences of Heb 10:26-31 which Jesus Warns us about in Matt 7:21-23 where MANY who Thought they were Saved will spend Eternity in Hell. Hell is the Eternal Destiny of MOST People (Matt 7:13-14).
God, our Creator does not Promote or Reward Sin, He is HOLY. (1 Peter 1:14-17)
A Person can know that they have Eternal Life (1 John 5:13), but it comes through a Humble Broken Heart (James 4:4-10, Matt 18:3-4), and Only through God's Perfect Sacrificial Gift to us— Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, John 10:9).
A True Christian is Not Saved by Good Works (so no one can boast - Eph 2:8-9), but they
Prove they are Saved by their Good Works (Matt 3:8, Luke 3:8). They are radically changed by God's Word (1 Peter 1:23) and thru Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:17). Jesus Christ radically changed the Heart, Mind, and Life or a Religious Expert who was named Saul in the New Testament. He was Religious and had Alot of Head Knowledge about God's Word, but did not know the Lord. The Lord Jesus met up with Paul on the Road to Damascus. The Lord radically changed His Life, and he became Born Again thru God's Word. The Lord changed his name from Saul to Paul, and he (thru the Holy Spirit) wrote most of the New Testament. (The Testimony of Paul - Acts 9:1-18, Acts 26:9-32)
In a True Christian you will see the same Characteristics of God and of Christ: Loving, Patient, Kind, Gentle, Merciful, Generous, Self-Control (Gal 5:22-23)— they Contend for the Faith in God's Word (Jude 1), and Defend God's Word against False Teaching in the Church. They Hate Sin (Psalm 97:10), as God Hates Sin (Proverb 6:16-19, Heb 1:8-9).
EXCERPTS FROM: ""
When we first started this Website some time ago, we were originally using the NLT 1 Translation which was Paraphrased version of the Bible. Then in 2006 the NLT 2 Translation came out (which is now a Translations vs. a mere Paraphrase of the Bible), and we began using that TRANSLATION— with the intent to help New Believers & all to better understand the meaning of the Scripture in a more clear way.
We have since been moving the Website towards (changing) using: NKJV, NASB, though we will still continue to use the NLT 2. If you are struggling with Bible Translation being used on any certain page, please check out the original Greek here on: Net Bible.
Also, those involved with SO4J-TV have different preferences as to what Bible Version they like to read. One person really likes the New King James (NKJV), another likes the New American Standard (NASB), and yet another person prefers the New Living Translation (NLT Version 2...Not NLT Version 1), and even someone else likes the New English Standard Version (ESV), etc. With all that said, we do not take any particular stance on which Bible Translation & Version we think everyone else should read and use.
We are very aware of people who prefer the King James Version (KJV) Only. If one prefers the King James Version (KJV) you will appreciate the links we have on our site to the many Bible Studies we have from: Amazing Bible Studies— around 97% of their Teachings are in the King James Version. The SO4J-TV Bible Studies are done using several versions (NKJV, NLT 2, NASB, KJV).
One thing we must not forget to do is Read and/or Check out the: ORIGINAL GREEK & HEBREW SCRIPTURES which can nowadays be found on many Christian Websites & Christian Resources such as: "NET BIBLE" here: Classic.net.bible(dot)org/bible(dot)php & "BLUE LETTER BIBLE" here: BlueLetterBible(dot)org .. & on many more Christian Websites & Bible Resources.
Our "Bible Scripture Pop Ups" (when you hover over a scripture reference, a scripture “Pops up”) are done using the New Living Translation Version (NLT Version 2). FYI Only: We could only pick one version for the "Pop Ups".
QUESTION: "WHAT IS THE GIFT OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES?"
ANSWER by GotQuestions.org: The first occurrence of Speaking in Tongues occurred on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4. The apostles went out and shared the gospel with the crowds, speaking to them in their own languages: “We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” (Acts 2:11). The Greek word translated tongues literally means “languages.” Therefore, the gift of tongues is speaking in a language a person does not know in order to minister to someone who does speak that language. In 1 Corinthians chapters 12–14, Paul discusses miraculous gifts, saying, “Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?” (1 Corinthians 14:6). According to the apostle Paul, and in agreement with the tongues described in Acts, Speaking in Tongues is valuable to the one hearing God’s message in his or her own language, but it is useless to everyone else unless it is interpreted/translated.
A person with the gift of interpreting tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30) could understand what a tongues-speaker was saying even though he did not know the language that was being spoken. The tongues interpreter would then communicate the message of the tongues speaker to everyone else, so all could understand. “For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says” (1 Corinthians 14:13). Paul’s conclusion regarding tongues that were not interpreted is powerful: “But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:19).
Is the gift of tongues for today? First Corinthians 13:8 mentions the gift of tongues ceasing, although it connects the ceasing with the arrival of the “perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:10. Some point to a difference in the tense of the Greek verbs referring to prophecy and knowledge “ceasing” and that of tongues “being ceased” as evidence for tongues ceasing before the arrival of the “perfect.” While possible, this is not explicitly clear from the text. Some also point to passages such as Isaiah 28:11 and Joel 2:28-29 as evidence that Speaking in Tongues was a sign of God's oncoming judgment. First Corinthians 14:22 describes tongues as a “sign to unbelievers.” According to this argument, the gift of tongues was a warning to the Jews that God was going to judge Israel for rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah. Therefore, when God did in fact judge Israel (with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70), the gift of tongues would no longer serve its intended purpose. While this view is possible, the primary purpose of tongues being fulfilled does not necessarily demand its cessation. Scripture does not conclusively assert that the gift of Speaking in Tongues has ceased.
At the same time, if the gift of Speaking in Tongues were active in the church today, it would be performed in agreement with Scripture. It would be a real and intelligible language (1 Corinthians 14:10). It would be for the purpose of communicating God's Word with a person of another language (Acts 2:6-12). It would be in agreement with the command God gave through the apostle Paul, “If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God” (1 Corinthians 14:27-28). It would also be in accordance with 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
God most definitely can give a person the gift of Speaking in Tongues to enable him or her to communicate with a person who speaks another language. The Holy Spirit is sovereign in the dispersion of the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11). Just imagine how much more productive missionaries could be if they did not have to go to language school, and were instantly able to speak to people in their own language. However, God does not seem to be doing this. Tongues does not seem to occur today in the manner it did in the New Testament, despite the fact that it would be immensely useful. The vast majority of believers who claim to practice the gift of Speaking in Tongues do not do so in agreement with the Scriptures mentioned above. These facts lead to the conclusion that the gift of tongues has ceased or is at least a rarity in God's plan for the church today.
QUESTION: "WHAT IS PRAYING IN TONGUES?
ANSWER by GotQuestions.org As a background, please read our article on the gift of speaking in tongues. There are four primary Scripture passages that are cited as evidence for praying in tongues: Romans 8:26; 1 Corinthians 14:4-17; Ephesians 6:18; and Jude verse 20. Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20 mention “praying in the Spirit.” However, tongues as a prayer language is not a likely interpretation of “praying in the Spirit.”
Romans 8:26 teaches us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Two key points make it highly unlikely that Romans 8:26 is referring to tongues as a prayer language. First, Romans 8:26 states that it is the Spirit who “groans,” not believers. Second, Romans 8:26 states that the “groans” of the Spirit “cannot be expressed.” The very essence of speaking in tongues is uttering words.
That leaves us with 1 Corinthians 14:4-17 and verse 14 especially: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” First Corinthians 14:14 distinctly mentions “praying in tongues.” What does this mean? First, studying the context is immensely valuable. First Corinthians chapter 14 is primarily a comparison/contrast of the gift of speaking in tongues and the gift of prophecy. Verses 2-5 make it clear that Paul views prophecy as a gift superior to tongues. At the same time, Paul exclaims the value of tongues and declares that he is glad that he speaks in tongues more than anyone (verse 18).
Acts chapter 2 describes the first occurrence of the gift of tongues. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles spoke in tongues. Acts chapter 2 makes it clear that the apostles were speaking in a human language (Acts 2:6-8). The word translated “tongues” in both Acts chapter 2 and 1 Corinthians chapter 14 is glossa which means “language.” It is the word from which we get our modern English word “glossary.” Speaking in tongues was the ability to speak in a language the speaker does not know, in order to communicate the gospel to someone who does speak that language. In the multicultural area of Corinth, it seems that the gift of tongues was especially valuable and prominent. The Corinthians believers were able to better communicate the gospel and God’s Word as a result of the gift of tongues.
However, Paul made it abundantly clear that even in this usage of tongues, it was to be interpreted or “translated” (1 Corinthians 14:13, 27). A Corinthian believer would speak in tongues, proclaiming God’s truth to someone who spoke that language, and then that believer, or another believer in the church, was to interpret what was spoken so that the entire assembly could understand what was said.
What, then, is praying in tongues, and how is it different than speaking in tongues? First Corinthians 14:13-17 indicates that praying in tongues is also to be interpreted. As a result, it seems that praying in tongues was offering a prayer to God. This prayer would minister to someone who spoke that language, but would also need to be interpreted so that the entire body could be edified.
This interpretation does not agree with those who view praying in tongues as a prayer language. This alternate understanding can be summarized as follows: praying in tongues is a personal prayer language between a believer and God (1 Corinthians 13:1) that a believer uses to edify himself (1 Corinthians 14:4). This interpretation is unbiblical for the following reasons: 1) How could praying in tongues be a private prayer language if it is to be interpreted (1 Corinthians 14:13-17)? 2) How could praying in tongues be for self-edification when Scripture says that the spiritual gifts are for the edification of the church, not the self (1 Corinthians 12:7). 3) How can praying in tongues be a private prayer language if the gift of tongues is a “sign to unbelievers” (1 Corinthians 14:22)? 4) The Bible makes it clear that not everyone possesses the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:11, 28-30). How could tongues be a gift for self-edification if not every believer can possess it? Do we not all need to be edified?
Some understand praying in tongues to be a “secret code language” that prevents Satan and his demons from understanding our prayers and thereby gaining an advantage over us. This interpretation is unbiblical for the following reasons: 1) The New Testament consistently describes tongues as a human language. It is unlikely that Satan and his demons are unable to understand human languages. 2) The Bible records countless believers praying in their own language, out loud, with no concern of Satan intercepting the prayer. Even if Satan and/or his demons hear and understand the prayers we pray, they have absolutely no power to prevent God from answering the prayers according to His will. We know that God hears our prayers, and that fact makes it irrelevant whether Satan and his demons hear and understand our prayers.
What do we say, then, about the many Christians who have experienced praying in tongues and find it to be very personally edifying? First, we must base our faith and practice on Scripture, not experience. We must view our experiences in light of Scripture, not interpret Scripture in light of our experiences. Second, many of the cults and world religions also report occurrences of speaking in tongues/praying in tongues. Obviously the Holy Spirit is not gifting these unbelieving individuals. So, it seems that the demons are able to counterfeit the gift of speaking in tongues. This should cause us to compare even more carefully our experiences with Scripture. Third, studies have shown how speaking/praying in tongues can be a learned behavior. Through hearing and observing others speak in tongues, a person can learn the procedure, even subconsciously. This is the most likely explanation for the vast majority of instances of speaking/praying in tongues among Christians. Fourth, the feeling of “self-edification” is natural. The human body produces adrenaline and endorphins when it experiences something new, exciting, emotional, and/or disconnected from rational thought.
Praying in tongues is most definitely an issue on which Christians can respectfully and lovingly agree to disagree. Praying in tongues is not what determines salvation. Praying in tongues is not what separates a mature Christian from an immature Christian. Whether or not there is such a thing as praying in tongues as a personal prayer language is not a fundamental of the Christian faith. So, while we believe the biblical interpretation of praying in tongues leads away from the idea of a private prayer language for personal edification, we also recognize that many who practice such are our brothers and sisters in Christ and are worthy of our love and respect.
Yes, any Video or Picture Images of Jesus on SO4J.com falls short Big Time! Our Intent, as many of you know already, is to of course bring attention to what Jesus did for us & be able to share God's Word on it as well. No human being can truly Describe or Depict with 100% perfection on what Jesus did for us— only through God's Word can we know.
Re: The 2nd Commandment about GRAVEN IMAGES, Here is SO4J.com's take on it: The 2nd Commandment is against the WORSHIP of such IMAGES, Not against every Image. Otherwise, we could have NO Symbols, Pictures, Carvings or any Representation of anything at all. God does not command such a thing. Even the Tabernacle & Temple had images of various plants, and even of cherubs. We are commanded NOT to make IDOLS, and NOT to WORSHIP THEM. And, of course, anything can become an Idol, whether it has "pagan" origins or not.
|What is the Sabbath?|
Excerpt below is from GotQuestions.org
Answer: At first glance, the question “What is the Sabbath day?” seems fairly simple. According to Exodus 20:8-11, the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, on which we are to rest, in remembrance that God created the universe in six days and then “rested” on the seventh day. However, due to the misunderstanding and misinterpretation of some Christian groups, the meaning of the Sabbath day rest has been confused.
Some Christian groups, such as the Seventh Day Adventists, view the Sabbath as the day of worship, the day on which Christians should attend church / worship services. While these groups typically also teach that no work is to be done on the Sabbath, the concept of the “day of worship” is far more emphasized than the “day of rest.” The problem with this is that the Bible nowhere commands that the Sabbath be the day of worship. In Exodus 20:8-11, “keeping the Sabbath holy” is defined as not working on the Sabbath. Nowhere in this passage is the Sabbath described as a day especially set aside for worship. Similarly, other Scriptures command against working on the Sabbath, but say nothing of the Sabbath being the ordained day for worship (Exodus 16:23-29; 31:14-16; 35:2-3; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Jeremiah 17:21-27). In the Old Covenant, there was not one day set aside for worship. Sacrifices were made daily at the tabernacle / temple. The “worship” was continual. The idea that the Sabbath day is the God-ordained day of corporate worship is not biblical.
Now that is not to say the Sabbath was not set apart for worship. The New Testament records Jews and converts to Judaism meeting in the synagogues on the Sabbath (Mark 6:2; Luke 4:31; Luke 13:10-16; Acts 13:14,27,42-44; 15:21; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4). Obviously, with no work being done on the Sabbath day, that would make the Sabbath day the ideal day to have organized worship services. However, again, the Bible does not command that the Sabbath day be the day of worship. The Bible describes worship on the Sabbath, but does not prescribe organized corporate worship on the Sabbath.
Further, once the New Covenant was established by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the New Testament nowhere describes Christians setting aside the Sabbath day as the day of worship. The only Scriptures that describe Christians in any sense meeting on the Sabbath are in fact pointing to evangelistic efforts at Jewish synagogues, which met on the Sabbath day. Acts 3:2 records the early Christians meeting every day. The Bereans studied the Scriptures every day (Acts 17:11). Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2 both mention Christians meeting on the first day of the week. There is no evidence in the New Testament that the Apostles or the early Christians in any sense observed the Sabbath day as the prescribed day of worship.
Traditionally, Christians have held their primary corporate worship services on Sundays, the first day of the week, in celebration of Christ’s resurrection, which occurred on a Sunday (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). It is important to understand, though, that Sunday is not the commanded day of corporate worship either. There is no explicit biblical command that either Saturday or Sunday be the day of worship. Scriptures such as Romans 14:5-6 and Colossians 2:16 give Christians freedom to observe a special day, or to observe every day as special. God’s desire is that we worship and serve Him continually, every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday.
It is our contention that the Sabbath command, which biblically speaking is to rest on the seventh day of the week, is not binding on Christians, but is rather a matter of grace. However, even if the Sabbath command does apply to New Covenant believers in Christ, the command would be to observe the Sabbath as the day of rest, not necessarily to set aside the Sabbath day as the weekly day of corporate worship.
What Day is the Sabbath— Saturday or Sunday?
Do Christians Have to Observe the Sabbath Day?
Excerpt below is from GotQuestions.org
ANSWER: It is often claimed that “God instituted the Sabbath in Eden” because of the connection between the Sabbath and creation in Exodus 20:11. Although God's rest on the seventh day (Genesis 2:3) did foreshadow a future Sabbath law, there is no biblical record of the Sabbath before the children of Israel left the land of Egypt. Nowhere in Scripture is there any hint that Sabbath-keeping was practiced from Adam to Moses.
The Word of God makes it quite clear that Sabbath observance was a special sign between God and Israel: “The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested” (Exodus 31:16–17).
In Deuteronomy 5, Moses restates the Ten Commandments to the next generation of Israelites. Here, after commanding Sabbath observance in verses Deuteronomy 5:12–14, Moses gives the reason the Sabbath was given to the nation Israel: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15).
God's intent for giving the Sabbath to Israel was not that they would remember creation, but that they would remember their Egyptian slavery and the Lord's deliverance.
Note the requirements for Sabbath-keeping: A person placed under that Sabbath law could not leave his home on the Sabbath(Exodus 16:29), he could not build a fire (Exodus 35:3), and he could not cause anyone else to work (Deuteronomy 5:14). A person breaking the Sabbath law was to be put to death (Exodus 31:15; Numbers 15:32–35).
An examination of New Testament passages shows us four important points:
1 -Whenever Christ appears in His resurrected form and the day is mentioned, it is always the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1, 9, 10; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1, 13, 15; John 20:19, 26).
2 -The only time the Sabbath is mentioned from Acts through Revelation it is for evangelistic purposes to the Jews and the setting is usually in a synagogue (Acts chapters 13–18). Paul wrote, “to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews” (1 Corinthians 9:20). Paul did not go to the synagogue to fellowship with and edify the saints, but to convict and save the lost.
3 -Once Paul states “from now on I will go to the Gentiles” (Acts 18:6), the Sabbath is never again mentioned.
4 - Instead of suggesting adherence to the Sabbath day, the remainder of the New Testament implies the opposite (including the one exception to point 3 above, found in Colossians 2:16).
Looking more closely at point 4 above will reveal that there is no obligation for the New Testament believer to keep the Sabbath, and will also show that the idea of a Sunday “Christian Sabbath” is also unscriptural. As discussed above, there is one time the Sabbath is mentioned after Paul began to focus on the Gentiles, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Colossians 2:16–17). The Jewish Sabbath was abolished at the cross where Christ “canceled the written code, with its regulations” (Colossians 2:14).
This idea is repeated more than once in the New Testament: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord” (Romans 14:5–6a). “But now that you know God — or rather are known by God — how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years” (Galatians 4:9–10).
But some claim that a mandate by Constantine in A.D. 321 “changed” the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. On what day did the early church meet for worship? Scripture never mentions any Sabbath (Saturday) gatherings by believers for fellowship or worship. However, there are clear passages that mention the first day of the week. For instance, Acts 20:7 states that “on the first day of the week we came together to break bread.” In 1 Corinthians 16:2 Paul urges the Corinthian believers “on the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income.” Since Paul designates this offering as “service” in 2 Corinthians 9:12, this collection must have been linked with the Sunday worship service of the Christian assembly. Historically Sunday, not Saturday, was the normal meeting day for Christians in the church, and its practice dates back to the first century.
The Sabbath was given to Israel, not the church. The Sabbath is still Saturday, not Sunday, and has never been changed. But the Sabbath is part of the Old Testament Law, and Christians are free from the bondage of the Law (Galatians 4:1-26; Romans 6:14). Sabbath keeping is not required of the Christian—be it Saturday or Sunday. The first day of the week, Sunday, the Lord's Day (Revelation 1:10) celebrates the New Creation, with Christ as our resurrected Head. We are not obligated to follow the Mosaic Sabbath—resting, but are now free to follow the risen Christ—serving. The Apostle Paul said that each individual Christian should decide whether to observe a Sabbath rest, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5).
We are to worship God every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday.
Does God Require Sabbath Keeping of Christians?
Excerpt below is from GotQuestions.org
ANSWER: In Colossians 2:16-17, the apostle Paul declares, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Similarly, Romans 14:5 states, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” These Scriptures make it clear that, for the Christian, Sabbath-keeping is a matter of spiritual freedom, not a command from God. Sabbath-keeping is an issue on which God’s Word instructs us not to judge each other. Sabbath-keeping is a matter about which each Christian needs to be fully convinced in his/her own mind.
In the early chapters of the book of Acts, the first Christians were predominantly Jews. When Gentiles began to receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Jewish Christians had a dilemma. What aspects of the Mosaic Law and Jewish tradition should Gentile Christians be instructed to obey? The apostles met and discussed the issue in the Jerusalem council (Acts 15). The decision was, “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood” (Acts 15:19-20). Sabbath-keeping was not one of the commands the apostles felt was necessary to force on Gentile believers. It is inconceivable that the apostles would neglect to include Sabbath-keeping if it was God’s command for Christians to observe the Sabbath day.
A common error in the Sabbath-keeping debate is the concept that the Sabbath was the day of worship. Groups such as the Seventh Day Adventists hold that God requires the church service to be held on Saturday, the Sabbath day. That is not what the Sabbath command was. The Sabbath command was to do no work on the Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11). Nowhere in Scripture is the Sabbath day commanded to be the day of worship. Yes, Jews in Old Testament, New Testament, and modern times use Saturday as the day of worship, but that is not the essence of the Sabbath command. In the book of Acts, whenever a meeting is said to be on the Sabbath, it is a meeting of Jews, not Christians.
When did the early Christians meet? Acts 2:46-47 gives us the answer, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” If there was a day that Christians met regularly, it was the first day of the week (our Sunday), not the Sabbath day (our Saturday) (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). In honor of Christ’s resurrection on Sunday, the early Christians observed Sunday not as the “Christian Sabbath” but as a day to especially worship Jesus Christ.
Is there anything wrong with worshipping on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath? Absolutely not! We should worship God every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday! Many churches today have both Saturday and Sunday services. There is freedom in Christ (Romans 8:21; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:1). Should a Christian practice Sabbath-keeping, that is, not working on Saturdays? If a Christian feels led to do so, absolutely, yes (Romans 14:5). However, those who choose to practice Sabbath-keeping should not judge those who do not keep the Sabbath (Colossians 2:16). Further, those who do not keep the Sabbath should avoid being a stumbling block (1 Corinthians 8:9) to those who do keep the Sabbath. Galatians 5:13-15 sums up the whole issue: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
Question: "Why does Martha feel it is ok to Preach on the street to a crowd that includes men, when 1 Timothy 2 and 3 speak against a Woman Teaching or Preaching in Spiritual Authority over a man? Got Questions says this also." (See GQ Article below)
SO4J Answer: The 1 Timothy passage you are referring to, in context, is addressing order in a church assembly situation. We would agree that a woman should not hold the position of Pastor or Elder (a position of authority) in a local Church assembly. Scripture teaches that women are not to have spiritual authority over men, women are to be under a man's spiritual authority. In the case of SO4J, all women involved in the ministry are under male Pastors & Elders (that of our local church body)— Martha is NOT a Pastor, nor does she hold any Leadership Position in a Church. As stated in the Got Questions article, referencing 1 Cor 11:5, a woman can Publicly Pray and Prophesy (i.e. Proclaim the Word of God). SO4J being an Evangelistic outreach Ministry, we believe both Male and Female are to Boldly Proclaim the Gospel and the Word of God, however and whenever we can, as God gives us opportunities.
We would also agree with the Got Questions statement: "Women, just as much as men, are called to minister to others, to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and to Proclaim the Gospel to the lost (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15)."
It is our prayer and desire to do just that.
Excerpt below is from GotQuestions.org
Answer: There is perhaps no more hotly debated issue in the church today than the issue of women serving as pastors/preachers. As a result, it is very important to not see this issue as men versus women. There are women who believe women should not serve as pastors and that the Bible places restrictions on the ministry of women, and there are men who believe women can serve as preachers and that there are no restrictions on women in ministry. This is not an issue of chauvinism or discrimination. It is an issue of biblical interpretation.
The Word of God proclaims, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). In the church, God assigns different roles to men and women. This is a result of the way mankind was created and the way in which sin entered the world (1 Timothy 2:13-14). God, through the apostle Paul, restricts women from serving in roles of teaching and/or having spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors, which definitely includes preaching to, teaching, and having spiritual authority over men.
There are many “objections” to this view of women in ministry. A common one is that Paul restricts women from teaching because in the first century, women were typically uneducated. However, 1 Timothy 2:11-14 nowhere mentions educational status. If education were a qualification for ministry, the majority of Jesus' disciples would not have been qualified. A second common objection is that Paul only restricted the women of Ephesus from teaching (1 Timothy was written to Timothy, who was the pastor of the church in Ephesus). The city of Ephesus was known for its temple to Artemis, a false Greek/Roman goddess. Women were the authority in the worship of Artemis. However, the book of 1 Timothy nowhere mentions Artemis, nor does Paul mention Artemis worship as a reason for the restrictions in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.
A third common objection is that Paul is only referring to husbands and wives, not men and women in general. The Greek words in the passage could refer to husbands and wives; however, the basic meaning of the words refers to men and women. Further, the same Greek words are used in verses 8-10. Are only husbands to lift up holy hands in prayer without anger and disputing (verse 8)? Are only wives to dress modestly, have good deeds, and worship God (verses 9-10)? Of course not. Verses 8-10 clearly refer to all men and women, not only husbands and wives. There is nothing in the context that would indicate a switch to husbands and wives in verses 11-14.
Yet another frequent objection to this interpretation of women in ministry is in relation to women who held positions of leadership in the Bible, specifically Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah in the Old Testament. This objection fails to note some significant factors. First, Deborah was the only female judge among 13 male judges. Huldah was the only female prophet among dozens of male prophets mentioned in the Bible. Miriam's only connection to leadership was being the sister of Moses and Aaron. The two most prominent women in the times of the Kings were Athaliah and Jezebel—hardly examples of godly female leadership. Most significantly, though, the authority of women in the Old Testament is not relevant to the issue. The book of 1 Timothy and the other Pastoral Epistles present a new paradigm for the church—the body of Christ—and that paradigm involves the authority structure for the church, not for the nation of Israel or any other Old Testament entity.
Similar arguments are made using Priscilla and Phoebe in the New Testament. In Acts 18, Priscilla and Aquila are presented as faithful ministers for Christ. Priscilla's name is mentioned first, perhaps indicating that she was more “prominent” in ministry than her husband. However, Priscilla is nowhere described as participating in a ministry activity that is in contradiction to 1 Timothy 2:11-14. Priscilla and Aquila brought Apollos into their home and they both discipled him, explaining the Word of God to him more accurately (Acts 18:26).
In Romans 16:1, even if Phoebe is considered a “deaconess” instead of a “servant,” that does not indicate that Phoebe was a teacher in the church. “Able to teach” is given as a qualification for elders, but not deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9). Elders/bishops/deacons are described as the “husband of one wife,” “a man whose children believe,” and “men worthy of respect.” Clearly the indication is that these qualifications refer to men. In addition, in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:6-9, masculine pronouns are used exclusively to refer to elders/bishops/deacons.
The structure of 1 Timothy 2:11-14 makes the “reason” perfectly clear. Verse 13 begins with “for” and gives the “cause” of Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Why should women not teach or have authority over men? Because “Adam was created first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived.” God created Adam first and then created Eve to be a “helper” for Adam. This order of creation has universal application in the family (Ephesians 5:22-33) and the church. The fact that Eve was deceived is also given as a reason for women not serving as pastors or having spiritual authority over men. This leads some to believe that women should not teach because they are more easily deceived. That concept is debatable, but if women are more easily deceived, why should they be allowed to teach children (who are easily deceived) and other women (who are supposedly more easily deceived)? That is not what the text says. Women are not to teach men or have spiritual authority over men because Eve was deceived. As a result, God has given men the primary teaching authority in the church.
Many women excel in gifts of hospitality, mercy, teaching, and helps. Much of the ministry of the local church depends on women. Women in the church are not restricted from public praying or prophesying (1 Corinthians 11:5), only from having spiritual teaching authority over men. The Bible nowhere restricts women from exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). Women, just as much as men, are called to minister to others, to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and to proclaim the gospel to the lost (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15).
God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions of spiritual teaching authority in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers, or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership—in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a less authoritative role. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3-5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching men or having spiritual authority over them. This logically would preclude women from serving as pastors/preachers. This does not make women less important, by any means, but rather gives them a ministry focus more in agreement with God’s plan and His gifting of them.
Excerpt below is from GotQuestions.org
Answer: "In order to get “right” with God, we must first understand what is “wrong.” The answer is sin. “There is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:3). We have rebelled against God’s commands; we “like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6).
The bad news is that the penalty for sin is death. “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). The good news is that a loving God has pursued us in order to bring us salvation. Jesus declared His purpose was “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10), and He pronounced His purpose accomplished when He died on the cross with the words, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
Having a right relationship with God begins with acknowledging your sin.
Next comes a humble confession of your sin to God (Isaiah 57:15) and a determination to forsake the sin. “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:10).
This repentance must be accompanied by faith, specifically, faith that Jesus’ sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection qualify Him to be your Savior. “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Many other passages speak of the necessity of faith, such as John 20:27; Acts 16:31; Galatians 2:16; 3:11, 26; and Ephesians 2:8.
Being right with God is a matter of your response to what God has done on your behalf. He sent the Savior, He provided the sacrifice to take away your sin (John 1:29), and He offers you the promise: “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).
A beautiful illustration of repentance and forgiveness is the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). The younger son wasted his father’s gift in shameful sin (verse 13). When he acknowledged his wrongdoing, he decided to return home (verse 18). He assumed he would no longer be considered a son (verse 19), but he was wrong. The father loved the returned rebel as much as ever (verse 20). All was forgiven, and a celebration ensued (verse 24). God is good to keep His promises, including the promise to forgive. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18)...."
Look below at the Short SO4J Scripture Reminders Regarding: The Believer's Struggle with Sin
God's Word tells us to "Examine Yourself" (2 Cor 13:5) & "Test Yourself" and see if your Faith is Genuine! Examine Yourself - Go Here on SO4J.com
Why do so many in the Church Look & Act just like the World?
(AUDIO & PDF is Non-Copyright: Freely Copy & Distribute to Friends)
(put mouse over verse)
Excerpt from John MacArthur's Website gty.org: “Not necessarily. Even the Apostle Paul experienced perpetual struggle with sin throughout his life (Romans 7:7-25).
All of us struggle continually with sinful thoughts, sinful attitudes, sinful habits, and sinful desires. It is those who don't struggle—those who deliberately and eagerly revel in their sin—who need to have their sense of security shaken. So don't give up in defeat if you find yourself struggling with sin or even if you fall into it. Stay in the battle.
Fight sin by considering deeply what makes you more vulnerable to it, and then establish godly practices in its place. You may find you need to have accountability with a godly person you trust, or spend more time in prayer, or stay away from things that tempt you."
Do whatever it takes to discipline yourself and stop any pattern of sin before it gets started again. That is the key to staying away from sin—the constant, daily practice of thinking on the right things and not making provision for the flesh and its desires (Romans 13:14).”
Excerpt From the Evidence Bible:
Here's a recipe for success: (so to speak.. for the Believer)
From the Evidence Bible (in italics): "There is a wonderful little verse in 1 John 2:3 it says "Hereby we know that we know Him . . . if we keep His commandments." I don't "feel" God's presence. If I lived by feelings, I would conclude that God wasn't with me. This, then is how I know that I know Him--because there is something in me that wants to keep His Commandments. I have a new heart with new desires. Before I was saved, I couldn't care less about loving and obeying God.
Do you believe that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved? Do you believe that if you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from ALL unrighteousness? Do you believe that you are a saint (by the grace of God)?
If you don't believe His promises, then you are calling God a liar . . . and there is no greater insult to God than not to believe His promises. Read 1 John.
• 1 John 5:13 "I have written this to you who Believe in the Name of the Son of God, so that you may KNOW you have ETERNAL LIFE."
Excerpt below is from GotQuestions.org
Answer: "Everyone has occasional doubts. Whether or not you have doubts is not what determines whether you are a Christian. Even when a believer is faithless, God is faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). God wants us to be sure and confident of our salvation (Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 5:13). God promises that everyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10). We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). As a result, we deserve death and an eternity apart from God (Romans 6:23). But God loved us enough to die in our place, taking the punishment that we deserved (Romans 5:8). As a result, all those who believe are saved and eternally secure.
(FROM SO4J-TV— Go Here Re: Once Saved Always Saved?)
Sometimes doubting is a good thing. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” We are to test ourselves to be sure that Jesus is truly our Savior and the Holy Spirit is truly in us. If He is, we can in no way lose the salvation Christ has obtained for us (Romans 8:38-39). If He's not, then perhaps the Holy Spirit is convicting us of sin and prompting us to repent and be reconciled to God through Christ. The assurance of our salvation comes from the knowledge that once we are in Christ, we are eternally secure. But genuine saving faith is evidenced by its works (James 2:14-26) and the fruit of the Spirit within us (Galatians 5:22). The lack of this evidence can sometimes be the cause of our doubts..."
From the Evidence Bible: The Bible says to "guard your heart with all diligence . . . " That means the area of your thought life. If we have a problem with lust, we should be quick to remember that we share that thought with God. That's scary. He is perfect, pure, holy . . . and just. If He considers lust to be adultery of the heart, we are in BIG trouble. That knowledge should send us back to the Cross, where we should confess and forsake our sins.
We all have similar battles with unclean thoughts. Be careful what you look at, and what you think about. If you begin to lose the battle in your mind, go somewhere and pray. Confess your sins the moment you become aware of them, and don't let the enemy get a double victory by not sharing your faith or by allowing sin to keep you out of fellowship. Make sure you read the Word every day without fail. That old saying is true: "This Book will keep me from sin (and Hell), and sin will keep me from this Book." Also, be very careful of idolatry. It is easy to change our concept of God so that He conforms to our sins (a god who doesn't mind lust).
Look below at the Short SO4J Scripture Reminders Regarding the Believer's Struggle with Sin
Here's a FEW or so main Scriptures below to help remind the Believer about the Lord's Love & Forgiveness (1 John 1:9, James 4:6-10), and the necessity of the Believer to Keep the Full Armor of God (Eph 6:10-20) & to Cast Down All Thoughts that are Contrary to God's Word (2 Cor 10:3-6).
JOHN MACARTHUR AUDIO: THE JOY OF SALVATION – PART 1 / PART 2
Re: 1 Peter 1:6-9 Excellent Audio from John MacArthur
THE BELIEVER'S STRUGGLE WITH SIN—
Rom 7:14-25 Paul says, "I DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND MYSELF, for I WANT TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT, BUT I DON’T DO IT. INSTEAD, I DO WHAT I HATE. But if I know that what I am doing is WRONG, this shows that I agree that the Law is good. So I am not the one doing Wrong; it is SIN LIVING IN ME that does it. And I know that NOTHING GOOD LIVES IN ME, that is, in my SINFUL NATURE. I WANT to do what is RIGHT, BUT I CAN’T. I WANT to do WHAT IS GOOD, but I DON’T. I DON’T want to Do what is WRONG, but I DO IT ANYWAY. But if I DO what I DON’T WANT TO DO, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is SIN LIVING IN ME THAT DOES IT. I have discovered this PRINCIPLE OF LIFE—that when I WANT TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT, I inevitably DO WHAT IS WRONG. I love God’s Law with all my Heart. But there is another power within me that is at WAR with MY MIND. This POWER makes me a SLAVE TO THE SIN that is STILL WITHIN ME. Oh, what a MISERABLE PERSON I am! WHO WILL FREE ME from this LIFE that is DOMINATED BY SIN and DEATH? THANK GOD! The answer is in JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. So you see how it is: In my MIND I REALLY WANT TO OBEY GOD’S LAW, but because of MY SINFUL NATURE I am a slave to SIN.
GOD CAN FORGIVE US— HUMBLE YOURSELF & RESIST SATAN
1 John 1:9 ”But if we Confess our SINS to HIM, HE is FAITHFUL and JUST to FORGIVE US our Sins and to CLEANSE US from ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.”
James 4:4-10 "God is OPPOSED to the PROUD, but He gives GRACE to the HUMBLE. So HUMBLE yourselves before God. RESIST the DEVIL, and he will FLEE from you. DRAW CLOSE TO GOD, and He will DRAW CLOSE TO YOU. WASH YOUR HANDS, you Sinners; PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, you Double-minded. Let there be TEARS for the WRONG THINGS you have DONE. Let there be SORROW and DEEP GRIEF. Let there be SADNESS instead of Laughter, and GLOOM instead of Joy. When you BOW DOWN BEFORE THE LORD and ADMIT YOUR DEPENDENCE ON HIM, He will LIFT YOU UP and GIVE YOU HONOR."
KEEP THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD ON!
Ephesians 6:10-20 Paul writing to Believers, “Finally, my Brethren, be STRONG IN THE LORD and in His Mighty Power. Put on the FULL ARMOR OF GOD, so that you will be able to STAND FIRM against the SCHEMES and TRICKS OF THE DEVIL. For our STRUGGLE (wrestle) is NOT against People made FLESH and BLOOD, but against the EVIL RULERS, against the POWERS, against the WORLD FORCES OF THIS DARKNESS, against the SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS in the HEAVENLY PLACES. Therefore, take up the FULL ARMOR OF GOD, so that you will be able to RESIST IN THE EVIL DAY, and having done EVERYTHING, to STAND FIRM (in GOD’S WORD). STAND FIRM therefore, putting on the STURDY BELT OF TRUTH (Be Truthful), and having put on the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (Living Righteous through Obedience to God’s Word). For SHOES, put on the PEACE that comes from the GOOD NEWS (we have Peace with God now thru the Gospel), so that you will be fully Prepared. In addition to all those, take up the SHIELD OF FAITH with which you will be able to STOP ALL the Fiery Darts of the DEVIL (Believe God’s Word over your Emotions, when FIREY DARTS of Temptation, & Lusts come your way). And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION (the Hope you now have of Salvation), and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the WORD OF GOD. PRAY in the SPIRIT (Eph 5:22-23) at ALL TIMES & on EVERY OCCASION. STAY ALERT and be PERSISTENT IN YOUR PRAYERS for ALL BELIEVERS EVERYWHERE."
Phil 4:13 "I can Do ALL things through CHRIST who gives me the STRENGTH."
Phil 1:6 "Being Confident of this very thing, that HE who has begun a GOOD WORK in YOU WILL Complete it until the Day of Jesus Christ.."
Keep the Joy of your Salvation (Psalm 51:12),
CAST DOWN ALL THOUGHTS THAT ARE
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 "For though we Walk in the Flesh, we do Not War according to the Flesh: For the Weapons of our Warfare are NOT CARNAL (WORLDLY), but Mighty through God to the PULLING DOWN OF STRONGHOLDS; CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, and EVERY HIGH THING that EXALTS ITSELF against the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and bringing into CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT to the OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST."
CUT OUT ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE THAT'S CONTRARY TO GOD'S WORD & NOT GLORIFYING TO JESUS—
WHATEVER YOU SAY, THINK, DO—
1 Cor 10:31 "Whether you EAT, DRINK, or WHATEVER you DO, DO ALL to the GLORY of GOD."
ANSWER: The case of the “unpardonable sin/unforgivable sin” or “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” is mentioned in Mark 3:22-30 and Matthew 12:22-32. The term “blasphemy” may be generally defined as “defiant irreverence.” We would apply the term to such sins as cursing God or willfully degrading things relating to Him. It is also attributing some evil to God, or denying Him some good that we should attribute to Him. This case of blasphemy, however, is a specific one called “the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” in Matthew 12:31. In this passage, the Pharisees, having witnessed irrefutable proof that Jesus was working miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit, claimed instead that He was possessed by the demon Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24). In Mark 3:30, Jesus is very specific about what exactly they did to commit “the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.”
This blasphemy then has to do with accusing Jesus Christ (in person, on earth) of being demon-possessed. There are other ways to blaspheme the Holy Spirit (such as lying to Him, as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-10), but the accusation against Jesus was the blasphemy that was unpardonable. This specific unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be duplicated today.
The only unpardonable sin today is that of continued unbelief. There is no pardon for a person who dies in unbelief. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The only condition in which someone would have no forgiveness is if he/she is not among the “whoever” that believes in Him. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). To reject the only means of salvation is to condemn oneself to an eternity in hell because to reject the only pardon is, obviously, unpardonable.
Many people fear they have committed some sin that God cannot or will not forgive, and they feel there is no hope for them, no matter what they do. Satan would like nothing better than to keep us laboring under this misconception. The truth is that if a person has this fear, he/she needs only to come before God, confess that sin, repent of it, and accept God’s promise of forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This verse assures us that God is ready to forgive any sin—no matter how heinous—if we come to Him in repentance. If you are suffering under a load of guilt today, God is waiting with His arms open in love and compassion for you to come to Him. He will never disappoint or fail to pardon those who do.
ANSWER: The concept of “blasphemy against the Spirit” is mentioned in Mark 3:22-30 and Matthew 12:22-32. The term blasphemy may be generally defined as “defiant irreverence.” The term can be applied to such sins as cursing God or willfully degrading things relating to God. It is also attributing some evil to God, or denying Him some good that we should attribute to Him. This case of blasphemy, however, is a specific one, called “the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” in Matthew 12:31. In Matthew 12:31-32, the Pharisees, having witnessed irrefutable proof that Jesus was working miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit, claimed instead that the Lord was possessed by the demon “Beelzebub” (Matthew 12:24). Now notice that in Mark 3:30 Jesus is very specific about what they did to commit “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.”
This blasphemy has to do with someone accusing Jesus Christ of being demon-possessed instead of Spirit-filled. As a result, this particular incidence of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be duplicated today. Jesus Christ is not on earth—He is seated at the right hand of God. No one can witness Jesus Christ performing a miracle and then attribute that power to Satan instead of the Spirit. The closest example today would be attributing the miracle of a redeemed person’s changed life to Satan’s power rather than to the effects of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
The blasphemy of the Spirit today, which is the same as the unpardonable sin, is the state of continued unbelief. There is no pardon for a person who dies in unbelief. Continual rejection of the Holy Spirit’s promptings to trust in Jesus Christ is the unpardonable blasphemy against Him. Remember what is stated in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Further on in the same chapter is the verse “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him” (John 3:36). The only condition wherein someone would have no forgiveness is if he is not among the “whoever believes in Him,” for it is he who “rejects the Son.”
Hebrews 10:26-39 “If we DELIBERATELY continue Sinning AFTER we have received KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH, there is NO LONGER any Sacrifice that will COVER THESE SINS. There is only the TERRIBLE EXPECTATION of GOD’S JUDGMENT and the RAGING FIRE that will consume IS ENEMIES. Anyone who refused to OBEY THE LAW OF MOSES (Old Testament) was put to Death without Mercy on the Testimony of 2 or 3 Witnesses. Just think how much WORSE THE PUNISHMENT will be for those who have TRAMPLED ON THE SON OF GOD, and have treated the BLOOD OF THE COVENANT (JESUS’ SACRIFICIAL DEATH FOR US), which made us HOLY, as if it were COMMON and UNHOLY, and have INSULTED and DISDAINED THE HOLY SPIRIT who brings GOD’S MERCY TO US. For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS OWN PEOPLE.” It is a TERRIBLE THING TO FALL into the HANDS OF THE LIVING GOD. Think back on THOSE EARLY DAYS when you FIRST LEARNED ABOUT CHRIST. Remember how you REMAINED FAITHFUL even though it meant TERRIBLE SUFFERING. Sometimes you were EXPOSED TO PUBLIC RIDICULEband were BEATEN, and sometimes you HELPED OTHERS WHO WERE SUFFERING the same things. You SUFFERED ALONG WITH THOSE WHO WERE THROWN INTO JAIL, and when all you OWNED WAS TAKEN FROM YOU, you ACCEPTED IT WITH JOY. You knew there were BETTER THINGS WAITING FOR YOU THAT WILL LAST FOREVER. So do not throw away this CONFIDENT TRUST IN THE LORD. Remember the GREAT REWARD IT BRINGS YOU! PATIENT ENDURANCE is what you NEED NOW, so that you will CONTINUE TO DO GOD’S WILL. Then you will receive ALL THAT HE HAS PROMISED. For in just a little while, the COMING ONE WILL COME AND NOT DELAY. And MY RIGHTEOUS ONES WILL LIVE BY FAITH. But I will take NO PLEASURE in ANYONE WHO TURNS AWAY.” But we are NOT LIKE THOSE WHO TURN AWAY FROM GOD TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION. We are the FAITHFUL ONES, WHOSE SOULS WILL BE SAVED."
By John MacArthur - GTY.org
JOHN MACARTHUR - NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARIES - HEB 10:26-39
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JOHN MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY ON HEB 10:26-39:
INTRO: This chapter could be titled,"THE TRAGEDY OF GETTING OVER IT," because it deals with those who had heard the Gospel, had come face-to-face with the claims of Christ, had been associated to some extent with His church, but had gone away. These were people whose hearts had been warmed toward the gospel of Christ, who had made a superficial commitment of faith in Him, and had identified themselves visibly with the true church. But their enthusiasm was cooling and the cost of being a Christian was becoming too high. They were "getting over" the gospel, and were in danger of becoming APOSTATE.
Of the FIVE WARNINGS given in Hebrews, the one in this passage is by far the most serious and sobering. It may be the most serious warning in all of Scripture. It deals with APOSTASY. When the Gospel of Jesus Christ is presented to an UNBELIEVER, only TWO RESPONSES are possible. After he has heard the basic truths and claims of Jesus Christ, he either BELIEVES and is SAVED or he DISBELIEVES and becomes APOSTATE. APOSTASY, as we will see, is the Sin of rejecting the Gospel for which there is no forgiveness. One helpful Scripture in defining APOSTASY is:
These men were types of APOSTATES. Saul, Israel's first King, became APOSTATE.
APOSTASY is not new, nor is God's attitude toward it. It is the most serious of all sins, because it is the most deliberate and willful form of unbelief. It is not a sin of ignorance, but of rejecting known truth. Judas Iscariot is, of course, the classic APOSTATE. No other rejecter of Christ ever had the exposure to God's truth, love, and grace as did Judas. He knew the Lord intimately. He was one of the twelve of Jesus' inner circle of disciples. Had he believed, he would have become an Apostle. But he rejected the truth and became an APOSTATE. His story is the supreme contradiction to the common excuse, "I would probably believe in Christ if I just had a little more evidence, a little more light." Judas had the perfect evidence, the perfect light, the perfect example. For some three years he lived with Truth incarnate and Life incarnate, yet turned his back on the One who is truth and life.
THE NATURE OF APOSTASY—
APOSTASY is an intentional falling away or withdrawal, a defection. Paul was falsely accused by some of his fellow believing Jews of using the gospel to cause other Christian Jews "to forsake" (Apostatize from) the teachings of Moses (Acts 21:21). Paul speaks of a large falling away when he cautions the Thessalonians not to be misled about the coming of the Lord,
There are people who move toward Christ, right up to the Edge of Saving Belief. They hear of Him and they are drawn to Him. They are perhaps deeply convicted of sin and even make a profession of faith. But their interest in the things of God begins to wane, and the pressures and attractions of the world distract them further still, until they have no interest at all. They may turn to another religion or to no religion at all. APOSTASY is determined by what you leave, not where you go after you leave. After a person leaves God, it makes little difference where he then goes. Our Lord was illustrating this in the Parable of the Soils (Matt 13:1-9, Matt 13:18-23).
Many years ago I had a friend who often went with me to Pershing Square in Los Angeles to witness. He was raised in the church and was a regular and dependable member, but I always felt that something was missing in his life. Then, suddenly, I did not see him anymore. About three years later, I met a mutual friend and asked if she knew what had happened to him. "oh, he's an Atheist now," was the reply. "He doesn't believe in God anymore. He has accepted situation ethics, and sees everything as amoral. He doesn't believe anything is good nor bad in itself." Apparently he had had enough of God, and simply turned away. The Apostle Paul said that APOSTASY is going to be a characteristic of the last days.
CHARACTERISTICS OF APOSTASY—
Here is possibly the clearest and most concise scriptural definition of APOSTASY—receiving knowledge of the truth, that is, the gospel, but willfully remaining in sin. An apostate has seen and heard the truth—he knows it well—but he willfully rejects it.
APOSTASY— HAS TWO MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS—
1) KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL
2) WILLFUL REJECTION OF IT
THE TRUTH IS KNOWN & RECOGNIZED
Every APOSTATE is an UNBELIEVER, but not every UNBELIEVER is an APOSTATE.
Many people have never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel, even in part. They are Sinful and, of course, do not believe in Christ, because they have never heard of Him or of His claims. An APOSTATE, however, is well acquainted with the Gospel. He knows more than enough to be Saved. The Greek language has two primary words that can be translated "knowledge." Gnosis has to do with ordinary knowledge, and in the New Testament is often used for general spiritual knowledge. But epignosis, the word used in verse 26, denotes full knowledge, understanding, and discernment. In other words, the persons described here are those who have much more than a passing acquaintance with the gospel. They know it well. An apostate has all the information. He lacks nothing intellectually. He has epignosis. He is among those who have "once been enlightened,...tasted of the heavenly gift," and even "been made partakers of the Holy Spirit" (Heb 6:4). An APOSTATE can be bred only in the brilliant light of proximity to Christ. APOSTATES are not made in the absence, but in the presence, of Christ. They are bred almost without exception within the church, in the very midst of God's people. It is possible for a person to read the Bible on his own, to see the gospel clearly, and then reject it—apart from direct association with Christians. But by and large, APOSTATES come from within the church.
TRUTH IS REJECTED—
Eventually, sometimes even after years of pretense and self-deception, the unbeliever who acts like a believer finally falls away. He gives up, loses interest, and goes his own way. He returns to sinning willfully, with no more regard for the Lord's way or the Lord's people. To know God's way, to study about it and hear about it, to identify with believers, and then turn away is to become apostate. The process of falling away may be gradual, but at some point a conscious decision is made to leave the way of God, and reject the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Willfully (hekousios) carries the idea of deliberate intention that is habitual. The reference here is not to sins of ignorance or weakness, but to those that are planned out, determined, done with forethought. The difference between sins of ignorance and sinning willfully is much like the difference between involuntary manslaughter and first-degree murder. Hekousios is habitual. It not only is deliberate, but is an established way of thinking and believing. It is the permanent renunciation of the gospel, the permanent forsaking of God's grace.
A believer may sometimes lapse into sin and stray from intimacy with the Lord and with His people. But, unless the Lord disciplines him and takes him to heaven, he will come back. He will be too much under conviction to stay away permanently. In the meanwhile, he will be robbed of joy and peace and of many other blessings.
We CANNOT always determine who is APOSTATE and who is BACKSLIDING, and we should not try. We are NOT able to distinguish between a DISOBEDIENT CARNAL BELIEVER VS AN APOSTATE UNBELIEVER. That is the Lord's business. But there is a difference between the two, a very great difference. A person's concern should be first of all that he himself is a true believer (2 Cor 13:5) and then that he is a faithful believer. There are many calls to self-examination in the New Testament. Every time a believer comes to the Lord's Table, he faces the reality or unreality of his salvation.
Paul distinguishes between apostates and disobedient, fleshly Christians in his second letter to Timothy.
If a believer falls short in his faithfulness to the Lord, the Lord still will not fail in His faithfulness to the believer, for He has promised never to let us go. "He cannot deny Himself," by falling short in His own faithfulness, no matter what His people do. A Christian can become WEAK IN FAITH and DISOBEDIENT, which is bad enough. But this is not denying the Lord, which is APOSTASY. The APOSTATE habitually continues to DISBELIEVE and HABITUALLY CONTINUES TO SIN.
The TWO MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS of APOSTASY, then, are:
1) SUFFICIENT KNOWLEDGE of the GOSPEL TO BE SAVED
2) WILLFUL and HABITUAL DENIAL OF GOD IN SPITE OF THIS KNOWLEDGE.
CAUSES OF APOSTASY—
But why would a person who knows the Gospel, has seen the light, has even experienced many of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, ever reject so wonderful a gift? What causes people to do that? In a sense, there is always just one cause, willful unbelief. Following our own wills often has no reason except that this is what we want to do. But in another sense, there are a number of things that strongly influence a person to forsake God, that stimulate his will to deny his Creator.
What may drive a believer closer to the Lord will likely drive an unbeliever further from Him. Whenever the church has been persecuted, the faithful have become stronger, spiritually and morally. On the other hand, continued persecution drives unbelievers away from the church and from contact with the things of God. They do not have the strength or the desire to pay a high price for something that means little to them. Words are cheap; persecution is not. Hard times are not for the self-willed unbeliever who is simply using the church for business, or social, or other personal reasons—or who may have been raised in the church and has simply never gotten out of the habit of attending. Persecution, sometimes as mild as criticism, is usually enough to break that habit. When persecution is severe, the apostate not only will leave the church but will often join the persecutors. "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another" (Matt 24:9-10). Some apostates not only turn away from the church but turn against it.
False teachers also cause their share of APOSTASY. In the same passage in:
Persecution frightens unbelievers away from the truth, whereas false teachers entice them away. False teaching can, and does, do a lot of damage even to God's own people. It can confuse and discourage and corrupt any believer or group of believers too immature to recognize and deal with the falsehoods or too sinful to resist them. But a true believer will never be led to deny the Lord because of false teaching, no matter how unbiblical and persuasive it is. True believers may deny some biblical truths because of false teaching, but the only person false teaching will cause to deny the Lord is a person who never belonged to Him. When unbelievers get "fed up" with the gospel, they can usually find someone who will feed them something more palatable to their sin nature.
APOSTASY is sometimes triggered by Temptation. The things of this world become more attractive and more influential than the things of God. These apostates are "ROCKY SOIL" hearers (Luke 8:13), who are attracted to the gospel for a while, but who are tempted away from full commitment. Whether the temptation is in the form of many small ones over a long period of time or of a very strong one that comes suddenly, they do not have the resources or the will to resist. Demas possibly was such a person.
Perhaps the saddest cause of APOSTASY is NEGLECT. A person can put off deciding for Christ so long that he loses the opportunity. Not to decide for Christ is to decide against Him. Such a person may never persecute believers. He may not publicly, or even consciously, deny Christ. But by continually resisting the gospel of Christ, he takes his stand apart from Him and is in danger of neglecting his way into APOSTASY.
CLINGING TO THE OLD—
Holding on to the old religion, or simply the old life-style, can eventually bring a person to apostatize. Many of the unbelieving Jews addressed in the book of Hebrews were very much in this danger. Their religion not only would not bring them salvation but had become a barrier to salvation. False religion can become so habitual, so much a part of our way of thinking and living, that to give it up seems unthinkable. It would be like cutting off part of our body, our very life. Jesus knew how hard such a break with the old ways can be, but warned, "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell" (Matt 5:29). Religious tradition has long been one of the greatest barriers to the gospel and one of the foremost contributors to APOSTASY.
FORSAKING CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP—
Another cause of APOSTASY is forsaking Christian fellowship, which the writer has already mentioned (Hebrews 10:25). The best place for strong influence toward Christ is to be in the company of believers. And, especially once he has been exposed to the truth of the gospel, the worst place he can be is away from true believers.
THE RESULTS OF APOSTASY—
For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said,
NO SACRIFICE FOR SIN REMAINS—
The first result of APOSTASY is that the APOSTATE no longer has a sacrifice that can atone for his sins. He is, therefore, beyond salvation. The only sacrifice that can bring a person into God's presence is the sacrifice of Christ's blood in the New Covenant. If Christ's sacrifice is rejected, then all hope of salvation is forfeited. Opportunity is gone, hope is gone, eternal life is gone. Apart from Christ, everything worth having is gone. The old, repeated sacrifices of Judaism would soon be stopped. They were ineffective, anyway. The only effective sacrifice has already been made, and will be made only once. To turn away willfully from this sacrifice leaves no sacrifice; it leaves only sin, the penalty for which is eternal death.
BRINGS GREATER JUDGMENT—
The second result of APOSTASY is greater judgment. The greater the sin the greater the judgment. Since APOSTASY is the worst sin, it will have the worst judgment. God sees the one who knows the truth and walks away as an enemy, an adversary whose judgment is certain and terrifying.
Just before Jesus cast the demons out of the two Gadarene men, the demons cried out to Him, "What do we have to do with You, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" (Matt 8:29). They were well aware that their final judgment of torment was coming, that it was certain, and were afraid that Jesus was going to bring it early. The demons know, better than many professed Christians seem to know, that God's judgment on His enemies is inescapable, and the fury of a fire from Him is consuming.
Just as certain as the judgment of demons is the judgment of all who turn their backs on Jesus Christ. In explaining the parable of the tares, Jesus said to His disciples:
The tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. Therefore just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it he at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall he weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt 13:38,42)
A few moments later, Jesus told another parable with the same point: the end of the age will see the separation of believers and unbelievers, the believers to heaven and the unbelievers to hell.
There is nothing in the Old Testament to compare in severity to the Judgment described in the New. People often think of the Old Testament as showing a harsh, Judgmental God, while the New shows one of mercy and compassion. But God's mercy and His wrath are clearly revealed in both testaments. It is true that we have a more complete and beautiful picture of God's grace and love in the New Testament; but we also have here a more complete and terrifying picture of His wrath.
DEGREES OF SIN AND JUDGMENT—
Judas's sin was greater than Pilate's. Both were unbelievers, but Judas was an apostate. He had light and evidence far beyond what Pilate had, and was therefore far more guilty in betraying Christ. Jesus also made it clear that judgment, like guilt, is in proportion to sin.
The teaching of punishment is not as clear in the Old Testament, but neither is the teaching about salvation. The person who sinned under the Old Covenant was guilty and deserving of punishment. Every Jew knew the severity of breaking Mosaic law. If such disobedience was affirmed by the proper witnesses, the penalty was death. But the worst offender in that age cannot compare with the person who has heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and yet rejects Him. Such persons will find themselves in the Judas section of hell, enduring much severer punishment. Far from being more tolerant of sin today, God is less tolerant, because men now have immeasurably more light. "Having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31).
REJECTION OF GOD—
APOSTATES REJECT THE FATHER—
APOSTASY involves total rejection of the godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Just as to accept the Son is to accept the Father, so to reject the Son is to reject the Father.
APOSTATES REJECT THE SON—
I believe the phrase by which he was sanctified refers to Christ. It could not refer to the apostate who is regarding the blood as unclean, because he is hardly sanctified. The reference, therefore, must be to Christ. In His high priestly prayer, Jesus spoke of His sanctifying Himself for the sake of those who believed in Him (John 17:19). He set Himself apart unto God, even as He sanctifies us, by the blood of the covenant, shed on Calvary. The apostate counts this sacrifice as unclean, despised, worthless. In so doing he has rejected the second Person of the Trinity, whose very blood was shed for him.
The apostate regards Christ's blood as common blood, just like that of any other person. That which cost God His Son, and that which cost the Son the agony of becoming sin for us, is counted as worthless. That which is of infinite value, he counts as valueless.
APOSTATES REJECT THE HOLY SPIRIT—
The man who has been led by the Spirit of grace in the presalvation work of redemption and has been energized by Him toward repentance (John 16:8-11), insults the Spirit by turning from Christ. He rejects the gracious work of preparation done by the Spirit in his heart—and that is APOSTASY.
By trampling under foot the Son of God, he rejects God the Father. By regarding the blood of the covenant as unclean, He rejects the Son. By insulting the gentle, gracious leading of the Spirit, he rejects the Spirit. No wonder he deserves much severer punishment.
Hebrews 10:30-31 “For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The LORD will judge His people." It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
God is long-suffering, and patient, and loving, and infinitely gracious, not willing that anyone should perish (2 Pet 3:9). But for the one who turns his back on God's grace, there is nothing left that God can offer or do for him. Only judgment remains.
THE DETERRENTS TO APOSTASY—
Within this severe warning, is a loving and earnest appeal not to fall away. The near-believing Jews are told to do two things that will prevent their becoming apostate and lead them into full belief. They are told to look back on what they had experienced and to look forward to the rewards that would be theirs if they carried through on what they had learned of Christ.
REMEMBER YOUR SUFFERING AND YOUR SERVICE—
The writer obviously knew the ones to whom he was writing, or at least knew a great deal about them. He was aware of their deep involvement in the church. They were so closely identified with Christians (becoming sharers) that they even experienced suffering, reproaches, and tribulations because of it. To the world, and certainly to their fellow Jews in the synagogue, they already were Christians. They were not believers, but had already suffered for being considered believers. And at this point that much persecution had not yet driven them out. It is possible even for an unbeliever to have a kind of "first love" for Christ. On hearing of Christ's love, of His promises and teachings, of His great works and graciousness, it is easy to be strongly drawn to Him intellectually and emotionally. If He is learned of in a fellowship of believers that is caring and loving, the attraction is even stronger. The unbelieving Jews addressed in this passage were so attracted. They had not yet trusted in the gospel, but neither were they ashamed of it. They had been somewhat ridiculed, persecuted, and had property seized because of their association with Christians. But the association seemed worth the sacrifice, so that those problems had not yet caused them to turn away. They did not outwardly apologize for or compromise their stand for Christ, which had cost them dearly. These Jews were intellectually enlightened. They knew all the basics of the gospel. But this was no substitute for faith itself. They were well on their way to believing, but they had not believed. So they are told to think of how far they had already come, and what they had already endured, and to complete the process by putting their full trust in Jesus Christ. They are told, in effect, "Remember carefully all the experiences you have had in learning of Christ and in fellowshiping with His people. How terrible it would be to fall back now, when you are so close. You mustn't give up now. How terrible if, after all you have learned of the gospel and all you have suffered and sacrificed for the gospel, you would not receive the real blessing of the gospel—eternal life. You have shown great respect for Christ and great love for His people. Now put your trust in Christ, so that you can become one of His people." Like the seed in stony ground, they had endured to a degree, but as the persecution increased they would be offended and fall away (cf. Matt 13:20-21). Remember (anamimnesko) means more than simply to recall. It means to carefully think back, to reconstruct in your mind. The idea is that these fellow Jews, who were so close to salvation, should, truth-by-truth and event-by-event, look back on what they had learned and on what they had experienced because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This would be a strong deterrent to APOSTASY and a strong encouragement to belief. They had the prospect of a better possession and an abiding one. They had given up many worldly things—reputation, friends, possessions—for what they could see were the better things of the New Covenant. But since they had not fully trusted in the Christ of the New Covenant, they were in danger of falling back into complete unbelief, from which they could never return. They had learned too much and experienced too much to have any excuse left for not believing, and so were urged gently but forcefully to go all the way to salvation before it became too late.
LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR REWARDS—
The second deterrent to APOSTASY is the prospect of the rewards for those who believe. "You know what the promises are," they are told. "You know how wonderful and unequaled and how superior they are, and you know that Christ will be faithful in fulfilling them. Don't let your confidence waver now. Claim the promises. Secure the rewards. Look back and remember how wonderful it once seemed, and look ahead to how even more wonderful it is going to be." They needed endurance and patience to prevent their present circumstances from causing them to turn back. Their enlightenment in the gospel and their suffering and persecution and loss by outward association with believers Were not for nothing. Their confidence was not in vain, but it was not enough. They had not done the will of God fully, because they had not trusted in His Son fully. And until then, they could not receive what was promised. They knew the promises, rejoiced in the promises, and even had suffered for the promises. But they had not received the promises. The church is still filled with people like this. It is the negative side of:
The suffering they might endure would not last forever, but their salvation in Jesus Christ would. The Lord would be coming to set His world right, and He will not delay. In the meanwhile, the way to become righteous is by faith and the way the righteous should live is by faith. From the human side, faith is the basis of spiritual life and spiritual living. Knowledge of the gospel is essential. Suffering for the gospel is possible. Serving others, especially God's people, in the name of the gospel is fine. But only faith will bring salvation and the preserving of the soul.
The warning and appeal end on a positive and hopeful note. The writer seems confident that some of those to whom he is appealing will indeed believe—so much so, in fact, that he already identifies himself with them and the other true believers. We are not of those who shrink back to destruction. END
RESOURCES—To Help Further Examine Your Faith and/or
John 10:28-29 Jesus says, "I give them Eternal Life, and they shall Never Perish; No one can snatch them out of My Hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, No one can snatch them out of My Father's hand"
There is a Misunderstanding by those who Advocate & Teach that a Christian can "Lose" their Salvation. What they (those who say a Christian can "lose" their Salvation) need to understand from those Believers that rightly preach that a Christian cannot lose their Salvation is this:
"Once Saved Always Saved is True— IF you Truly are Saved in the First Place!"
First of all, before we answer this question in a bit more detail (but not exhaustive), let us warn what Jesus says about FALSE CONVERTS, which are UNSAVED People (NEVER been Saved in the First place, which is what the Term "Lukewarm Christian" is...and as we will see in the Scripture below in Matt 7:21-23 where Jesus uses the word "NEVER" knew you) who THINK they're Saved:
Question: "Once Saved Always Saved?"
Answer: Once a person is saved are they always saved? When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their salvation (NOTE FROM SO4J.com: they are talking abouta— TRUE BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN) as eternally secure.
Numerous passages of Scripture declare this fact:
A - Romans 8:30 declares, "And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified."
This verse tells us that from the moment God chooses us, it is as if we are glorified in His presence in heaven. There is nothing that can prevent a believer from one day being glorified because God has already purposed it in heaven. Once a person is justified, his salvation is guaranteed - he is as secure as if he is already glorified in heaven.
B - Paul asks two crucial Questions in Romans 8:33-34
Paul asks two crucial Questions in Romans 8:33-34 which says, "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Who will bring a charge against God's elect? No one will, because Christ is our advocate. Who will condemn us? No one will, because Christ, the One who died for us, is the one who condemns. We have both the advocate and judge as our Savior.
C - Believers are Born Again (regenerated) when they Believe (John 3:3; Titus 3:5)
Believers are Born again (regenerated) when they Believe (John 3:3; Titus 3:5). For a Christian to lose his salvation, he would have to be un-regenerated. The Bible gives no evidence that the new birth can be taken away.
D - The Holy Spirit indwells all believers
The Holy Spirit indwells all Believers (John 14:17; Romans 8:9) and baptizes all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). For a believer to become unsaved, he would have to be "un-indwelt" and detached from the Body of Christ.
E - John 3:15 states that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will "have eternal life."
If you believe in Christ today and have eternal life, but lose it tomorrow, then it was never "eternal" at all. Hence if you lose your salvation, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.
F - Romans 8:38-39 "Nothing will be able to Separate us from the Love of God.."
For the most conclusive argument, I think Scripture says it best itself, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
Remember the same God who Saved you is the same God who will keep you.
Once we are saved we are always saved. Our salvation is most definitely eternally secure!
End of Article
NOTE (again) from SO4J.com - Remember— "Once Saved Always Saved" is True— IF you Truly are Saved in the First Place! (2 Cor 5:17) Examine your Faith (2 Cor 13:5), and make sure you're Biblically Saved, and Ready to Face Jesus on Judgment Day (2 Cor 5:10)!
Answer: The reason the Bible warns us so strongly against apostasy is that true conversion is measured by visible fruit. When John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan River, he warned those who thought they were righteous to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:7). Jesus warned those who were listening to Him while He was giving the Sermon on the Mount that every tree can be known by its fruit (Matthew 7:16) and that every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire (Matthew 7:19).
The purpose behind these warnings is to counter what some people would call “easy-believism.” In other words, following Jesus is more than saying you are a Christian. Anyone can claim Christ as Savior, but those who are truly saved will bear visible fruit. Now, one may ask the question, “What is meant by fruit?” The clearest example of Christian fruit can be found in Galatians 5:22-23 where Paul describes the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There are other types of Christian fruit (such as praise, winning souls for Christ), but this list provides us with a good summary of Christian attitudes. True believers will manifest these attitudes in their lives to an increasing degree as they progress in their Christian walk (2 Peter 1:5-8).
It is these true, fruit-bearing disciples who have the guarantee of eternal security, and they will persevere to the end. There are many Scriptures that bear this out. Romans 8:29-30 outlines the “golden chain” of salvation by pointing out that those who were foreknown by God were predestined, called, justified, and glorified—there is no loss along the way. Philippians 1:6 tells us that the work God began in us, He will also finish. Ephesians 1:13-14 teaches that God has sealed us with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our inheritance until we possess it. John 10:29 affirms that no one is able to take God’s sheep out of His hand. There are many other Scriptures that say the same thing—true believers are eternally secure in their salvation.
The passages warning against apostasy serve two primary purposes. First, they exhort true believers to make sure of their “calling and election.” Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith. If true believers are fruit-bearing followers of Jesus Christ, then we should be able to see the evidence of salvation. Christians bear fruit in varying degrees based on their level of obedience and their spiritual gifts, but all Christians bear fruit; and we should see the evidence of that upon self-examination.
There will be periods in a Christian’s life where there is no visible fruit. These would be times of sin and disobedience. What happens during these times of prolonged disobedience is that God removes from us the assurance of our salvation. That is why David prayed in Psalm 51 to restore to him the “joy of salvation” (Psalm 51:12). We lose the joy of our salvation when we live in sin. That is why the Bible tells us to “examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). When a true Christian examines himself and sees no recent fruitfulness, it should lead to serious repentance and turning to God.
The second reason for the passages on apostasy is to point out apostates so that we may recognize them. An apostate is someone who abandons his religious faith. It is clear from the Bible that apostates are people who made professions of faith in Jesus Christ, but never genuinely received Him as Savior. Matthew 13:1-9 (the Parable of the Sower) illustrates this point perfectly. In that parable, a sower sows seed, symbolizing the Word of God, onto four types of soil: hard soil, rocky soil, weed-choked soil, and freshly tilled soil. These soils represent four types of responses to the gospel. The first one is pure rejection, whereas the other three represent various levels of acceptance. The rocky soil and the weed-choked soil represent people who initially respond favorably to the gospel, but when persecution comes (rocky soil) or the cares of the world bear down (weed-choked soil), they turn away. Jesus makes it clear with these two types of responses that, although they initially “accepted” the gospel, they never bore any fruit because the seed (of the gospel) never penetrated the soil of the heart. Only the fourth soil, which was “prepared” by God, was able to receive the seed and bear fruit. Again, Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
It may seem unusual for the Bible to warn against apostasy and at the same time say that a true believer will never apostatize. However, this is what Scripture says. First John 2:19 specifically states that those who apostatize are demonstrating that they were not true believers. The biblical warnings against apostasy, therefore, must be a warning to those who are “in the faith” without ever truly having received it. Scriptures such as Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26-29 are warnings to “pretend” believers that they need to examine themselves and realize that if they are considering apostatizing, they are not truly saved. Matthew 7:22-23 indicates that those “pretend believers” whom God rejects are rejected not because of having lost faith, but because of the fact that God never knew them.
There are many people who are willing to identify with Jesus. Who doesn’t want eternal life and blessing? However, Jesus warns us to count the cost of discipleship (Luke 9:23-26, 14:25-33). True believers have counted those costs, whereas apostates have not. Apostates are people who, when they leave the faith, give evidence they were never saved in the first place (1 John 2:19). Apostasy is not a loss of salvation, but rather a demonstration that salvation was never truly possessed.
Revelation 3:5 Jesus says, "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will NOT BLOT OUT HIS NAME FROM THE BOOK OF LIFE; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."
Answer: Revelation 22:19 says, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
This verse is usually involved in the debate concerning Eternal Security.
Does Revelation 22:19 mean that after a person’s name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, it can at some time in the future be erased? In other words, can a Christian lose his salvation?
First, Scripture is clear that a True Believer is kept secure by the power of God, sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30), and of all those whom the Father has given to the Son, He will lose none of them (John 6:39). The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:28-29b). Salvation is God’s work, not ours (Titus 3:5), and it is His power that keeps us.
If the “anyone” referred to in Revelation 22:19 are not believers, who are they? In other words, who might want to either add to or take away from the words of the Bible? Most likely, this tampering with God’s Word would be done not by true believers but by those who only profess to be Christians and who suppose that their names are in the Book of Life. Generally speaking, the two main groups who have traditionally tampered with the Revelation are pseudo-Christian cults and those who hold to very liberal theological beliefs. Many cults and theological liberals claim the name of Christ as their own, but they are not "born again"—the definitive biblical term for a Christian.
The Bible cites several examples of those who thought they were believers, but whose profession was proven to be false. In John 15, Jesus refers to them as branches that did not remain in Him, the true Vine, and therefore did not produce any fruit. We know they are false because “by their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:16, 20); true disciples will exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit who resides within them (Galatians 5:22). In 2 Peter 2:22, false professors are dogs returning to their own vomit and a sow who “after washing herself returns to wallow in the mire” (ESV). The barren branch, the dog, and the pig are all symbols of those who profess to have salvation, but who have nothing more than their own righteousness to rely upon, not the righteousness of Christ which truly saves.
It is doubtful that those who have repented of their sin and been born again would willingly tamper with God's Word in this way—adding to it or taking from it. Of course, we recognize that good people have sincerely held differences in the area of textual criticism! But it can be demonstrated how cultists and liberals have repeatedly done both "adding to" and "taking away from." Thus, we can understand God's warning in Revelation 22:19 in this manner: Anyone who tampers with this crucial message will find that God did not place his name in the Book of Life, will be denied access to the Holy City, and will forfeit any expectation of all the good things He promises to His saints in this book.
From a purely logical standpoint, why would the sovereign and omniscient God—He who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10)—write a name in the Book of Life when He knows He will only have to erase it when that person eventually apostatizes and denies the faith? Additionally, if you read this warning within the context of the paragraph in which it appears—Revelation 22:6-19—you can clearly see God remains consistent in His theology: only those who have taken heed of His warnings, repented and been born again will have any good to look forward to in eternity. All others, sadly, have a terrible and terrifying future awaiting them.
Revelation 3:5 is another verse that impacts this issue. “He who overcomes . . . I will never blot out his name from the book of life.” The “overcomer” mentioned in this letter to Sardis is the Christian. Compare this with 1 John 5:4: “Everyone who is born of God overcomes the world.” And verse 5: “Who is he that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (See also 1 John 2:13.) All believers are “overcomers” in that they have been granted victory over the sin and unbelief of the world.
Some people see in Revelation 3:5 the picture of God’s pen poised, ready to strike out the name of any Christian who sins. They read into it something like this: “If you mess up and don’t win the victory, then you’re going to lose your salvation! In fact, I will erase your name from the Book of Life!” But this is NOT what the verse says. Jesus is giving a promise here, not a warning.
Never does Scripture say that God erases a believer’s name from the Book of Life—there is never even a warning that He is contemplating it! The wonderful promise of Revelation 3:5 is that Jesus will NOT erase one’s name. Speaking to the “overcomers”—all those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb—Jesus gives His word that He will not delete their names. He affirms that once a name is there, it is there forever. This is based on the faithfulness of God.
The promise of Revelation 3:5 is directed to believers, who are secure in their salvation. In contrast, the warning of Revelation 22:19 is directed to unbelievers, who, rather than change their hearts toward God, attempt to change God’s Word to suit themselves.
SO4J-TV Preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ thru: Christian TV Shows, Videos, Bible Studies, Audios, DVDs, Mini Movies, Gospel Tracts, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, & the SO4J.com Website. SO4J-TV challenges Lukewarm Christians, and all of us to Examine our Faith with Gods Word, to make sure we're Biblically Saved, and Ready to Face Jesus on Judgment Day! SO4J-TV speaks out against the many False Teachings today that Preach a Lukewarm Christian message that is Contrary to God's Word. SO4J is Non-Denominational, and is a Non-Profit. MORE
SO4J-TV challenges LUKEWARM CHRISTIANS (UNSAVED People who THINK like Theyre Saved) & All to Examine our Faith with Gods Word (2 Cor 13:5) & Make Sure we're Biblically Saved & Ready to Face Jesus on Judgment Day. SO4J-TV warns those who call themselves Christians— yet use the Grace of God as a License to Sin (Rom 6:1-23), to Repent & Believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15).
In Matt 7:21-23 Jesus warns that on Judgment Day, He will reveal to MANY LUKEWARM CHRISTIANS (UNSAVED People who THOUGHT, TALKED, & LOOKED like they were Saved), that they are GUILTY & spend Eternity in Hell. We're Not Saved by Works (Legalism), but our Faith is PROVEN By our Works (James 2:14-20). If there is No Obedience to Gods Word (1 John 2:3-6), out of a Love for Jesus (John 14:15) & one Continues In Sin (1 John 3:8-10), then we'll have to Face the Terrifying Consequences of Heb 10:26-31 which Jesus Warns us also about in Matt 7:21-23 where MANY Unsaved People who THOUGHT they were Saved will spend Eternity in Hell. This is called APOSTASY— which is a REJECTION or DESERTION from FAITH in JESUS & GOD'S WORD. Where people HEAR & RESPOND to the Gospel by making a "DECISION FOR CHRIST" or "PROFESSION OF FAITH" (like Judas did). False Converts come to the EDGE OF SAVING FAITH— but they eventually REJECT or WALK AWAY from the Truth when Tested with the CARES & LURES of this Life, PROBLEMS (Matt 13:19,21,22) etc. A False Convert named Demas in the New Testament is a Good Example of that. Demas made a "DECISION FOR CHRIST" and became a Fellow Laborer with the Apostle Paul, Mark, and Luke in Philemon 1:23-24— but when Tested with the "Cares of this Life" Demas did not Endure (Matt 10:22) in Gods Word— Read 2 Tim 4:10. Jesus warns us over and over again about True & False Conversion i.e. the PARABLE OF THE SOWER: Matt 13:3-23, Mark 4:3-20, Luke 8:5-15. Jesus warns too that MANY people will PERISH, and FEW (Percentage wise) Truly become Born Again— Matt 7:13-14, Matt 7:21-23, Luke 13:23-30, Matt 22:14, Phil 3:18-19. Examine Your Faith— Are YOU one of the "MANY" Jesus warned us about in Matt 7:21-23?
Watch our Video called:
Lukewarm Christians— Judgment Day-Are You Ready? It is a Video Portayal of Matt 7:21-23.
JESUS ALSO TOLD US TO BEWARE OF FALSE TEACHERS! • Matt 7:15 Jesus Warns, "BEWARE of FALSE PROPHETS, who come to you in SHEEP'S CLOTHING, but INWARDLY they are RAVENOUS WOLVES." We are to BEWARE of FALSE TEACHERS because even though False Teachers might come across as "Well Meaning Nice People" (so to speak)— they themselves are being be DUPED by Satan! False Teachers are Dangerous because they "Knowingly OR Unknowingly" Keep People on the BROAD PATH to HELL (Matt 7:13-23)! They DON'T tell people the TRUE TERMS of the GOSPEL (Luke 9:23-26)— they WATER DOWN THE GOSPEL to be well Liked (2 Tim 4:1-5). The TRUE GOSPEL is CONVICTING! • John 16:8 Jesus-"When He (Holy Spirit) has come, He will CONVICT the WORLD of it's SIN, and of God's RIGHTEOUSNESS, and of the Coming JUDGMENT" • Matt 22:14 Jesus says, "MANY are CALLED (Invited to Eternal Life), FEW are CHOSEN." FEW will Heed Jesus' Warnings to BEWARE— FEW ever go thru the Difficult NARROW GATE that leads to Life (Matt 7:13-14).
SO4J means "Sold Out For Jesus", but we are Not called: Sold Out For Jesus TV, as many people have said— but for whatever reason there are people who keep calling us that, even though the term is rarely mentioned on our Website.
We are instead called: SO4J-TV & Video Productions
FYI: "SO4J" Is a Federally Registered Trademarked Name — SO4J ®
View SO4J-TV's Interview with Ray Comfort of Way of the Master, which he talks with us about what it means to truly be "SO4J" or Sold Out For Jesus. (Matt 10:37-39, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 9:23-25)
Mission Statement is here on this page along with About SO4J-TV: About SO4J-TV & Video
SO4J-TV was Founded in Feb 2003 by Martha Mac
There are 3 Key People Involved who Started SO4J-TV. They are the Producers of SO4J-TV:
(Founder) Martha Mac, Rick Wagner, & Sandy Russell (2 Cor 4:5)— and a Team of others.
- SO4J means Sold Out For Jesus! (Luke 9:23-25, Mark 12:30-31, Matt 10:37-39)
- Launched it's SO4J.com Website in May 2004 - (Acts 20:24)
- Launched it's first TV Special on— October 18, 2004
- The Term SO4J® is a Federally Registered Trademarked Name
- Is a Registered Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Organization. All Donations are Tax Deductible.
- In the past SO4J-TV & Video Productions was an LLC (Limited Liability Company)
- Is Non-Denominational—and believes the Bible is God's Word and is inspired by God.
- Main Scriptures are: Matt 7:21-23, Matt 7:13-14, Luke 9:23-25, Acts 17:30-31.
- Statement is: "Life is Short, Hell Is Forever— Repent & Have Faith in Jesus!"sm
- "All 4 Jesus & All 4 God's Glory!" (1 Cor 10:31)
- "If what you Say, Think, or Do is Contrary to God's Word, then you
are being Deceived!" sm - Martha Mac, SO4J-TV & Video
Yes, SO4J is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization.
All Donations are Tax Deductible.
To Help SO4J-TV get the Gospel out, go Here: Donate
No, SO4J-TV is Non-Denominational— and believes the Bible is God's Word and is inspired by God.
SO4J is NOT affiliated with any Denomination or Church.
Check out our Bios page to see our Experience in Video Production. As far as Christian Ministries go we've worked with: Way of the Master Radio's Todd Friel - Atheist Debate Video (now called "Wretched Radio & TV), and the Todd Friel Bullhorn Response Video,) Jan Markell's Olive Tree Ministries, Bob DeWaay, Justin Peters in Justin Peters— A Call For Discernment DVD (4 hours on 2 DVD's)...
As far as Interviewing for the SO4J-TV Show, we have Interviewed:
Ray Comfort, Way of the Master TV, Stephen Baldwin, Bryan Duncan, Justin Peters, Bob DeWaay...
Martha Mac herself has been interviewed by CNN - See Bios
Yes, once in a while. We like working with other Ministries to get the Gospel out. We just don't have a lot of time these days to work on peoples Projects. We are now focusing primarily on Producing Videos & TV Shows for: SO4J-TV. We have moved away from being an LLC, as we are now a Non-Profit 501 (c)(3) Charitable Organization, with Tax Exempt Status.
We have been getting a lot of Email requests for Free Literature & Videos to be sent out, especially from other countries. At this time we do not have the Financial Resources to cover these expenses. The website has a lot of Free Resources on it that we Pray is an encouragement to fellow Believers,etc.
No, we currently do not have our Materials in Spanish, but we are planning on adding Google Translate to certain pages on SO4J.com. Until then one can go to: Google Translate and have any Webpage you want Translated from English to the Language of your Choice by putting the Desired Link in.
Spanish - On SO4J.com we do have what is known as the GOOD PERSON TEST IN SPANISH, which is a very helpful English & Spanish Evangelism Resource that is together on one page.
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Here is a suggested Link (http://SO4J.com) & some possible things to say.
FYI Only - we are NOT called Sold Out For Jesus as people think, but we are called SO4J-TV
SO4J-TV & Video - Christian TV Preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ thru Christian TV Shows, Videos, Audios, Bible Studies, Gospel Tracts, etc. SO4J-TV challenges Lukewarm Christians, and all of us to Examine our Faith with God’s Word, to make sure we're Biblically Saved. SO4J-TV also exposes False Teachings.
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Lukewarm Christians— Judgment Day–Are You Ready?
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