And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should
believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth ...
~ 2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12
The Bible declares itself as the word of God with assurances that His word will be kept whole for all generations. To regard the Bible as His word, or not, responds to Godís call to all mankind. The Bible declares itself to be His exclusive word once delivered with no subsequent substitutions or replacements acceptable. People have acquired delusions excusing them from knowing or seeking His will. Some of these fallacies are listed below.
God would want me to be happy. We were created to make God happy and in acknowledging that, and glorifying Him, in this, is the only true way to find happiness. If we make a God to make us happy, appeasing our behavior, that is false religion and clearly despised by God. Is it of man or God? God made us, we did not make God. There is no shortage of man made gods. Many people create a God of convenience to live ďfeelingĒ approved in their own delusion. Considering what would make God happy is more appropriate thinking.
I already go to church and that makes me a Christian. There are many churches and most are customized to please man, not God. Knowing God and having a relationship with Him is not the same as social encounters void of what God actually calls for. God looks for genuine seeking contrite hearts in His congregation, not visitors looking for a free meal or to be entertained. Are we to be served or to be in service? A church is just a faÁade while God looks for actions of heart. Sitting silently in the pews is no guarantee of salvation.
Iím saved because I recited the sinners prayer. This prayer is a construction of man not found in the Bible. Acts or proclamations of man have no salvation value if void of scriptural authority. No plain mortal man can save you or declare as such. Salvation is not merely a simpletonís prayer of quick statement. Casual acceptance of salvation lessens the intensity God calls out for as in praying unceasingly in which He desires a permanent connection.
I follow the Ten Commandments. This was an exclusive covenant with the ancient Jews. Nine of the commandments are reiterated in the New Testament. No longer under the Mosaic Law, we are now under the Law of Liberty. God is not holding anyone to the Old Law anymore, but demands that we now observe what has been revealed in the fulfillment of His delivered word. No one currently, or has in the past, been able to observe the Mosaic Law, except for Jesus as He declared a better way. No man is worthy and can not earn a position in heaven. Pride is a soulís worst enemy. If you think you are good enough you fall from the nurturing grace He extends. Purely praising Him is the sign of a mature Christian.
I have a personal relationship with Jesus. Impossible, because Jesus is not here in the flesh and does not appear to individuals. This is a feeling based construct. We can however be a friend of Jesus if we obey His commands. Have a personal intimate relationship with Godís own word which will open your heart.
Faith saves us not baptism. Imaginary construct of man and yes, works alone will not save one but Christ proclaims baptism as that act sealing the transaction of His promise; a bonding with the gift. Both roads must be traveled as faith without works is dead. Men too often declare superior knowledge to what God simply asks of us in word and example. Arguing with God reduces to a bitter heart. Our unredeemed sins are clearly retained without baptism (immersion). The Bible is clear when it says that we are not saved by faith only.
The thief on the cross was not baptized. How do we know this conjecture is true? He could have been baptized in Johnís baptism, but regardless, Christís new covenant had not yet been finalized and as God alive in the flesh, His wonders and miracles were His to have as He would have it. Would one claim that God made a mistake? Humans do not care to submit to a higher power as it represents a loss of control. The example is to submit without arrogance.
Iím saved because I was baptized when I was an infant. So was I, however I have no recollection of it other than my baptismal certificate. This did not stop me from engaging in sin. The Bible teaches that one has to hear and believe, coming to oneís own self for that spiritual decision to be made, for remission of sins, to consciously wash away your sins and to rise a new creature. It would be so convenient if we all could save one another by the wave of a self proclaiming preacherís hand. Again, the declaration of man announcing salvation has no clout in Godís kingdom. It is an individual calling to come, return and live!
If God gives me a "sign," then I will believe. God has given us the sign of life. To taunt Him for more shows no less than a lack of respect and confidence in Him. He says blessed are those who wholeheartedly believe who have not seen. One can never know the extent of the providence shown for each and every one of us. Look to the sky where eternity glistens before us all.
I will believe if God will appear to me. God has appeared in more ways than we can understand, but His attributes can clearly be seen all about us. From the enigma of proteins to atomic structure across time in space, His manifold of miraculous is plain. Those that can not see God are blind to His presence at all instances. To see of Him is to love Him. Greater than anyone could ever see, He is God. In fear of Him, one sees.
Iím serving in other ways outside of church. There is a way of man and a way of God. Acts of service do not necessarily hold salvations promise. One can not earn their way into heaven by being a good person. Acts of faith though obedience is what gains God's favor. To remember Him will enable His remembrance of you. In service, in Him, pleases Him. Those on the outside will certainly be left away, from the inside, as unprepared. There is no darkness in the light.
I need to straighten my life out first. Waiting leads to running out of time.
My life is too hectic right now. By looking only at the ground, that refreshment that can be had from the sky will be missed. Eternal life has more value than anything else we can experience on earth, and if one shuts off the spigot to spirituality, only voids of despair and or anger can ensue. It is His church that heals one from the everyday rat race and without Him there is no true life. He truly stills the waters of life if one takes Him to heart.
Iím too busy with things, work, and or family. There has never been a shortage of excuses as to not having the time. None of us has enough time to accomplish what needs to be done. If one's life is just a frenzy, no calm of spirit endures above the madness. Again, the choice to be of God or of self is the choice made by each heart. In the rush to live, life can be lost if genuine time with God is avoided. Time is Godís test of a soulís overcoming selfishness to become that of a giving one. Time exposes the soul.
I am too lazy to get up and go. Priorities set the agenda and if one finds God's call to worship inconvenient, the effort one shows will reflect respectively in the judgment to come. No one cares for a lazy soul and though the spirit might be willing, the flesh wins the battle in doing nothing. God asks that we do not lose heart and somewhere in the depths of our might we must muster the gumption to remember His sacrifice, upon His great suffering of endurance for us. Endurance is the key one must take to heart.
I stayed up too late Saturday night and overslept. This aligns with being lazy and not preparing to meet one's maker. No matter how late I stay up, I still manage to get off for Sunday morning worship. He is interested in you and the question deep in one's heart has to be, are you interested in Him? Priorities define character and either it is of the world (self) or of God. His call goes out to all to respond as He patiently waits watching the choices we make.
I'll wait until I get old. Again, practice approaches perfection and one may not be able to recover lost time or remove bad habits and or thoughts if not prepared. He tells us to prepare to meet Him. Death bed confessions will meet harsh judgment if not in accordance with His will; Too much, too little, too late. God will not accept self seeking selfish souls that have shown Him little regard.
Iím too lost to be saved. This is a contrite heart willing to repent. These are the souls Jesus came to speak to. We are all lost as deep within each of us, there is a cry for help. Hardened arrogant hearts will not hear the call denying the need for salvation. An open heart accepting His love humbly accepts the light of His truth and His strength allows us to overcome fear. One remains lost without Him, the light of our lives.
I don't have anything to wear. God judges from inside the heart while men judge from the outside disguise. If it is modest dress, it is acceptable to God. If the best that one has is a pair of jeans and a T-shirt or a simple plain dress, this should not stop one from assembling with God's children. If your attitude is your wish to be appropriately dressed, giving praise and honor to Him, you worship from a pure heart.
Church is boring. It is hard to overcome this stigma and find church as spiritually entertaining; engaging. One has to have a thirst or desire for spiritual sustenance. God calls for worship in spirit and truth and not necessarily for our fun and games. Is it to be a social event or an act of reverence and worship? To muse (ponder) is not the same as to amuse, and it really is a quest for knowledge, which can be a challenge for most. To know God is the greatest stimulation.
Church is full of sinners. This is who Jesus came to save, all of us, those that have fallen away from knowing Him. Judging others is so much easier than judging oneís own self. The more one blames, the more ye will be blamed. Better to be a sinner submitting to Him than a sinner in a self seeking bitter chasm. Heavenís way on earth or extinctions path is declared by our commitment or evasion of Him.
There are too many hypocrites in the church. The church is not a country club and who is not a hypocrite? As we go to the hospital for help, we assemble for our own personal reflection and worship of Him. He asks that we sharpen ourselves. He commands us to assemble in Him and using this excuse only condemns one further into oblivion. Would you rather be purposely oblivious? This is a classic avoidance of personal accountability and the need for forgiveness; To blame or to remain blameless?
Church is made up of a bunch a male chauvinists. Man does not define the church but it comes by the word of God. God created man and woman to play equally important roles uniquely suited to their positions in His body. People may want to change His policies, but then that supersedes Godís word, which does not define obedience but rebellion. To be in Him or to reject His word would be of compliance or self-importance, respectively.
I am upset with someone in the church; Drama/Conflict. Emotions do clash in life and not everyone is pleased with everyone. We are asked at best to be at peace with all if possible, which delivers that peace beyond understanding. Focused on God brings a relationship with Him verses having one with your frustration or anger. God tells us to confront those who trouble you either initially alone or with another associate, to resolve the issue, so that one may return to Him with an undivided heart. It is love that covers all sins and delivers us.
I canít find a good church. If one is waiting to find a perfect church without human error it will never be found. Where there are those that pursue His doctrine and apply His principles, this is the best that can be achieved. Will He truly find the faith He left for us to know when He returns is a good question. Would it be better to be part of the solution (unity in His word) or part of the problem (fragmentation - constructions of man)? "Superior" people avoid true church (of God) as they declare that they are the standard. Clearly, avoidance only increases the divide between His way and oneís detached way.
I believe in God, just not organized religion. Even the demons believe and tremble. God has declared His ways and if one chooses to reject His organization, it will be a snub that will be hard to endure as there will be teeth gnashing upon regrets at His judgment. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God. He calls all to be students of His word maintaining corresponding appropriate associations.
All religions lead to Heaven anyway, I'll get there my own way. This is contrary to what God has announced and is convenient for those that would prefer anything goes. He declares that He is the way, the truth, and no other way. He commands that we understand His will and to be enmeshed in traditions of man does not validate the salvation He offers. It is when one obeys the Gospel that a soul is added to His church.
Iíll just choose the church of my choice. Unfortunately for many, they are not in Christís church but in an organization constructed for and or molded by mans opinions and traditions. Catered to human desire, idols, Sabbaths, false visions, separatist angels, disunity, fragmented fantasies, and cults. Most will not like to stomach this, but He adds to the church, not any organization of man. He knows His own and it is the Bible that clears confusion and declares the one standard. Common ground for many is hope but it must be united in truth to secure what God has promised to those that love Him. God is of one mind and not multiple schisms.
I don't need a church to believe in Jesus. Again, even the demons believe and tremble. To believe in Jesus is to follow His word and if you do not share your faith in Him with others, it is an isolated martyrdom. Jesus is a staircase to heaven, not a couch on earth.
I watch inspirational videos, what do I need church for? Knowledge by it self may not necessarily engage understanding leading to wisdom, which can only be effectively acquired through personal interactions. Knowing the word of God is not the same as applying it, which is more challenging. He tells us to be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving oneself.
I follow my heart because it canít be wrong. And so the heart is deceitful above all other things, no one can know the depths of its wickedness, and there is a way that seems right to man, but its end lies in the way of death. Emotionalism can blind sensibility to see what God actually and simply asks of us. We are instructed to understand and follow Him over self. God is a God of knowledge and as such He supersedes all opinions. The meek (humble) inherit His kingdom, not the proud.
I'm an introvert / Too many people. With as much disgust and depression in this world, it is a choice to cocoon away from the hysteria. It can take courage to face others in the light, but that is what He asks of us, to let our light shine. Hiding in a closet will not fulfill what He calls us to be, soldiers sharing His truth on our march to heaven. To be part of the whole is better than to remain an isolated speck.
I donít feel like I belong / I won't be missed / Not connected when Iím there. This is classic in wallowing in the world of woes and not paying attention to worshipping Him. Everyone carries sorrows and one needs to get off of the self and stand to honor Him. Realize one belongs to Him and He has announced that He misses us hoping for our return. We are all connected to God and we assemble to worship in honor of Him. As part of the whole, again, we belong to Him, so do not forsake His call for your sake.
I'm not getting anything out of it. It is difficult to have love for what one does not have the passion for. If one's thirst for God is minimal, it surely reduces to a hopeless situation. Loving Him over all is the greatest of all commandments. Reading His word, for me, has a tendency to fire up the juices for more within the contemplations of the mind. What one gets out of anything is what one immerses oneself in to; garbage in, garbage out; scripture in, scripture meditations out. What one pursues is what one becomes. Redemption does come with a price as we must rest upon His word to arrive.
I served for a while, but I felt unappreciated and no one thanked me. One must ask, for what purpose? Are acts done for Him or for the recognitions of man? Is it just to satisfy your own feelings and how can one not answer but how shallow in appreciating God. Doing all heartily for Him and not for mere men puts the standard above mortal life. To meditate on those things from above lifts the spirit above judgment. I have found that there is always someone you least expect as holding a silent thankful heart. One can never know to the extent in which goodness touches others. True reward has no expectations.
There are too many contradictions in the Bible. I have yet to find any. I am more often amazed at prophesies fulfilled verifying divine inspiration. Truth has a ring that no one can deny except for the cold hearted conniving skeptics. Hate arrogantly tramples the Love God has extended. The simple will accuse without knowledge as a matter of convenience. Fear avoids accountability and invalidating the Bible clears conscience for any type of behavior.
The church just wants your money. If this is the case you are in the wrong church. The main goal of a congregation should be in the unity of the bond of peace through Him edifying the whole for the love of Him. One goes to glorify Him in praise and song remembering His sacrifice for our salvation. One gives as ability supplies and the spirit moves. Effort in supporting His church is a characteristic of a true Christian.
I donít want to be lectured. A haughty stance for those without humble attire resisting attentiveness, open for possible correction. It is said that it is hard to teach a man that which he already thinks he knows. Open hearts revere that which is yet to know. In the treasure house of His word, wisdom is a staircase of what one accumulates through understanding. God asks that we endure His rebuking as we settle in Him. Man does not command God; it is God that commands us.
The football game is on Sunday and I don't want to miss it. Of the world or of the spirit is the question posed to each soul. Freedom is the choice we are all given and it is a matter of what we worship; our cars, jobs, homes, money, friends, sports, etc. If we choose to exclude God from this line up, it will be a matter of not knowing Him when He instructs us to leave, for He never knew you. What do you prefer? Time spent with God delivers eternal rewards over ordinary passing habits.
Religion is too ambivalent for my intelligence. Intellectuals can often rise into the heights of themselves, so confident as in seeing others beliefs below theirs. In a case of self exaltation, it is hard to communicate with one looking down at the rest of us from the clouds of their habitation. Pride excludes all those with it from seeing the highest of truths beyond self. The lie is established as truth.
Bible creation statements do not match scientific facts. Scientific observations would appear to defy the Bible creation events, especially in view of the light time expanse of our evolving spatial universe. Premises of carbon dating, while being assumptions, allude to the greatest of atomic epoch decay spans. Unapproachable quantum voids resist absolute explanation as we claim understanding. Regardless of the time debates, what is most important is today, right now. However symbolic or literal, what is undeniable is now. In Godís universe it is made in His way apart from either our ignorance or brilliance. Miracles leap from what is knowable and to touch the timelessness of faith, instant life holds to an eternal realm now. Science alone will not deliver the truth to us. It is life that illuminates the heart beyond measure.
Pre-martial sex or homosexuality is okay. The Bible is undeniably clear and those failing to fear Him, regarding His will, pursue recklessness and lawlessness, for the sake of self seeking pleasures. Sin lures with the sweetness of flesh. Self control has never been easy, especially, and even more so, in a society of tolerance. Strength of character and honor are challenged in a world of diminishing moral standards. To deny self is to find God.
Christians are homophobic. Hope is the plea of all, however, God does proclaim His truth as He would have it. God hopes as He looks upon each heart. Any sexual perversion is not acceptable to God with a definite list of evils that He will not accept. Those pursuing uncontrolled fleshly desires will have no part in His kingdom without turning back to Him as the supreme Father. He loves all, and hates the sin, as should we, in His image.
I can't help it, itís just the way I am, or the way I was born. Accepting and pursuing any of oneís desires is not the same as the proclaimed word of God. It is not anything goes. To deny His truth for behavior, in His creation, exalts self over Him. None of us have done all things acceptable in His sight (other than Christ), for all have sinned. With the knowledge of His word, He asks that we heal from our previous self to align with and in His called for goodness. People get upset because they don't want to admit they fall short and require His grace and mercy and must change to please Him. Pride above God defines rebellion.
Everybody else is doing it or everybody else is wearing it. If the blind leads the blind, we all know the outcome, a deep ditch. Following the crowd does not necessarily make it right in the eyes of God. His word clarifies His will for our behavior. Regarding God's word, it takes precedence over traditions or customs of man. For eons, the pride of man has worn the disguise of religion foreign to the will of God. God calls for us to rise above the shackles of man and to simply hear His word and obey as individuals.
When youíre dead, youíre dead. God tells us all souls are His, and that eternal damnation is real, where the fire is not quenched and the worm does not die. There is no escape from the life He has given and either one becomes part of His creation in the light of His love or is expelled to the outer reaches of darknessí isolation. Come to the light or die in the darkness alone. Oneís belief will become oneís reality.
I don't believe in hell. To believe or not is the question each soul must answer. Your choice determines your destiny. To deny the tree exists in the forest does not undo it and so to dismiss truth will not negate it. Hell is a disassociation from God and all others.
I don't believe in God. That would be the foolís choice and all will kneel before His judgment even those condemned. Leaving it up to chance is not the same as defining destiny within concentrated belief in Him. It is commanded that one must believe that He is and to deny this only invites His wrath upon judgment.
If God was good He would not allow evil. It is because God is good that He allows evil else none of us would be here. God looks for loyal souls thankful for Him and His creation. Allowing freedom is the grace God bestows upon His universe. Self seeking and envy within heinous odious perversions have driven life from the bliss God intended for those that love Him. His patience exceeds our understanding. Evil is temporary in the grand theme of His kingdom.
... "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." ... ~ Luke 9:57-62
"... He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." ~ Matthew 10:37-39
For all that Jesus did, He explains that if oneís desires pull one away from following Him, there will be no inheritance in His kingdom. Only committed souls will arrive at His gate, to the tree of life.
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