One big problem people have with this being saved thing is that it just seems too easy. They think, “You mean that’s all I have to do? Just tell people I believe Yeshua is the Messiah, and believe God brought Him back from the dead, and then I’ll be saved?”
YES! That’s all you have to do. It’s simple, but “simple” doesn’t mean “easy”. It’s actually very hard for two reasons.
Do you believe God really wants us to be reconciled with Him – to be friends with Him again? And do you really believe that Messiah Yeshua is the provision God made for us to be reconciled?
It may help to have a reminder about what it means to believe Yeshua of Nazareth is the Messiah. Here’s what He claimed to be:
– The only Way to approach God (John 14:6)
– Absolute Truth (John 14:6)
– Life (John 14:6)
– The Resurrection from the dead (John 11:25-26)
The work God does for us is to make us able to be around Him again. Remember what that incident in the Garden of Eden was all about: God gave our ancestors the choice to keep Him as God, or to eat that super-smart fruit and make little gods out of themselves. They chose to be their own little gods, and we have suffered the consequences ever since.
What are the consequences? Death, of course (Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 6:23). It means just what you think – the end of your life. It also means something worse – your separation from God forever. You see, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, He had no choice but to throw them out of His Garden. There can never be any more than one God anywhere, but they had decided to set themselves up as rival gods. To keep from destroying them, He had to get them out of His presence (away from Him).
One of the big things people miss about grace is its connection with good works. God made us for good works, but because each of us wants to be our own little gods in our own little cocoons we have a big problem doing those good works. It’s actually worse than that. Because we all inherited this tendency toward rebellion against God, we usually end up doing exactly the things that God doesn’t want. In other words, like Satan we tend to kill, steal, and destroy rather than help God provide life to His Creation (John 10:10; Luke 11:23).
And that’s why God has this dilemma: does He let us survive and continue destroying His Creation, or destroy us and start all over? What is an All-Powerful Deity to do? Either way His Creation gets irreparably harmed because we are the greatest part of His Creation (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:1-9).
What is this grace? Isn’t that one of those Bible words no one really understands anymore? Why do I need to worry about it anyway? It’s not going to make any difference on my tax return this year, or on my job next week, or on the exam I have to take tomorrow.
Maybe that is what you are thinking about grace and this whole God thing. Why does it matter to you? You have enough to eat, you have electronic devices to keep you busy, you have friends who make life fun, and you’re not sick (most of the time). Why should you worry about anything? Please click here to continue reading
For the first 45 years of my life I was a Southern Baptist, a Presbyterian, or a Pentecostal, moving easily and comfortably among those denominations. At the age of 9 I accepted Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth as my Savior, publicly professing my faith in Him as Messiah (Christ) and submitting to water baptism. Today I am Messianic, meaning that I profess faith in Yeshua as Messiah and keep the commandments of the Lord as taught through Moses. Perhaps I could be described as a First Century Believer, or even a Revelation 12:17 believer. That verse says,
And the dragon was enraged with the woman [Israel], and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17 NKJV, emphasis added; see also Revelation 14:12-13) Please click here to continue reading
Fox Byte #4 examined how our ancestors in the Garden of Eden chose to educate themselves on the knowledge of good and evil rather than get that knowledge in the way God intended. How big of a problem was it that Adam and Eve decided to cut short God’s training program and grab the “godlike” status of knowing good and evil? Even if they were not quite ready to handle all the truth at the moment they acquired it, would they have grown into it eventually?
Well, maybe not.
Here’s the problem: knowing the difference between good and evil is not just an intellectual exercise. Once you have that knowledge, you are responsible for it. That means not only that you must recognize what is good and what is evil, but you also must make a judgment on which to choose. Please click here to continue reading
If Adam and Eve were made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), then God made them super smart in the first place. After all, God made them to be in charge of the whole earth and keep it in order. They would have to be really smart to do that. But if they were so smart, what was the point of that tree in the garden? Please click here to continue reading
Building to the Specifications
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15 KJV)
But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:10-17 NKJV) Please click here to continue reading
The Truth About Heavenly Rewards
Hopefully by now you understand that our eternal reward for trusting Jesus is not sitting around in heavenly comfort, but doing something useful for His Kingdom. But there’s more. Do you realize there is a merit system in the Kingdom of Heaven? That might sound wrong to us Americans who think salvation by grace through faith is the whole story. You mean God saves us, but doesn’t guarantee where we stand in the Kingdom? That’s exactly what I mean. Jesus speaks more than once about those who are greatest and least in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:17, 11:11, 18:1-4, 20:20-28, 23:1-12; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 16:9-12, 22:24-30). The work you do in this life doesn’t just put food on the table or good education in your head. It determines where you stand in eternity. And why is that? Because God tests every one of us to see whether we are worthy of His trust (Luke 9:46-48). That’s the whole point of Jesus’ parable about the talents. I encourage you to read that over again. It’s in Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27. Let me summarize it. Please click here to continue reading