Mar 26, 2008

DO what the Lord says - NOT just believe

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1. Warning to "Christians" : "Once Saved Always Saved" is NOT True and False Conversions - Many people who believe they are "Christians" Will be Left Behind when Jesus Comes

Don't miss article  The Discipline of Submission by Michael Boldea (scroll to the bottom of this topic)

You must DO what the Lord says - NOT just believe
If you are a true believer in Christ, you must not only accept him as your Savior (acknowledging that by his death he died on the cross for your sins) BUT you must also
accept him as your LORD which means that you pledge OBEDIENCE to him.

Trust and Obey

James 1: 19-27
Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 2: 14-19
Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

The side of Jesus you don't want to see
Matthew 7: 21- 23; 2 Corinthians 13:5 (directly below)

If you are a true believer in Christ, you must not only accept him as your Savior (acknowledging that by his death he died on the cross for your sins) BUT you must also accept him as your LORD which means that you pledge OBEDIENCE to him.

Matthew 7: 21-27

21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
The Wise and Foolish Builders24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

2 Corinthians 13: 5
(Paul speaking to the church in Corinth)
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you [Or in you]; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.

Lukewarm "Christians" Judgment Day-Are You Ready? (2/9)
"I thought I was Saved"

Luke 6: 46-49
The Wise and Foolish Builders

46 "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? 47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

James 2: 14-26
Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

John 15: 10-14

10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love  ["Remain" indicates we can always leave - we leave /are removed by our deliberate disobedience], just as I [Jesus] have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

Romans 2: 13
God's Righteous Judgment

13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

John 14: 15, 21, 23-24

15 "If you love me, you will obey what I [Jesus] command. . . .(note this is NOT a request)
21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." . . .
23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

John 15: 1-17
The Vine and the Branches

1 " I [Jesus] am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes [The Greek for prunes also means cleans] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. ["Remain" indicates we can always leave - we leave /are removed by our deliberate disobedience]
5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Luke 11: 27-28

27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."
28 He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

John 12: 44, 47-48

44 Then Jesus cried out, . . .
47 "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.

John 8: 31-32, 51
The Children of Abraham

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." . . .
51 I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."

1 John 5: 1-5
Faith in the Son of God

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

James 4: 17

17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

1 John 3: 4-10, 14-19

4 Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. 5 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.

7 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers [his brother] does not belong to God. . .

14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.


The Judgment of Almighty God - Where Do You Stand?

Hebrews 10: 26-38
A Call to Persevere

26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27 There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. 28 For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 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, which made [past tenseus holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. 30 For we know the one who said,

“I will take revenge. I will pay them back.”[Deuteronomy 32:35] He also said, “The Lord will judge his own people.”[Deuteronomy 32:36] 31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. 33 Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. 34 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.

35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. [Indicates believers can lose their salvation] Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 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.

37 “For in just a little while, the Coming One [Jesus] will come and not delay. 38 And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.”[Habakkuk 2:3-4]

Jeremiah 7: 21-26
False Religion Worthless

21 " 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! 22 For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. 25 From the time your forefathers left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their forefathers.'

The Discipline of Submission
[The importance of Accepting the Lordship of Christ]
by Michael Boldea
May 6, 2009
Some time ago I was asked to teach a Sunday morning Bible study in a friend’s church. After a time of prayer, I chose to teach on the parable of the ten virgins, five who were wise, and five who were foolish. There were about thirty people in attendance, and as the teaching progressed, I could see I was connecting with most of them.
As I got to the part about the five wise virgins refusing to share their oil with the five foolish virgins, a lady started waving her hand and as I acknowledged her, she stood up and said, ‘I don’t think that was very nice of the five wise virgins. I don’t feel that was very loving of them.’
I proceeded to explain that all ten virgins had the same amount of time to prepare for the groom’s arrival, and if five of them chose not to prepare adequately it was not the responsibility of the others to put themselves in danger just because the foolish virgins had been indifferent and unprepared. I then proceeded to emphasize the importance of personal accountability, and the need for individual preparation and sanctification.
It seemed that my answer was satisfactory, because the lady didn’t have any follow up questions, and as I was coming to the end of the lesson, I emphasized the fact that the five virgins who had gone to buy oil from those who sold it, had missed out on the groom’s arrival, and as consequence were shut out of the wedding.
The selfsame lady that interrupted earlier started waving her hand again, and after once more acknowledging her, she cleared her throat and said, ‘in my humble opinion what the groom did wasn’t right. They were all virgins after all, and that had to account for something.’
Maybe it was just too early, or I hadn’t had coffee that morning, or perhaps I’d heard ‘in my humble opinion’ one too many times in regards to the absolute Word of God, but I looked at the lady and said in the most soothing voice I could muster, ‘when it comes to the Bible madam, your opinion or my opinion, humble or otherwise, is irrelevant.’

‘Well that’s just rude’, she muttered and sat back down.
Of the estimated six billion people walking the earth today, everyone has an opinion on something, and most have an opinion on everything. Opinions have been likened to many things, and I’m sure you can think of at least one thing that opinions have been likened to.
I don’t mind opinionated people! You can have an opinion about the weather, the color blue, whether it should be mandatory that you eat with chopsticks in a Chinese restaurant, but what we are not allowed an opinion on, are the established fundamentals of the Gospel.
It always amazes me when people inquire what my opinion is regarding something that the Bible is very clear on. How can I have an opinion in opposition to the Word, when I am a follower of the Word?
We have diluted ourselves into believing that we will somehow change the mind of God simply because we feel, think, or have a different opinion than what the Gospel declares as truth. As such we have transformed that which is absolute into something relative, that which is established and eternal, into something subjective and trivial.

Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
When it comes to the Word, expressions such as ‘I feel, or I think, or in my humble opinion’ should be stricken from our parlance. It doesn’t matter what I think, it doesn’t matter how I feel, all that matters is what the Word of God says on any given topic or subject. Either I submit myself to the Word of God, or I am in open rebellion.
Truth remains truth regardless of what I believe, regardless of how I feel about it, or that my opinion differs from that of the Word. It is the pinnacle of pride and arrogance to assume that what we think, or how we feel takes pre-eminence over the written Word of God, or that He will overlook our rebellion and disobedience, simply because we weren’t on the same page as Him, and we considered His ways too extreme, and too constrictive. It amazes me and frightens me how readily men can appropriate God’s authority, and establish their own righteousness rather than submit to the righteousness of God.
Romans 10:3, “But they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”
Men and women who by their own assertion of being servants of God, and followers of Christ, are following in the footsteps of those Paul called ignorant of God’s righteousness, dismissing and resisting the will of God thereby establishing their own righteousness.
In order to submit to God we must first mortify pride and humble ourselves, and this is the most difficult aspect of the discipline of submission for countless souls.
Blinded by our own sense of self worth, by our estimation of our own wisdom, we rebel against He who is the source of wisdom, and as stiff necked and stubborn sons of disobedience we refuse to submit to the authority of God.
‘We have found a better way; we have found an easier way; we have found a simpler way;’ these are the cries of the rebellious heart, the heart which is unwilling to bend its knee, and yield itself to the will of God.
Although the starting point of rebellion differs from one individual to another, some seeking justification for sins, others simply dismissing the commandments of God, others still refusing to believe the fundamentals of scripture, the end result is always the same. Regardless of where disobedience and rebellion begin, the end result is being left to the desires of our wicked hearts, deceived into believing that the god of our making will save us.
James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
This admonition comes at the end of a lengthy rebuke, one which if preached in many churches today would be grounds for dismissal of the pastor for having so offended, and psychologically damaged his congregation.
Among the choice words used to describe the designated readers of the epistle of James, they are called adulterers and adulteresses, murderers, covetous idolaters, lustful creatures who desire the friendship of the world, knowing full well this will mean enmity with God. James simply holds up the mirror of God’s truth, and describes the reflections he sees within what ought to be the congregation of the saints.
The cure for their condition was a combination of two necessary attributes every Christian ought to posses. James admonished all who would heed his warning to repent, and to submit to God.
All the evils that had befallen those to whom he was writing and unfortunate as it might be, we see the selfsame evils alive and well in many churches today, were the root cause of pride and haughtiness. They thought themselves wise in their own understanding, and as such refused to submit to the authority of God.
We cannot hope to be fruitful, we cannot hope to obtain peace, and we cannot hope to live in victory, or have a full Christian life without submitting to God.
The Word is very clear on the topic of yielding ourselves, of submitting ourselves to God, but nothing is more contradictory to human nature than submission. It is only when we submit; when our will and God’s will are one, that we obtain those illusive attributes such as peace, joy, and comfort.
Where there is no submission to God, there can be no holiness. When an individual refuses to submit to God, that individual is rejecting the Lordship of God over his life, and as such begins to doubt God’s wisdom, is dismissive of His love, and despises, scorns and disdains the Word.
Seeing the consequences of not submitting to God, the question that arises is how do we acquire the discipline of submission?
In his letter to Timothy, Paul encourages him to adopt a certain mindset concerning ministry that can also be brought into the discussion of learning to submit to God.
The first thing a newly enlisted soldier learns, before he gets to play with guns and learn tactics, is submitting to authority. The entire success of a military operation hinges on whether or not the soldier submits to the authority of his commanding officer, and obeys the commands that are given to him.
Imagine an army on the battlefield and as the commanding officer gives the order to engage the enemy, all the enlisted men of his platoon start offering their opinion on the matter.
“With all due respect sir, I don’t think that’s a very good idea. Instead of engaging the enemy, why not retreat to higher ground?”
“Your plan is sound sir, no offense intended, but I think I’ve come up with a better way. In my honest opinion I think we should try to talk the enemy into surrendering rather than actively engaging them in battle.”
Then there are those who just enlisted for the signing bonus, whatever they thought that bonus would be, whether prosperity, good health or straight teeth, who would rather just surrender to the enemy than have to exert themselves in combat.
The examples are limitless, but the end result of this exercise is always the same. When the soldier does not obey his commanding officer’s orders, there is a breakdown in the cohesion of the unit, and the objective is never reached.
Paul encourages Timothy to be a good soldier, a single-minded soldier of Jesus Christ. If Jesus commands me to be righteous, then I do not question His orders, I submit to His authority and carry out my assignment.
It is common knowledge that an enlisted soldier can face a court martial for disobeying a direct order from a superior officer. If the standard of the world is set at such a high level, what makes us think God’s standard is lower?
We must realize that God knows the enemy better than we can ever hope to know him. As such we must trust in the wisdom of our General, and submit to His authority that we might win the battle, and obtain the victory. God knows that our enemy will not be talked down, he knows that our enemy cannot be reasoned with, because he is as a roaring lion, the madness of his rage knowing no limits, and the sum of all his energies are directing at destroying the children of God.
The devil knows he can’t hurt God directly, so he attempts to break God’s heart indirectly by going after His children. Jesus is a good general, and as any good general will tell you, he feels the loss of those under his command deeply and profoundly.
If we are good soldiers of Jesus Christ, than we must submit to His authority. We have enlisted, and we are at war. Make no mistake about it, every day of our lives we fight and we wrestle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. If we hope to win the battle, we must know the weapons of our warfare, and follow the orders of our General who is always before us.
Another mindset that we must have in order to grow the discipline of submission to God in our hearts is that of an athlete, competing in athletics.
2 Timothy 2:3, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
Imagine what would happen if someone showed up to compete in a marathon on a motorized scooter. While everyone else is running, panting, sweating, exerting themselves, the guy on the motorized scooter just releases the throttle and away he goes. He putters along on his scooter careful to stick to the assigned route, shows up at the finish line hours ahead of anyone else, and with a beaming smile declares himself the winner of the marathon.
Would anyone take this person seriously? Would anyone give this person a medal simply because he did not stray from the assigned route?
If we want to be crowned at the end of our race, we must compete according to the rules. We can’t make up our own rules as we go along, nor can we say certain rules in said competition do not apply to us. If we choose not to compete according to the rules, we will be disqualified!
Any form of competition has an adhered to set of rules. A pugilist can’t step in the ring brandishing a baseball bat; a cyclist can’t race riding a Harley; a soccer player can’t pick up the ball and throw it into the net, and a Christian cannot dismiss the truth of the Gospel and still consider himself in contention for the crown, or a Christian for that matter.
“Yes, the Bible speaks of repentance, sanctification, the pursuit of holiness, and obedience, but I just don’t see it that way. I feel like, you know, God knows my heart, and He’s not as strict as He used to be, and besides, love covers a multitude of sins so don’t give me any of that brimstone talk.”
When we choose not to submit to the Word, when we choose not to submit to God, we are competing in a race of our own making, wherein we are the only participant, and we determine the rules and regulations.
There is a discipline in submitting ourselves to God, a breaking down of our own will, a renunciation of our own ideology, and a willingness to serve, obey, and follow after Him with all our hearts, and minds.
Just as an athlete trains for a competition, denying himself the things he knows will limit his ability to be the best he can be, we too must deny ourselves, pick up our crosses and follow after Jesus that we might also be the best that He can make us.
Along the way, if we are honest and forthright with ourselves, we realize that those things which we denied ourselves, those things which we forsook weren’t really that important, necessary, or even worth having.
The closer we get to the finish line, the closer we get to the completion of the race, the more visible the crown awaiting us becomes, and it only serves to quicken our pace.
We need to stop thinking, stop feeling, and start submitting to the Word. Either obey, and compete according to the rules, or stop wasting your time and energy!
I will end this teaching with the words of what I consider to be the most honest and forthright of Biblical authors, Paul the Apostle, and his admonition to all who would hear to run the race in a way that they might obtain the prize.

2 Timothy 2:5, “And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”

1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.