10. Being Faithful is Restrictive and Enslaving. Faith frees us from the shackles of sin and death. Faith is liberating. Sin is a prison that keeps us from experiencing true joy and separates us from God. Today sin is exhorted as “cool” and something to embrace….yet in doing so, those who sin ultimately face consequences that cause them lasting harm.
9. Being a Christian means you must be perfect. Only Christ was perfect, our faith in Him overcomes our sin. We are all fallen, yet those who are saved can forgive more easily because they recognize the sin in their own lives. A fallen Christian is nothing new and is not a hypocrite. A forgiving Christian is a sinner who knows God and accepts sin as a stumbling block to salvation.
8. Believers must Judge and Condemn non-believers. God is the judge of the heart, which is not always open to man. We are commanded to first save our own souls and to assist fellow believers who stray, not to judge and condemn those who do not even know the Lord.
7. Love comes with Restrictions and Conditions. We are to love unconditionally, even our enemies. Love conquers all. Love is the answer to almost all of our problems, and love is the emotion and need of every human being. It has been given freely to us, and is to be shared freely with others.
6. God is Responsible For Cruelty and Pain and Suffering. God is love. Man created this world and his failure to follow God has resulted in the wickedness all around us. As God has become more and more removed from society, sin and its consequences have advanced and grown. The God of the New Testament offers forgiveness and redemption but He cannot and will not interfere with our free will, so often used by man for evil purposes.
5. Christ was a “Wise Man” but Never Claimed He was God. Jesus Christ was the son of God, not a son but THE son. He stated this on many occasions, said that He and His father were one, that he would rule at the father’s right hand, that He would return and judge the earth, and most importantly He is the only one to have ever died, been buried and been resurrected. His defeat of death is the ultimate proof of His supernatural godliness. Efforts to make Him “mortal” are efforts by the enemy to reduce the impact of His life and His words, and lump Him together with other “prophets” and religious figures through the ages.
4. There is no Life after Death. The greatest lie ever told is that there is nothing after we close our eyes. This leads to a “live for the day” selfish attitude and a depressing and meaningless existence. The Bible promises eternal life to those who have faith, and not just life after death but GLORIOUS life. New bodies, free of sickness and death, free of pain and suffering, jealousy, want and bitterness, surrounded by unimaginable beauty and peace. A return to Eden. This is the reward for faith and because it meets our every desire that our lives have “meaning” and have a “purpose” the enemy anxiously seeks to destroy this promise. I don’t need a book or movie about a near death experience to understand this…my proof is in my faith.
3. There are Some Sins that even God Cannot Forgive or Excuse. There is nothing we can do, that without repentance and faith cannot be wiped clean by the blood of Christ. When Jesus died on the cross it was not to save some sinners but to save all who have sinned and fallen short who come to the Father through Him. He was the last sacrifice, the perfect spotless lamb. We could not and cannot ever meet every law to get back to God, and so our faith in Christ saves us. Christ forgave prostitutes, robbers, adulterers and murderers. He loves you and wants to free you from your sin, no matter how grave or depraved or harmful. This does not mean there will not be consequences as all sin has consequences. It does mean you can still find peace and love and salvation despite your worst. Man may reject you and condemn you, but God will forgive you and love you!
2. Being a Christian Means Being a Catholic, or Methodist, or Presbyterian, or (God forbid) an Evangelical. True Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not belonging to one denomination or another. Despite what some faiths teach the Bible did not establish a “denomination” that has a corner on the truth when it comes to faith and Christ. In fact Jesus railed against the established religious order of His day because they established rules and traditions that kept the plain word of God from the people, all the while living lives that were inconsistent with what they preached. Sound familiar? The Bible allows us to know and understand God’s word for ourselves…to speak to each of us as God wishes to reach us. Being a Christian is being a follower of Christ and a reader of the Word. Being part of a group of like-minded believers is important to help us stay strong, stay faithful and grow in our faith. However no one church, no set of earthly rules, no statements of a man (no matter his religious title) is a substitute for the Word of God and your relationship with Christ. Paul praised the Bereans in the Bible because they carefully checked everything he preached on against the actual scriptures “to see if it were so.” We must do the same.
1. God is Dead. The greatest lie of the enemy is that there is no living God; That the concept of God is an old tradition and myth, and even the figure of Christ is some long dead historical “wise man” who is no longer relevant. The word of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ are as relevant and important today as they have been for thousands of years. They are because they appeal to our instincts, our DNA, our very souls. Only a creator could reach His creation in such a fashion. No other book has had and continues to have such an impact on the world and on the life of man. Despite every effort to suppress it, rewrite it, reinterpret it, condemn it, ridicule it, marginalize it and even ban it, the Word of God survives. It is living and breathing as is the Holy Spirit sent by God to each of us, working in us and with us to comfort us, instruct us, protect us and direct us to the calling and blessings God has planned for each of us…some have eyes and ears to understand, many sadly do not. They are drowned out by the lies of this world. Those who see and hear recognize the living God working in their lives. They see the hand of God and appreciate the guidance, instruction, correction and blessings He imparts over their lifetime. My own faith has been forged and strengthen by the workings of God in my life, visible workings of a living God who cares for me and loves me despite myself. He has protected me, inspired me, corrected me and instructed me. I don’t always listen and often to my detriment but I believe and give thanks. God is not dead, He is surely alive and living in us and among us….we need only to pause and pray and our eyes and ears will be opened to the reveal His glory and our salvation!