January 27, 2016

How to Become a Christian

How to Become a Christian

First of all, I would like to personally ask you this question: How do you think, one would become a Christian?


The above is a most vital question. It is your own eternity that is at stake here! Where will you spend it? Are you absolutely convinced that you are indeed secure for your eternity? What gives you that assurance? How holy do you think you would have to be for God to accept you into His holy presence? What does God say about your sin? What does God say the penalty for your sin is? How does God say you are able to become a Christian? Are you ready to stand before Jesus Christ the Judge of the living and the dead? Let us now examine these things and make certain that you are indeed a Christian, someone fit for eternity in God's glorious Heaven!


Number one. We must understand that God is holy! For we read, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) Then we are warned, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) I ask therefore, have you lived a 100% perfect life? Ever told a lie, cheated, stolen, lusted after another person who was not your spouse, or desired to kill someone? Well, God calls all these things sin, in His Holy Word! (See Exodus 20:1-17, Matthew 5:21-22,27-28) We are then truthfully told, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) We know then, that every single human being has fallen short of God's holy standard.

One must come to the conclusion that, “I am a sinner. I am guilty!”

“So,” you say, “I see that I'm a guilty sinner, but how can I become a Christian? What if I give all my money to a good cause? What if I get baptised? What if I try to be a good person? What if I become a missionary or pastor? What if I try to obey God's Ten Commandments? What if I...” You see, God is very straightforward about this. He simply says, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) Further to this, we read, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight.” (Romans 3:20) We conclude then, that we can do nothing to help save ourselves – nothing!

We must ask now, what is the penalty or consequences of my sin? Again, the Bible hides nothing! We read, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Listen, death speaks of separation from our holy Creator-God because of our sin. It is our sin that separates us from Him because He is holy! We are separated from Him now, and our physical bodies will die and we'll be separated from Him for all of eternity in the Lake of Fire!

We see then, that one must conclude: “I am a sinner. I am guilty. I can do nothing to help save myself! I am in big trouble! I need someone to come and rescue me!!!”


You ask then, “Is there any hope for me at all?” Absolutely! For it is written that we, “Are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation (satisfaction) by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:24-25)

Look, we see a few critical things in this verse. One, we are made right with God by His favor as a gift. Two, Jesus made full satisfaction for our sins by His death on the cross. Three, we receive this gift by faith – we trust Him as the One who is able to save us completely! For again, we read, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Jesus is the one who has come to rescue you!


One must also understand, that this same Jesus who was crucified, is also risen from among the dead the third day, just as prophesied so many of hundreds of years earlier! In fact, the Psalm, “They have pierced my hands and my feet,” was written about 1000 years before it happened to Jesus Christ! Even prior to that method of execution! (Psalm 22:16) Then in Psalm 16:10, it is written, “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” This too, was written of Jesus the Messiah hundreds of years prior to it coming about! Look, Jesus is alive! For it is even recorded in this manner, “That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve [disciples]. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6) Look, there were far more people who are witnesses to the fact that Jesus is risen, than are needed in a court of law to establish something as factual!


You see, Jesus is God, was always God, and will always be God! Yet, when He walked this Earth about 2000 years back, He took on the body of a human so that he could pay for the consequences of all our sin, which was death! Indeed, He made full satisfaction for all our sins! However, He is coming back soon, as the one who is the “judge of the living and the dead”! Are you ready?! (1 Timothy 4:1) Then we read, “'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'” “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me...one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like a roar of many waters...from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.” (Revelation 1:8, 12-16) “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened...And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-12, 15)

Yes, God's judgement is coming soon! For, Jesus said, “I am coming soon.” (Revelation 3:11) Indeed, these things will shall transpire shortly: “The Lord Jesus...revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” (1 Thessalonians 1:7-9)

So, will God's wrath fall on you? Well, it is really up to you! You see, God Himself has provided the solution for you. God's solution? He sent His Son to to receive His wrath for your sin, so you would not ever need to experience it yourself! How did Jesus receive the wrath of God? He was nailed to a cross, and for three long, dark hours, the wrath of God fell upon Jesus Christ! Why did God the Father's wrath fall upon His Son? The reason being that all your sin was heaped upon Him! (“And the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6b) It was not for Jesus' sin, for He had none, rather, He was taking the full punishment for all your sin! In fact, the wrath of God was fully exhausted upon His Son, so that none remains left over for you to endure! Now, that is love to the maximum!


So, all that remains, is for you to accept what was already accomplished for you! One could say, the cheque has been written as a gift to you - all that remains is for you to cash your gift! You didn't earn the money – it was a gift. In the same way, you could do nothing to earn salvation or maintain it – it was a gift you did nothing for. All you can do is accept the gift! Yet, just as a cheque is of no use, unless cashed. So with Christ's payment for you! He did it all for you. However, it is of no value unless you receive it for yourself! For it is written, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Look, just like a person who is sick, needs to acknowledge that fact, and seek a doctor for healing. So you also, need to admit that you are a sinner unable to help yourself, and look to Christ Jesus for “healing”! For God promises: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)


For you who have placed your trust in Jesus alone as your own personal Savior, hear these words. “For our sake he [God the Father] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin [treated as if he were a sinner], so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Again, “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) Also, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13) Then too, “Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who is raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:33-34) One more, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10) You see, Jesus has come to take up permanent residence in you by His Spirit to live the Christian life you never could live on your own in the first place! Let Him work in and through you by His power! For we must remember that salvation includes: having our sin-debt paid for, victory over sin in our daily lives, a future in Heaven where sin is totally absent!


To summarize then. God is holy. You are a sinner. Jesus is risen, and coming to judge all humanity! You can do nothing to help save yourself. Jesus made full satisfaction for your sin upon the cross. God offers you salvation as a free gift. You need to receive it – rest in Jesus as the adequate Savior for you! For, “He is able to save to the uttermost [completely]”!

who calls upon the name of jESUS
ROMANS 10:13

    *Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

January 22, 2016

Enter The Promised Land Now! Victory for Every Christian

Enter The Promised Land Now!
Victory for Every Christian

I want to begin with a question. The question is: was it, or was it not, God's purpose to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and into Promised Land of Canaan?

Well, it certainly was God's purpose for them to enter The Promised Land! For we read in His holy Word, “Then the LORD said, 'I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites...'” (Exodus 3;7-8) Yet, we find that the Israelites became a giant megalopolis of “desert dwellers”!

So, what happened that this people ended up living in the desert, and not the Promised Land? Why is it that so many Christians are having a “desert experience,” and have not come into the “Promised Land”? Today, we want to explore how you can enter God's “Promised Land” right now!

What Does Egypt, the desert, and Canaan Speak of?

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't like being deceived! It sure does not feel very good, does it?! The reality is that we have been told a lie. Maybe not intentionally, but a lie nonetheless! We have been told that the Promised Land speaks of Heaven, and that we must dwell in the desert until we arrive in Heaven! Yet, it was not at all true for the Israelites and neither is it for us! For the Israelite nation did eventually enter that bountiful land flowing with milk and honey – even if, it took longer than it should have!
You see, Egypt is a picture of the world. It is there that we placed our trust in our Savior – the Passover Lamb. It was there that the His blood was “applied to us.” We could not get ourselves out of Egypt. Therefore God “heard their cry” and delivered them. In each home a perfect lamb was slain – picture of Christ slain upon the cross for our sins. Judgement passed over the Israelites, but not the Egyptians – there, there was death. For in their case, no lamb had been judged in their stead.

Then God led them out of Egypt, and purposed to bring them into Canaan, but Israel did not believe that God could give them a victory there! In fact, they longed to go back to Egypt – type of the world! The Bible says that, “They were unable to enter in because of unbelief”! (Hebrews 3:19) Therefore, they ended up wandering around dying in the desert for 40 long years – wasted years! This was not God's intent. It was contrary to God's will. These folk are a picture of “worldly Christians.” The desert is not the place for any Christian to linger!

Yet, “The Promised Land,” speaks of better things that we can have right now today! “The Promised Land” speaks of victory! It speaks of joy! It speaks of fruitfulness! It speaks of thankfulness! It speaks of having sweet communion with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Is it Possible for a Christian to Have Victory?

Sadly, it is proclaimed that this is not possible to enter such an amazing life! It is said that we will never see victory over the giants of the land! That is, we will never see victory over sin in our lives. That is a lie! We are told that we can't be joyful, thankful people, but we can be! In the same breath, they tell us that we must be productive Christians! That we must teach Sunday School, win souls, and love everyone around us! Yet, how?! How is someone who can't have victory, to go and preach and teach and love souls?! It just does not add up!

We are taught that if we pray enough, if we tithe, if we read our Bibles, if we memorize Bible verses, if we go to church, if we become pastors and missionaries, THEN, and only THEN, will we be good Christian people and have victory in our lives! So what do we do? We try, and try, and try, and try, and try, to DO all that we think we SHOULD do! Yet, what happens? We fail, and we fail, and we fail, and we fail some more! Pastors “burn-out,” people get depressed, people get divorced, and on and on it goes! I ask, is this really what Christianity is? Is this truly all that God can do for us? Is this honestly what God intended? I emphatically reply – NO! It is most decidedly not!

Do we not see from Romans seven, the intense struggle of a human trying to win a battle all on their own? Yet, David said, “The battle is the LORD's.” (1 Samuel 17:47) Then we hear the desperate cry of the person in Romans seven, “Who will deliver me”! The answer comes quickly to this one, who has at long last come to an end of self, “Thanks be God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25) Then in chapter eight, we find a person that is victorious! A person who is under the control of the Holy Spirit. We see that victory is possible!

You know, we've been taught that we must try our best to live the Christian life. We're given all the “do's and don'ts.” Yet, the power is expected to come from oneself to perform these impossible tasks! You see, we could compare this to a car. Imagine being taught that you must push your car to its desired destination. Then you are given instructions of how to maneuver the vehicle. You are told how to keep it on the road. How to navigate potholes, snow, sand, mountains, and so on. As you look around, you see scores of others straining to get their autos to the correct location. While you are attempting all of this yourself, you also notice the odd vehicle just zooming past you! Not only that, but the people in them look relaxed and happy! Yet, as you continue your battle, it doesn't take very long, and sweat is just pouring down your face! You become exhausted, and sit on the curbside feeling like a complete failure – and you are! Yet, you get up and try again. Others give you counselling to help you improve your Christian life, your marriage, and so on, but in no time at all, your sitting on the curbside again, more defeated than ever! However, your told, “This is just the way it is. You just got to try harder! Come on, you can do it! Believe in yourself!” Finally, in complete frustration, you give up! Your done! You've had it! As your about to walk away from your vehicle, a car zooms in and parks behind yours. The person inside says, “Is there a problem?”

You respond, “Is there a problem?! I can't push that car no more! I'm walking away from it - forever! It's completely useless!”

“Oh, why is that? The car looks perfectly fine to me!” the fellow responds.

“The car is fine alright,” you respond, “But I'm sure not!”

“Well, let me take a look,” says the gentleman.

He then climbs behind the wheel, and with a quick turn of the key it comes to life! You, on the other hand, are utterly startled! “It runs!,” you exclaim. Then putting it into gear, he begins to drive! You are in complete disbelief as to what you're witnessing! So, that is how it is supposed to work, you think to yourself. Sure enough, when you get in, away you go! Wow, no sweat! No more constant failure! “No wonder, those folks are so relaxed and smiling!” you say to yourself.

You see, the solution was there all along, the poor person just didn't realize it!

Yes, we too, need to stop straining and sweating to live the Christian life! In fact, we were never meant to live the Christian life by our own effort! Did you know that from the very moment you got saved, that Christ came to live IN YOU by His Spirit? For we read, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 1:13) Yet, you behave as if He is of no use to you, other than to get you into Heaven! Look, you are like so many husbands, who say to the wife, “Push over. I'm driving!” So, in the same way, you don't let the Lord “drive,” but say, “I'm gonna push!” Listen now, you're going to make nothing but a mess by pushing! You need to give up! You need to let the Lord be Lord, and let Him take over! This is a big part of the reason that He came to take up permanent residence in you, that He could live the life you can't!

Understand then, that Christ did not stay in the grave. He is risen! He has come to LIVE in you by His Spirit! Jesus said, “I am...the life.” (John 14:6) He is your life!

What Happens When A Person is Saved?

I ask, what changed since you got saved as to your self? Did you suddenly gain some ability to live like you should? Did you become a god? Did you become your own lord? Do you want to know the truth? The truth is that you DIED! Don't believe me? Then listen to God's Holy Word, “I have been CRUCIFIED with Christ. It is NO LONGER I WHO LIVE.” (Galatians 2:20a) “Well, what then?” you ask. The remainder of the verse answers your query, “But Christ LIVES IN ME.” (Galatians 2:20b) To put it simply, Jesus Christ is your answer! He has come to live in you, in order to take over and live the life you are incapable of living! For Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do NOTHING.” (John 15:5)

Now hear what God says, “As it is written, 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him' – these things GOD HAS REVEALED TO US through the Spirit.” What things? The things of Heaven? No! Just a few short verses down is our answer, “We have received...the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand THE THINGS FREELY GIVEN US BY GOD.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-12) Do we need to wait for Heaven? No! It is written, “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the RICHES of glory of this mystery, which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) Again, it is written, “EVERYONE who believes in him will not be put to shame...for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing HIS RICHES ON ALL who call on him.” (Romans 10:11-12)

Understand then, that Jesus didn't come to dwell in you by His Spirit to give you strength to “push your car.” No, He himself is your strength! He came not to help, but to take the steering wheel, the gas pedal, the brakes – everything! He himself, is the “gasoline” or strength to run the car. That is, to be the life in you to live the Christian life you can't live!

So, just how rich are we in Christ Jesus? The Bible calls them, “The unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:8b)

i have come that they may have
and have it to the
John 10:10

Look, “Christ in you,” is able to more than sufficiently meet your every need and circumstance! That does not mean that everything will be perfect, but it does mean that you will be able to, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) You see, it is very hard to give thanks in the “desert,” but in the “land flowing with milk and honey,” it should not come with difficulty! Understand then, just how rich you are in Christ!

I urge you, turn your eyes away from yourself, and look to Christ from whom comes your “rest.” Trust Jesus with your life! The appeal is made, “To present you bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1) The Greek brings out that this is an “once-for-all” act. Why not entrust your whole self to Christ? Why not trust Him, not only for Heaven, but for this life right now?! Let Him take the controls! In Christ IS VICTORY! HALLELUJAH!

DELIGHT yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you
the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him,
Psalm 37:4-5

    *Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

January 17, 2016

All I Wanted Was Some Toast! Jesus Lives In Me

All I Wanted Was Some Toast!
Jesus Lives In Me

A Big Problem!
My eyes were still closed as the sun's rays began to peak through my window. Then suddenly, the thought struck my yet sleepy mind – mom made strawberry jam last night! Just like that, I was wide awake! I stuck my toes in my fluffy bunny slippers and dashed down the stairs to get out a deep red jar of freshly made jam! Oh, how good this was going to be on my toast!

I slipped two slices of bread out from the bag and eagerly placed them in the toaster! Then I pushed down the lever and waited. I put my plate on the table, a knife, and a glass of milk. After a few minutes I went to check on my toast – it was still white. I waited some more and still it was white. I waited a really, really long time, and still it was white! What was wrong?! I thought, surely the toaster must be broken. For the bread ought to be nice and brown by now! Oh, I wanted my toast so bad with mom's fresh strawberry jam! I could just about taste its sweetness on my eager little tongue! But, it mattered not how long I waited – nothing happened. No, nothing at all!

Then I began to cry. It just didn't matter what, the bread was not being toasted. Tears made there way down my cheeks and fell to the floor below. It was then, that I heard my mom's loving voice float into the room, “My little deary, what is the matter?” “Oh, mother,” I answered, “I just wanted some toast with the delicious jam you made last night, but try as I might, the bread just stays white!”

“Oh, don't worry sweetie,” Mom said, as she walked over to where the toaster sat so cold upon our kitchen counter. I watched carefully to see what the matter might be. Then, she peered to the back, and said, “My love, the toaster's not plugged in!”

Ah, in no time at all, I could smell that wonderful aroma of warm toast wafting toward my nose! Now I knew that soon I'd be biting into that toast loaded with mom's oh so sweet strawberry jam!

Trying Oh So Hard to Be Good!

Now, if you're a Christian already, but are bothered that you still do so many bad things. Then I want to tell you some really good news! Then too, maybe you are trying really hard to do good things for God, but its just not quite turning out like you thought it should. Well, you just have got to listen to the awesome news I've got for you!

You see, we are just like that toaster that wouldn't toast the bread! We can do nothing by ourselves! Remember, you could do nothing good that would make you become a Christian. Rather God gave it to you as a gift! For God sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay for all your sin. Well, neither can we live like Christians should by trying to be good! No, instead we need to be “plugged into Jesus”! You see, Jesus didn't stay in the grave, but rose back to life the third day! It is the living Jesus that has come to live in us, and He is the one who is able to live the life we can't! It is Jesus who gives us the victory over sin in our lives! Jesus is the answer! Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

So, just as Jesus is the only answer for a person who is a sinner, so Jesus is the only answer for every Christian! Just as the toaster was useless apart from being “plugged in,” so we are useless if we are trying by our own effort to live like a Christian should! Neither can we impress God by trying to do stuff for Him! For we will just end up with “white bread”! Rather, we need to let God tell us what we should be doing. Then let Jesus work through us! Listen to what God says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) So then, remember that you will be like an unplugged toaster if you are trying to live like a Christian in your own power! However, when the toaster is plugged in, the electricity can power the toaster! So then, we ought to be thanking Jesus that He lives in us and thank Him that He is able to do all that He asks of us! Listen now to this! “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

To put it very simply: Jesus is your answer to get saved, Jesus is your answer for this life, Jesus is your answer to get you into Heaven. Trust Jesus! Let Him be Lord of your life!

The riches
of the glory of this mystery,
which is
Christ in you,
the hope of glory.”
Colossians 1:27b

It is God who works in you,
both to will
and to work
for his good pleasure.”
Philippians 2:13

    *Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

January 12, 2016

The Ten Commandments; Why We Got it All Wrong!

Why We Got it All Wrong!

I ask, have you ever wondered why God gave these 10 rules? What was God's purpose in giving these commandments? Did God really think that we could obey them?! Perhaps God just intended them as a betterment to society in general? Then again, maybe God was bringing down His angry fist, and saying, “You better stop sinning and do what is good, or else I will bring down my rod on you in fierce anger!”
Well, I'm afraid that many well meaning, and maybe some not-so-well-meaning folk, have made a monumental error in applying these 10 rules! We must get to the bottom of the real reason for the giving of these commandments!


Let us first, list the 10 rules, that we can see what they are.

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I am the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.
    Exodus 20:3-17


The first reason that God gave us these rules is that we might get to know Him. You see, these rules show us the character of God. They let us know that He is perfectly holy. That is, He is without sin and does that which is good without fail. In fact, in rule #2, we see the incredible love of God! We also see how God protects people. Can you imagine a world were people could steal your stuff, take your wife, daughter, mother, and use them as they want, murder, and lie, without any repercussions whatever? I ask, what would you think of God if He would permit such things with no consequences? We see then, that God has people's best interest in mind. In the end, all people will be judged fairly by God.


Now, we must look at the question, “Did God really think that we could obey them?” The short answer is, no. “What?!” you say. “Why did He give them to us then?!” That, is an excellent question! You see, this is where most people go wrong. They think that God wants us to keep these rules. They think that we must follow them if we want to go to Heaven. They think that we must obey them as Christians, either, as a “moral law” to follow, or to maintain our salvation. Yet, both are devastatingly wrong! Both will lead to utter failure. There will be failure to reach Heaven, and failure to live as a Christian ought. Let me explain.

Let's say you enter a new road. What is one of the first things you look for? You look for a speed limit sign, right? Why? So that you can do the right thing, by driving the correct speed, and avoid doing the bad, because you don't want to get penalized! Now, what if God had given no rules? How would you know what was acceptable and unacceptable to your Creator-God? Paul the apostle, himself says that, “Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, 'You shall not covet.'” (Romans 7:7) These rules, then, alert us to danger: the danger of offending a holy Creator-God!

“So then,” you ask, “What is the point in knowing what these rules are, if we can't obey them like we should?!” I say, do you always obey the speed limit signs? No?! Either intentionally or otherwise, we have all broken these set limits at times. This then, makes the point, that even though we know the rules, that they themselves don't have the power to cause us to obey them! Neither do we in ourselves always have the strength to listen to them!


You say, “But surely, all God requires, is that we do the best we can, right?” Wrong. For James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” I ask, how many laws do you have to break in the country you live in before you're held accountable to the authorities? Maybe ten or twenty? “Oh no,” you say! “All you have to break is one law and you're in deep trouble!” Then why, I ask, would God who is holy be any different than an imperfect judicial system on Earth? You must understand, then, that God demands 100% perfection from us all. “What!” you exclaim, “Impossible!” If that is your conclusion, then I am most delighted! “Why?” you say. Well, because you have come a long way in understanding the purpose for which God gave these 10 rules!


I wonder now, have you ever tried to convince a child, or adult for that matter, that there was some kind of dirt on their face? Ever have them argue that they didn't? What did you tell them when they made that argument? “Go, look in a mirror, and then you'll see it!” Isn't that right?! Of course, a mirror does a fantastic job in reflecting the unwanted grime on our faces! This, then, is another purpose for the 10 rules. They act like a mirror, they show us God's perfect holiness, and our shortcoming of that holy standard. You see, we tend to compare ourselves with other people, usually with those less perfect then ourselves. However, God compares us with Himself! The question is not, how do I compare with so-and-so, but how do I compare with the perfectly holy Creator-God?! The simple answer is, that we have miserably failed! The mirror of the law has shown us that we are filthy! It shows us that we need a good scrubbing!

Sadly, many people think that the rules are to be used to try scrub ourselves clean, either as Christians, or otherwise. Yet, I ask, have you ever tried to wash yourself with a mirror? “Oh,no!” you say, “That would never work!” You're right! The truth is, that it would make an even bigger mess than what you had in the first place! That is why it is written, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20) So, if the 10 rules can't make me clean: if I can't make myself clean, then what or who can?!


Well, at long last, we have finally come down to the core purpose for God giving us these 10 commandments! For the law is “Not laid down for the just but for...sinners, for the unholy.” (1 Timothy 1:9) These rules then, not only show us that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” but that we need someone to save us, because we can't save ourselves!

It can be extremely difficult for us to admit that we have failed, and that we can never be good enough on our own to become acceptable to God! Yet, it absolutely critical that we “give up”! That is, that we stop trying to make ourselves good enough for Heaven! God simply says that by “The law no human being will be justified in his sight.” (Romans 3:20) Look, even if you get a grade of 99%, it is not good enough! The reality is that you are still a sinner! Neither can our good outweigh the bad! For God says, “All our righteousness are as filthy rags.” (**Isaiah 64:6)

Look, God gave the 10 rules that we might know that we can do nothing to save ourselves! He gave us these laws, that we might know that we are in an utterly hopelessly lost condition! The real point is that we need HELP! We need to recognize that we are in quicksand up to our armpits and we can do absolutely nothing to help ourselves get out of our predicament and into Heaven! Listen! Just as a drowning man needs a lifeguard, so we need someone to save us from our sins! Also, just as a criminal needs a pardon, so we need someone to pardon us! Yet, God says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness [or pardon] of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22)

This then, totally puts salvation beyond our reach! For can I die for my sins? Well, yes, you can, but the price is extraordinarily steep! It means spending eternity in the Lake of Fire! For we read, “The Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10) This then, brings self to a “dead-end”! This then, is the reason that God Himself, has given us the remedy! He has shown us the way that we can be forgiven our sin and have our friendship with our Creator-God restored! This is why we read, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (**John 3:16) Jesus Himself, also said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)


How does Jesus save us? Is it by his birth or good life He lived? No. Rather, it is written that we, “Are justified by grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation [or satisfaction] by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:24-25) Another scripture puts it like this, “God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Look, Jesus took the full punishment of God for 100% of your sin! He in turn gives you His righteousness! This, my dear reader, is your only hope! The Bible says that “The LORD has laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

Listen, the only real question remaining is, will you trust Him as your Savior? Do you truly believe that Jesus took the full wrath of His Father for all of your sin? Will you rest fully in Jesus as your own Savior? And yes, he did make full “satisfaction” for your sin, for God the Father raised His Son back to life on the third day, showing that He was fully satisfied with what had taken place on that cruel cross!

Listen, God promises, “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

I say, take a look in the “mirror,” and you'll know that you are indeed a sinner – just admit i!. For the Bible says, “A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17b) Again, “This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

I repeat, “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Please! Don't chose to go to Hell. Cry out to God right now to save you! This that you might “know that you have eternal life”! (1 John 5:13)

Victor J. Reimer

    *Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

January 07, 2016

My Substitute Teacher; A Bible Lesson for Children

My substitute teacher
A Bible Lesson
for Children

Mia's Teachers

“Mrs. Ziegler is my favorite teacher!” Mia excitedly told her Aunt Jana one day.

“Why is that?” asked her aunt.

“Well, you see, she always treats us so nice and does fun things with us!” replied Mia.

However, one day when Mia arrived at school, she found that her teacher was not there. Instead, there was a different teacher – a substitute teacher! Mia wanted to cry, but she didn't want to embarrass herself in front of her classmates. Mia was very sad.

Then the substitute teacher walked to the front of the class and announced that they could call him Mr. Wei. He then continued by saying, “Mrs. Ziegler is ill today. I am not sure when she will be back again, but I will take her place for now.

Now Mia was really sad. She couldn't hold back her tears any more. The tears just streamed down poor Mia's face! She was sobbing so loud, that Mr. Wei could here her, even though she was sitting in the far back corner of the classroom!

Her substitute teacher walked over and asked, “What's the matter my little dear?”

“I just want my regular teacher back,” sobbed Mia.

“She'll be back, just as soon as she gets well,” assured Mr. Wei.

After a few days, Mia began to rather like her substitute teacher, or sub, as they would sometimes call him for short. It didn't take long and Mia became her old energetic self again! Though, deep down, she really did miss Mrs. Ziegler a lot, but now she new that soon she'd be back. That is, as soon as she could get better!

A couple weeks slipped by, and then one fine day, Mr. Wei told the class, “I won't be coming in any more, Mrs. Ziegler will be back in tomorrow! She has gotten well at last!”

Mia didn't know what to think, she had come to rather like both teachers. Actually, I think her sub had gotten to quite like the class too! He was a very kind teacher!

Another Substitute

At this time, I would like to tell you about another substitute. I want to tell you about someone who also likes children very much – in fact – he loves them! His name is Jesus.

Now, we know from the Bible that Jesus is God. This Jesus, being God the Father's Son, left Heaven to come to this Earth as a person – though He was still God at the same time. You know, kind of like someone can be a mom and a nurse at the same time!

Well, while Jesus was on Earth, the children were coming to Him. We read, “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, 'Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” (Mark 10:13-16)

You know, I believe that Jesus really loves children a lot! Just how much? Well, we'll see in a little bit. Just hang in there!

Do you remember how the teacher needed a substitute? Do you remember why the teacher needed a substitute? The teacher, Mrs. Ziegler, needed a substitute because she was sick! Now, did you know that you also need a substitute? Oh, not because you can't teach, or because you are sick! No, there is a different reason. Let us see why that is.

Now, I'm sure that the school you are in, has certain rules, right? What happens when someone doesn't listen to one of those rules? Ah, they get into trouble! Now, listen, how many rules does one have to break to get into trouble? That's right, just one rule! We could say, that there are consequences for bad behavior, right? Yes, there are always consequences for bad behavior!

Well, God also has rules, and if we break even one of His rules we are in trouble too! You see, just like your teacher is in charge of your class, so God is in charge of the whole world! Just like you have to answer to your teacher, so you also have to answer to God!

So what are God's rules? Well, He has 10 special rules, known as the 10 commandments. We won't look at them all – just a few. We find these: “You shall have no other gods,” “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain,” “Honor your father and your mother,” and “You shall not steal.” (See Exodus 20:1-21) I ask, have you always listened to your parents? Have you ever taken something that did not belong to you?

Hmmmm, I wonder now, what would happen if you broke one of those rules? Well, God tells us in the Bible He gave us, that, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Now, that doesn't sound very good at all, does it?! No, I don't think so either. Yet, God must punish our sin, He can't pretend it didn't happen. Understand too, that this “death,” is talking not just about us dying. It is really talking about us being separated from God because of our sin. You see, God is holy, and a holy God cannot be with people that aren't holy.

Now, remember that time when you looked in the mirror, and you saw just how dirty your face was? Wow, that may have been a real surprise to you! So God's rules work like a mirror too. Oh, we don't see a dirty face, but we see how bad we are. We see how often we have broken God's rules. You see, we are in BIG trouble with God because of our sin! No, God cannot be with such sinful people as us. Oh, whatever are we to do! We are in such BIG trouble!

Do you think if you tried really hard to be good that that might help? Well, God says that all the good we try to do, are like “filthy rags” to Him! (**Isaiah 64:6) That is, all that good, is like extra dirty clothes to God! Oh, you see, no matter what we do, we just can't fix ourselves, so that God can be with us again! No, we failed God's test. We flunked!

But, you know what? God still loves you – even when you have been so bad! Remember, that I said we would see later, just how much God loves us? Well, that is what we want to look at right now. Do you remember how the substitute came in to take the teacher's place? I ask now, did the teacher have to teach you and answer all your questions and help you, while you had your substitute? No. She didn't need to do anything! Now, listen carefully. You also need a substitute. You need someone who is willing to be punished for you naughtiness instead of you! That is, as your substitute. Listen, this is exactly what Jesus came to do for you! He came to be punished by death on the cross for all of your sin! That is how much He loves you! Incredible isn't it! And neither is there anything you have to do – Jesus did it all for you, just like the substitute teacher did everything for the teacher that couldn't be there because he was ill!

Look, Jesus says that he wants to be friends with you right now! He doesn't want to see you get punished for your sin. He wants you to be able to forget about it. He wants you to be joyful! He wants you to be with Him forever in His awesomely beautiful Heaven! Don't you want that? No, nobody wants to go to the awful place of fire, called Hell, when they have to leave this Earth. No, God does not want that for you at all. That is why He was willing to be your substitute! That is what He did for you by coming and dying on that awful cross! He took your place!

The Bible says, “For God so loved the world [including you!], that he gave his only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believeth in him [including you!] should not perish, but have eternal life.” (**John 3:16)

Look, Jesus just wants you to trust Him, that what He did for you on the cross was enough! Listen, there is nothing you have to do, to try to be good enough for Heaven – it is God, who makes you good enough for Heaven!

His Promises

Listen to this promise: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Here is yet another wonderful promise from Jesus: “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37b)

One last thing. We can “know” for sure that we'll be in Heaven if we trust Jesus as the one who is able to save us completely. For, we read, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13) This only makes sense, because if Jesus was already punished for all your sin, then how could God punish you again for the same thing?! Makes no sense! You are indeed safe, if you trust Jesus as the one who is able to save you!

Victor J. Reimer

    *Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

January 02, 2016

How To Know Which Religion is The Correct One?



With an estimated 4,200 religions in the world1, how are we ever to figure out the right one? Then again, maybe they are all right, it just being a matter of all roads ending up at the same destination? Then too, we find that an amazing 84% of the Earth's population belongs to some religion or another 2. That means over 6.1 billion people in the world are religious! These kind of numbers are rather hard to ignore! Could it be that over 84% of the world's population is delusional? Surely, there must be something to these numbers!


Someone once made an interesting observation. They noted that human beings are not able to come up with any completely brand new concept. For example, we cannot think up a new primary color. All we do is rearrange that which already exists. Therefore, there must be a god. We could not have dreamed up something like this without such a being existing.

Further, as we study the nature around us, we must realize that there must be a designer. Yet, some take a jab at those who believe in some god, by saying, “Well, who made God?” In this, they have cornered themselves. For who, or what, made the “dot” from which came the “big bang”? They cannot answer this question! No doubt, if you saw a piece of art, you would naturally ask, “Who is the artist?” When we gaze upon the flowers of the meadow and the stars of the heavens, we too, should ask ourselves, “Who is the artist?”

What about “right” and “wrong”? Why should we even care, if their is no god of any kind? If there be no “here after”? Yet, we all say, “That is wrong,” when we see something we see as “bad.” Why is it that we have such a sense? Why all the beauty about us? Why do we have emotions of love and joy, if there is nothing to our existence but an accident? Clearly, there must be a god of some kind! Certainly, there must be a future beyond this life! Yet, who has the truth? What religion? How do we know? Why is that there is “good” and “evil” in the world?

I further ask, why is it that some 84% of the planet's populace even wants religion at all? What is it that humanity in general is searching out? However, I believe that even the other 16% believes something, we all must, it is how we are wired. For even atheists are attempting to find meaning and purpose in life. We find them searching the universe to find life out there somewhere! Why, why is it, that all of humanity is trying to figure out why we are here?


Let us begin to come up with some answers to these myriad of questions. First off, it seems that no matter the religion, we believe that somehow we are answerable to a “higher power” of some kind. Most of us believe that there is an “after life” of some form. That there is some greater purpose than just our puny existence down here! The majority are persuaded that we are morally accountable in some fashion. The only difference is to whom, and to what extent.

If this be so, then we must ask ourselves, “Who is God?” We must also ask, “How can I know I'll be fine for the life after this one?”

Let us begin with, “Who is God?” We have already drawn several conclusions above, but let us just mention them again here. We have noted that God must be the one who made all things. We also concluded that we are answerable to him. This then, would explain why we see all this beauty around us. For the Creator-God made it so. It also explains why we have a sense of “right” and “wrong,” because there is a God who so designed it. We also know that there is a “here after, “ because our Creator-God has so made us humans to exist forever!


Therefore, God must also be a “good” God, or else He would be unable to judge us after this life is over. For God to be against “evil,” must mean that He is not evil, but pure or holy. Yet, someone may interject, “If God is good, why all the evil around us?” Good question! We must realize that God is a God who is characterized by love. That being so, He gives us a choice as to whether we want to love Him in return, or rebel against Him. God is not about to make a bunch of robots to bow to Him. I don't really think we would want a bunch of robots for friends and family instead of human beings who want to be with us and show genuine love to us!. This then, explains why there is so much evil in the world. For there are many who do not love the Creator-God. They are living in rebellion and are reaping the consequences for so doing!


You ask, “Then why is there so much religion in the world, if people don't love God?” Ah, yet another fantastic question! You see, there are only two paths a person can choose. We can either attempt to enter the “good place” God has made by our efforts, or we can accept the way God has made for us to enter that “good place,” after our life here is complete. Therefore, I make this shocking statement, “All religion, is mankind's effort to somehow do enough good, in order to be able to somehow earn our own way into God's “good place.” However, God says, in the Holy Bible, that He has given us, that we can only come “His way.” We find then, that all of religion is a deception to mislead us. Religion cannot change a person. It merely tries to make us into something we are not. Religion tells us what to do, but gives us zero power to do it. This is the reason why we see so little love in the world. In fact, we will often see different religions fighting against one another!


We must understand that God has given us the truth in His Holy Bible that He has given to us. Yet, most have twisted God's Word, in order to make it say what they want. They still leave you trying to appease God. To somehow, by your own effort, get your way into God's holy Heaven. Indeed, we find the Scriptures replete with warnings of false teachers, dressed in sheep's clothing who will attempt to mislead the people. Therefore, we find thousands of people in the world, misled by religion. The bare truth is, that religion will never save anyone. It will not get one single person into God's holy Heaven.


We must understand that God, created a perfect Earth in the beginning. He created this Earth without evolution: He made it in six literal days. On day six, God made Adam, the first human, a man, and then Eve, his wife. They were enjoying the Earth God had made. However, the deceiver Satan, would come and tempt Eve to do evil. Now, Satan was formerly called Lucifer, and was God's top angel. However, Lucifer rebelled against God and lost his place in Heaven. This is the deceiver that is also at work in the world today. This deceiver, loves religion, but hates God! This Satan, was able to deceive Eve, and Adam went along with it all. These two were responsible in plunging the entire human race into sin and separation from our holy, Creator-God. Ever since this time, mankind has felt this separation from God. For we have all, in Adam and Eve, partaken of the “Forbidden Tree” - “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Indeed, we all have some sense of some things being “good,” and other things being “evil.” Yet, we are left without the power to be perfect human beings, and this is the reason we see so much “evil” in the world today. In no wise, can we expect peace and good to prevail in the Earth, when we are in defiance of our Creator-God!


We conclude then, that all religion is useless. It might give us some false sense of hope, but it will always let us down. Religion looks to “self,” to rescue “itself.” This will never do. For how could a drowning man rescue himself? It makes no sense! The drowning man needs a lifeguard to rescue them, and so, we need someone to rescue us from our sin that has separated us from the holy Creator-God! For none of us wants to spend eternity in the “bad place” that God has prepared for Satan and the unholy angels (demons), that rebelled against God!

There is a way
that seems right to a man
its end
is the way to death.”
Proverbs 16:25


So, who will save us from our sin and its consequences, of spending eternity in the Lake of Fire? God will. He Himself, came to Earth in the body of a person and went to the cross to die: thus He took the penalty for all our sin! Look, the remedy does not lie with me. Neither does the remedy lie with religion. For neither one nor the other can rescue me. God Himself is the remedy. It is He, who reached down to man, because we could not reach up to Him! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the remedy for our sin. He is our Rescuer! He bore the penalty of death for our sin! Thus we are set free from being slaves to sin, to that which is “evil.” It is by Jesus Christ's death that he forgives us and gives us “everlasting life”!

We must understand, that neither self, nor religion, is the answer, but Jesus Christ and Him crucified! We read in God's Holy Word, “Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Again, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (**John 3:16) Once more, “For by grace [favor of God] you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Simply put, we need to stop trusting the good we are trying to do, that is trusting“self,” and no longer trust religion, but simply place our trust in Jesus Christ alone. We need to rest solely in Him, realizing that what He did by dying on the cross, was adequate to save me. There is nothing at all that “I” need to do to gain “everlasting life.” All I need is to trust that what Jesus did is enough to pay off in full my sin-debt! This is the only way to be reconciled to our Creator-God. Yes, it was us who rebelled against Him by us breaking His rules. We ought to have paid the penalty ourselves, but, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” so “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish [go to Hell], but have everlasting life.”


It may be very hard to be honest with oneself, but we must. I too, had to admit that I had thought wrong! What, I ask, is the point to living in rebellion against God? What is the point in going our own way? We will never prevail against God! He is the judge we must all stand before, and how shall we stand before Him if we are guilty?! The sinner literally has Hell to pay by persistently defying their Creator-God! It is time right now to acknowledge to God that you are indeed a guilty sinner who deserves to be cast into Hell forever because of your sin that you have sinned against your Creator-God!

Religion and self could not save me, or change me. It was Jesus Christ who saved and changed me into a brand new creature. I give all the glory to my Creator-God for being willing to reach out and save me by Him going to the cross in my place! Will you trust Him too?

God promises in the Bible that, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord WILL BE SAVED.” (Romans 10:13)

Victor J. Reimer

*Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2.Washington Post