Christian, Inspirational

Tell and Turn

1 John 1:9 KJV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This is a promise.

Proper baptism covers past sins, but what do we do if we sin after baptism? First and foremost we should fear God and strive not to sin. We have to value Jesus’ sacrifice. 

There are those that preach a difference between public sin and private sin and intentional and unintentional sin. These preachers do great damage to the Kingdom of God. One preaches 1 John 1:9 doesn’t apply to private sin another says 1 John 1:9 is not for intentional sin. I know from past experience how hard it is to confess. These preachers make it harder. There is darkness and death in silence.

I once typed a page with my sins, printed about 30 copies, and handed it out at church because I could not find the courage to speak it publicly. I also called the police once and confessed to them for a past deed that troubled me greatly. It is both scary and difficult to confess, especially if you are denied a forum.

What are the requirements of confession? 

What is the purpose?

I believe confession is made to another, not just praying silently to God for forgiveness. James 5:16. He already knows them, so where is the confession, if this is all we do?

The purpose of confession is to tell and turn, to bring darkness to light, death to life. Repentance walks hand in hand with confession. We are sorry for our sin and we will quit the sinful activity. 

Don’t die in your sins. Tell and Turn.

Proverbs 28:13 KJV He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

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Christian, Inspirational

A Matter of Degrees

I worry for the future of the Church. I had a recent conversation with someone attending a Church of Christ preaching school in which he said everyone who was not of the Church of Christ denomination was unrighteous.  I have heard before of certain denominations or individual churches believing they were the only ones saved, but was somewhat shocked that this was the spirit of a church I attend.

Is this the future spirit of the Church? The Bible tells us the righteous are scarcely saved. 1 Peter 4:18. And yet I have not found a congregation that worships perfectly. Where is that church, one that keeps the Ten Commandments and understands the gospel?

There are keys of Salvation that cross denominational barriers? 

  1. John 3:16 Belief in Jesus
  2. Mark 16:16 Correct Water Baptism
  3. 1 John 1:9 Forgiveness After Baptism


Does the use of musical instruments in worship make one unrighteous? Does receiving sprinkling as an infant make a person unrighteous? Does not keeping the Sabbath make one unrighteous? 

It’s a matter of degrees from the straight and narrow. Being unable to discern God is accepting of both a cappella and musical worship may not make one worthy of damnation. However, believing you are holier because you only worship a cappella may be a stumbling block. Being sprinkled with water as an infant doesn’t make one unrighteous. However choosing not to read the Holy Bible to learn baptism requires knowledge of Jesus, knowledge of sin for repentance, and being immersed by another in the name of Jesus or in the name if the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost may jeapordize one’s salvation. Keeping the Sabbath is a commandment, yet we are told not to judge one another in regard to the keeping of holy days. Colossians 2:16.

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Christian, Inspirational

Hurdles

I have had a few conversations recently that disturbed me. One was that all Catholics are going to Hell. The other was that unless you’re Church of Christ you’re unrighteous.

My viewpoint is that God’s chosen, Christ’s Bride will be taken from among various denominations. These chosen are people that learn the Word and follow it. Nonetheless there are people attending certain denominations which have greater hurdles to overcome to be among those going to Heaven.

Catholics – The greatest challenge is proper baptism. Sprinkling water on babies or baptizing children with no understanding does nothing. Children must be able to understand who Jesus is. Repenting of their sins requires knowledge of sin. Proper baptism is confession of Jesus as Christ, repentance of sin, and being completely immersed in water, or baptized, by another in the name of Jesus or in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Another concern is praying to Saints and Angels instead of Jesus only. Confession is appropriate, but penance in the form of repeating prayers is not scriptural.

Church of Christ – Believing in the power of God and discerning the law of Jesus. They misinterpret 1 Corinthians 13:10 to mean an end of miracles. They cannot read New Testament commands such as those found in Corinthians. Additionally, they do not understand the Lord’s Prayer, nor can they see that all the Ten Commandments are still to be followed.

Baptist – Again baptism is an issue. From my understanding they consider it a public profession of Christ. It is more than that. It is being baptized into the family of Christ and being forgiven of previous sins by his blood. They also do not offer the Lord’s Supper every Sunday.

Mormon – I am convinced there are decent Mormons, but they face a large hurdle. They follow a false prophet and a false book. I think to obtain salvation their best course would be to leave the Mormon Church.

I realize there are many more denominations, but one of the hurdles listed above probably applies.  It bothers me greatly that one denomination or preacher should say to all others – we are going to Heaven and everyone else is going to Hell. Take a good long look in the mirror. To those that have shall be given more. To those that have not, even what they think they have shall be taken away.

I do not know if people with partial deafness can make it to Heaven. Remember 1 John 1:9. It is the only opportunity for forgiveness after receiving water baptism. When you find the strength correct others with the Word. Hearing comes by the Word of God. If they do not listen, you did your part and yet remains James 5:20!

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Christian

Is your heart right with God?

Mine isn’t.

I was baptized by immersion in water by a Church of Christ preacher in the name of Jesus in 1983.

Since that time I have walked in sin.

Why do I care now at 46? Why do I share my story?

Around eleven years ago I actually started reading the Holy Bible. Once asked a few years later if I knew the Ten Commandments I could only name six or seven of them. 

Since then I devoted them to memory. I consider that a step in the right direction. In fact actually reading the Bible on my own was a step in the right direction. I still struggle (not always devoting much effort on my part) with the Ten Commandments and the same two addictions I had when I started reading the Bible all those years ago.

The addictions I’ve struggled with are porn and smoking. I looked at porn on December 10th, 2017 and smoked around two packs of cigarettes on Dec 16th. Additionally, I have not been keeping the Sabbath faithfully.

I would like to have my heart right with God. I’d like to make it to Heaven. I cling to 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16.

I want to keep his commandments and walk in the light, but feel like I’m stagnating in sin. For those of you that have read this before and it seems like the same old story, I feel your concern. Please persevere yourselves and remember me in your prayers.

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