“Just believe. Ask Jesus into your heart. Say the sinner’s prayer. You will be saved, and it is impossible to lose your salvation.”
Those words are popular, but are they true? If we just believe for salvation, why are we told to then ask and pray? What is it, just believe or ask and pray?
Where does the Bible say to “just believe” for salvation? It certainly teaches us to believe, but where does it say to just believe? Doesn’t the Bible teach us that it is only a convicted, trusting, obedient, working faith that saves? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to repent of our sins for salvation? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to confess our faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, for salvation? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to be baptized for salvation?
A cartoon in the newspaper showed a little boy and girl around their Easter baskets on Easter morning. “Who colored all these eggs?” the little boy asked. “The Easter bunny” said the girl. “Who gave us the jelly beans?” asked the little boy. “The Easter bunny” said the girl. “And the chocolate rabbit?” asked the boy. “The Easter bunny” said the girl. In the next frame the family goes to worship and the preacher proclaims, “…they came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled back. Who could have done this?” The little boy hollers out, “The Easter bunny?”
On this Easter Sunday I thought it important for us to ask, “What does the Bible say about celebrating Christ’s resurrection?” Here are three important answers from God’s word.
“Booster, booster, be a booster. Don’t be grouchy like a rooster. Booster, booster, be a booster. And, BOOST our Bible school!”
When I was just a kid, I loved singing that song and throwing my fist into the air at the end of it. That’s the kind of enthusiasm I pray would ignite in all our hearts for Bible school.
How do you picture God? An old man with a grey beard holding a lightning bolt in His hand ready to strike you down at your first mistake? Someone too busy to get involved in your life or the affairs of this world?
The Bible reveals a much different picture of God.
Some don’t understand how God could allow the suffering in this world, nor how He could ever send anyone to hell.
Let me say, I don’t understand it all either. No one does. Our finite minds cannot completely comprehend the infinite God!
The Bible says, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! ‘For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?’” (Romans 11:33-34).
What do you think about the idea of an eternally powerful divine being who created this universe? The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
Some don’t believe there is a God. They have never seen Him, so how can they know there is a God? Paul helps us with this: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:20-21). What he is saying is that the only reasonable, logical explanation for this world is God. If not God, where did the world come from?
New resolutions. Talk to God about them. Let Him direct you in them. Keep Him in the center of each one of them. Use them for His glory.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
New relationships. Some are no longer with us. Others will come into our lives. All will change with time. Bring God’s love, understanding, patience and forgiveness to every relationship. Let Him give you a new heart for the New Year.
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”
According to the King James Bible, Jesus teaches us to pray these words: “Lead us not into temptation.” Pope Francis says, “It’s not a good translation. It is I who fall, it is not God who throws me into temptation and then sees how I fell.” He suggests we pray “do not let us fall into temptation.”
The problem is not in translation. The King James Version of Jesus’ model prayer is a very literal translation. Jesus really did say, “Lead us not into temptation.”
1. When was Jesus born?
2. Was Jesus born in a stable?
3. Did the wise men come to the manger when Jesus was born?
4. How many wise men visited Jesus?
5. How many gifts did they bring to Jesus?
6. How many times does the Bible mention “Christmas”?
7. Did the church of the New Testament observe a Christmas holiday?
When Christians were being severely persecuted for their faith, Jesus revealed in a vision to John, His beloved apostle, a message of comfort and hope.
"And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?' And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals'" (Revelation 5:1-5).
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
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Fort Worth, TX 76135