What is important and what isn’t? Can Christians waste their whole life doing things that will not count in the end? What counts is faith, and faith expresses itself through love (Galatians 5:6). Is that a true statement?
Would you recognize what faith was if you heard it or saw it (James 2:18)? Can a person live in sin, and yet think they were in the faith? On the other hand, is it possible that a person could sin and yet be blameless? Both of those are possible, but how does that work according to what is written? Can you answer these questions according to what is written in your Bible?
Jesus commanded us to love one another (John 13:34-35). What is love and how do we do it? Does your version of what love is match God’s version in 1 John 3:14-19? If not, who needs to change? What are acts of righteousness, and is it possible to do acts of righteousness and not receive a reward from Heaven? Read the verses below and see.
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. NKJV
Yes it is possible to do what we think is right and not receive what we expect because we didn’t follow the evidence of things not seen, which is faith (Hebrews 11:1). That means we can try to do what is right and yet get it all wrong due to our own ignorance of the instructions. Even concerning the Gospel, we have to mix faith with what is written or it will be of no value to us.
2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. NKJV
Imagine that, and ask yourself if you are living according to faith? We have to live by faith (Romans 1:16-17). God is not going to treat us like He treated David just because we know about David. No, if we have the faith of David, God would treat us like He treated David. As it is written, “those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham” (Galatians 3:9)!
Faith is not something that we just sit around and dream up. By faith Noah built the ark (Hebrews 11:7). God gave Noah the evidence of things not seen (there is a flood coming), and the instructions to follow in order to save his family, which was his hope (build the ark according to the instruction I give you). The same is true of all who live by faith. Either we find out what the instructions are and then obey them, or we can follow what sounds good and seems right which could cost us our life.
12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. NKJV
25 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. NKJV
Do those verses tell you anything about what may seem right even to a well-meaning person? No, our instructions are clear and they are found in the New Covenant (agreement). We are instructed to live by faith and not by what we can see (2 Corinthians 5:7, Galatians 2:20, 3:11). Close your eyes and do what God told you to do! Believe in the Son (John 6:28-29). What did the Son command us to do? What is written in John 13:34-35 and 1 John 3:23? The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6).
Faith is what counts and faith always includes the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Jesus didn’t command us to march around something seven times. He didn’t command us to build an ark. Get the instructions right and we will receive what is promised.
We don’t know the written evidence found in scripture, and therefore we experience destruction. God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge and not because we have the devil as an enemy (Hosea 4:6). The devil has to seek someone to devour, and our job is to resist him by standing firm in the faith (1 Peter 5:8-11).
Think about this. If you are not standing in the faith, but standing on what seems right, how can you resist the devil?
1 Peter 5:8-11
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. NKJV
So, when I get an email about praying for Mr. so and so, followed by “he’s always in church,” “he’s always gives to the such and such fund,” and “he’s just got the devil on his back,” I might still inquire about his faith. And then they will say, well we just want you to pray for him, to which I will say ok and think to myself, “would he be healed today if he would simply repent of the past and follow the instructions according to what is written and not according to what is figured through worldly wisdom?”
I have a question for you. Can God protect us from the devil according to the following verses, and if He can, why is it that every Christian does not know these verses?
2 Thessalonians 3:1-4
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. NKJV
1 John 5:18
18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. NKJV
The devil this and the devil that. Don’t waste your life blaming the devil for something you caused. What does obeying Jesus have to do with stopping sin in our life so that the devil cannot touch us? Love causes the darkness in us to pass to the point of there being nothing on the “inside of us’ that could make us sin (1 John 2:8-11). Therefore, the person who obeys Jesus will have to be temped into sin from the outside and God will not allow him to be tempted beyond what he can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). Consequently, the Christian life becomes a choice rather than a life long struggle (Romans 6:15-22). Now if I am wrong about those on TV and radio leading millions to their death, please tell me where to turn in order to hear this teaching?
People who don’t want to hear the verses about sin ignore them and surround themselves with those of like mind (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Therefore, the part they reject is hidden from their eyes (Hebrews 2:1, Mark 4:24-25). As a result, when they read about Jonah and the big fish, they can’t see the repentance of Nineveh (Jonah 4:10-11). Why? They have rejected repentance and a baptism of repentance in keeping with John’s baptism, which requires works benefitting repentance (Luke 3:7-14, Acts 26:20, John 15:16). They know all about Daniel and the lions, and yet they can’t see why God did not allow the lions to hurt Daniel (Daniel 6:22). That’s because they have rejected faith in the area of remaining blameless.
If you don’t think so, then write down on a piece of paper how we are instructed to remain blameless in God’s sight according to the evidence. You’ve been in church for twenty years and have instructed people concerning the Christian life, so surely you have taught them according to the faith. Therefore, go ahead and answer that question before you read the verses below.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight -23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. NKJV
If your answer did not include “we have to continue in our faith” then you were dead wrong. Faith is a condition of justification, but we have rejected Hebrews 10:36-39 and therefore it is no longer taught. Therefore, if Hebrews 10:36-39 is truth, how many millions even among those who attend church services every week will not make it? When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch. The only thing the blind can do is to go back and read the verses that they do not like, accepting them and believing them just like they are written. Then they will be able to see.
You can walk around all day saying that God is able to protect you from the lions, and still get eaten. However, if you have the faith of Daniel, God will treat you like He treated Daniel.
I’m Alan Ballou; a servant.