Sometimes it is hard to get a believer to believe. By Alan Ballou
It’s an amazing thing when someone believes the actual Word of God, as if it came straight from God. You can see it in their face, and they are so excited!
Imagine attending church services your entire life, and for the first time in twenty years, God actually answers “your” prayer, as soon as you ask Him. At that point, the Christian life becomes real. It becomes personal, but then you will ask yourself, “Why did it take twenty years?”
I personally don’t like using the words “personal relationship,” not because it isn’t a personal relationship, but because that can be easily misinterpreted in such a way as to reject teaching Christians to obey Jesus. Very few Christians today even realize that we are supposed to be teaching people to obey Jesus, and I believe that using words like “personal relationship” is the cause.
The Bible doesn’t say go have a personal relationship with Jesus. Read the “Great Commission” below, which should be a part of the vision statement of any godly organization, and then read part of the doctrine of Jesus, found in John 14 (below).
Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. NKJV
According to Jesus Christ, in the Words above, how exactly are we supposed to make His followers? We are supposed to baptize them, and teach them to observe all things that He commanded. That’s how we make disciples of Jesus Christ, and that is what we should be teaching.
However, when new Christians stand up to say, “That’s not right,” and “We should be teaching people to have a personal relationship with Jesus,” then we should realize that they didn’t get the right message. They got an interpretation of the message, and that interpretation led them to reject the actual message. Take a look at the next one.
John 14:23-24 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. NKJV
Do we love Jesus? If we do not keep His Word, He doesn’t think that we love Him, according to the verses above. Not only that, but when will Jesus make His home on the inside of us, according to His Words above?
My friend, listen to what I am about to tell you. I could go on and on with how interpretation preaching, or philosophy teachings have caused us to drift far away from what the Bible actually says today. Listen to the following verses, because contrary to popular belief, we can neglect our salvation, and drift away.
Hebrews 2:1-3 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, NKJV
There are many places today that do business in the name of Jesus, but Jesus’ teachings are not even welcomed. We have replaced Jesus’ Words with a man-made doctrines. That’s not a surprise to me, because it is written that it would happen (1 Timothy 4:1-2, 2 Timothy 4:1-4). Welcome to the last days!
I few years ago, I spent all day trying to convince the elders of one church that we still needed to baptize people. At the end of the day, they finally agreed, but that was only after they had mentioned statement after statement against baptism, which had to be proven false one by one, using their version of the Bible.
They had learned to quote sayings that are commonly used like “personal relationship,” but just like the words “personal relationship,” what they were so confidently saying was not even in the Bible. Imagine being an elder in the church, and taking a stand against the Word of God, with statements that were not even in the Bible version they were using. Is that not crazy?
You would think that as Christians (Christ followers), all we would need to do is to check to see what Jesus actually said in the Bible that we have been carrying for the past two decades, but many times, that isn’t the case. Little sayings from seemingly important people slip in, and before you know it, we are quoting a man-made-up doctrine in place of scripture.
Recently, I had a student break free from all the extra man-made garbage, and the end result is that God is answering his prayers. For the first time in his life, he has evidence that God listens to him, and has given him what he asked. Imagine how powerful that is.
Praise God, He has allowed me to see that over and over in the past twenty years. However, sometimes it is very difficult to bring someone, who thinks that they have been a believer all of their life, to the point of taking God at His Word.
Therefore, I am asking this question. Can we really believe part of what God has said, while ignoring, or even rejecting the rest, and still be a believer? Like I said, sometimes it is hard to get a believer to believe.
Some might say, “Well it’s just a matter of interpretation,” and I guess it could be in some cases, but it surely cannot be a matter of interpretation if what we believe, and quote is in direct opposition to what is actually written in our Bible.
When will Jesus make His home on the inside of us according to His own Words (John 14:23-24 above)? Do we need to baptize Christians and teach them to observe the teachings of Jesus according to His own Words (Matthew 28:19-20 above)?
If you teach differently, can it be a matter of interpretation, or do you have a belief problem? Sometimes it is hard to get a believer to believe.
However, if we teach Christians to obey Jesus, and make His Word remain in them, would they eventually position themselves where God would answer their prayers, according to the following verses?
John 15:5-10 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. NKJV
John 15:16-17 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. NKJV
Does verse 7, and verse 16 above say that we can ask whatever we desire, and it will be given to us? If those verses are true, shouldn’t we teach them to Christians in the church today, who are so desperately in need of answered prayers?
On the other hand, if we cannot get our prayers answered, wouldn’t that be evidence that we are not in the right position to receive what is promised? If you can’t use any of this type of teaching my friend, then take care because I know these verses are true, and knowing that they are true also tells me that many today are wasting their time learning garbage that isn’t even in the Bible. I don’t want to be a part of that.
One preacher told me that bearing fruit was leading people to Christ, and praise God that is one type of fruit, but clearly Jesus is talking about obeying His commands.
If we obeyed His commands we would “love one another” (John 13:34-35, 1 John 3:23), and if we loved one another, we would share what we have with our brothers who are in need (1 John 3:16-19). If we do not share what we have with those in need, then the love of God is not in us. That’s being fruitful, and here are the verses to prove it, if you are a believer.
1 John 3:16-19 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. NKJV
Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. NKJV
Titus 3:14 And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. NKJV
How often should we be telling Christians to be careful to maintain good works according to God’s Word above? So now, how often have you heard that when you have gathered with “believers?” Right, and now you know why very few Christians are getting their prayers answered. We have rejected the parts of God’s Word that does not fit the message that we proclaim, and we have replaced it with good sounding, well-meaning philosophy.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. NKJV
We have been cheated! Now, what should I do if I know that God’s Word works just like it is written, when we accept what it says, and start practicing it? Should I side with those who reject what their Bible says, or keep trying to reach people who will accept and believe the truth so that they will have their prayers answered?
The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power (1 Corinthians 4:20)! Are you teaching philosophy, man-made garbage, or power?
I’m Alan Ballou; a servant. If you like this teaching, please consider my book “Stop Sinning and Be Healed” on sale now for .99 cents. It is jammed packed with spiritual principles, like the ones we have covered in this post, that all Christians need to know. I have marked it down to .99 cents so that almost anyone can afford it. I’m not trying to get rich, but to help God’s people. Click the link and it will take you to Amazon.com, or for my friends in other countries, click here for Kobo. May the Lord bless all of you!