August 10, 2006

SAVED? FROM WHAT?
Today I found the following post and thought you would enjoy it too:

Some Real Good News by John Sneed

Many gospel presentations today begin with the idea that man is a pretty good creature and has some sort of infinite value and therefore God came to the earth to give us the chance to allow him to make us better. Think of the phrases associated with the gospel today ... "God has a wonderful plan for your life"; "Who's your 'forever friend'? Jesus is."; "God voted for you, Satan voted against you, now YOU have the deciding vote."

Implicit in all these is the idea that man is good and salvation makes us better. But that is not the biblical gospel at all. In fact, when I took classes in evangelism I was told the first step to seeing a person come to Christ is to get them to see how lost they were. This is actually true. Ray Comfort, an evangelist gives us this example ... "If I came to you and told you I had a pill in my pocket that would cure any cancer at any stage, you would think 'That is good.' But if I told you the same piece of news and you were dying of cancer, the good news of a cure suddenly became very good news for you." It is impossible to appreciate the good news of the gospel until you understand the bad news that you are being saved from.

Well, what are you being saved from? In a word, God's judgment and wrath. You see, every child of Adam is born in sin. We are born "depraved" and what's more, since every part of our being is infected with sin, we are born "totally depraved." What this means is that because of God's absolute holiness we are utterly and totally separated from God. The Bible has a host of names for us while we are in our sins. We are called "slaves of sin, lost, haters of God, rebellious, children of the Devil, lovers of evil, without hope, deaf, blind, stony hearted, dead in sin, and there are others. But these give you a picture of man's desparate state when he is lost. Few preachers described our condition better than the American puritan Jonathan Edwards. In his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" he described how God looks on the lost sinner with loathing and disgust. From my own preaching, I would say it is as though God had thrust His hand into a bucket of vomit and as He pulls His hand out of that vomit. The way God would look at the vomit is the same way He would look at us in our sin. Edwards elsewhere spoke of how the earth cried out against Sodom and Gamorrah for justice against their sin. In the same way the earth cries out against us being on it, as we use every resource to rebel against God and sin.

This is our state before God saves us. But you see, that is what makes grace so amazing. Not that we are good and God wants to make us better. Grace is God seeing us through His wrath and hatred of sin and reaching down to us ... Him coming to us! ... and lifting us out of the miry clay and by His power making us into something new. When we were nothing God loved us enough to make us born again. He gives us life and points us to His Son. And seeing the Blessed God-man and His death in our place ... we believe... what does that mean? "Believe." It means we believe who Jesus is and we believe what He did for us personally. You see, salvation is personal. Let me use me as an example. The preacher who showed me Christ told me "For God so loved Timmy that He gave His only begotten Son, so that if Timmy would believe, then Timmy would never die but have everlasting life." I knew then, Jesus died for me! Jesus substituted for me! Personally! He is MY savior.

That is why the Apostle John proclaimed "behold what manner of love the Father has for us, that we should be called the children of God." (1 John 3) Yes, look how the Father loved us, that even when we were like vomit in His hand, when we lived in rebellion and sin, when we were still His enemies and under His wrath, He loved us and sent Jesus to die for us, and made us into His own dear children. THAT is grace! And friend, that is really good news, wouldn't you agree?

If you are reading this and you have never come to God in your sin and known you were there with nothing to offer, if you can but look to Jesus, the God-man, who died in the sinner's place and know that He died for you too. I invite you today to confess Jesus Christ as your Lord, God, and Savior. You have but one question to answer ... did Jesus die for you? To say yes, you have to know your sin and your helplessness, you have to know that He died to save sinners and that He died for YOU personally. So, do you believe? You'll never be asked a more important question in your lifetime. So, what say you?



WAKEUP SERMONS
Paul Washer preaches a shocking message from Matthew 7 which stuns the hearers so much, he was never invited back. He challenged 5,000 youth in the 2002 Youth Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention to “examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith” and not to presume they are saved based on the false gospel of American Christianity which is derived from a godless culture rather than the Word of God.



Listen to Pastor David J. Meyer, a former witch, speak on The Witchery Of Harry Potter. Meyer says, "When I was 13 years old, I began to invite the spirits of my deceased great grandmother into myself. Soon I began to acquire powers and became an adept astrologer and palm reader. I also practiced numerology and was becoming a very powerful witch. Many people followed me — and the advice that I gave them. I had achieved a great measure of success. By the time I was 19, I had reached my first goal. I was a powerful witch. Then, very suddenly, the realization hit me that I was making predictions without looking at my charts. I would blurt out predictions in minute detail, and they would come to pass. I became frightfully aware that I had become a sending station and was dispatching spirits to make my predictions come true. I predicted accidents and tragedies, and suddenly I became filled with overwhelming fear."

Aviad Cohen (alias 50 Shekel) was once described as 50 Cent minus the foul language. He became recognized for his Jewish parody rap song In Da Shul (a take on 50 Cents In Da Club), Cohen has also been written up in the New York Magazine, New York Post, Blender, Esquire and the Forward. Cohen however, has recently announced that he became a follower of Yeshua (Jesus) and the response from the Orthodox Jewish community has been very negative. Many of the same media outlets that once praised his Jewish rap parodies are now quick to attack and slander Cohen for his acceptance of Yeshua. Cohen who once was referred to as the worlds most Kosher MC, now describes himself as a completed Jew. Within the last few weeks Cohen has dropped the title 50 Shekel and is now going solely by his G-d given name Aviad Cohen.


MATTHEW 7
1Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
6Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
12Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

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