Posts tagged ‘strong faith’

The Difference Between True/Genuine Faith Vs. “Going Through The Motions”

I once had a Christian friend say to me that she “didn’t really like going to church because she felt like she was just *going through the motions*!” And those words really got me, for some reason: *going through the motions*. I sat there and thought about it for awhile, trying to ponder what she meant by those words, exactly. And then it hit me! TRADITION. She’s tired of the same, dull, boring TRADITION that’s taking place in churches today. In fact, I can’t blame her. It was honestly why I myself LEFT “the church system” YEARS AGO!

People get dressed up in their Sunday best, pile into the church, sit in pews, and listen to the pastor drone on for about 35 minutes or so. The rest of the time is spent “singing” and “talking about church budgets”. There’s also the “offering plate”, “communion”, etc.

And I’m gonna be truthfully honest, here. The few times that I actually “attempted” to attend actual church services at the local Lutheran church years and years ago, (in order to feel more like an “authentic Christian”), I LIKED hearing about Jesus but I was bored stiff with the overall “sermons” and found myself looking around the church (at the stained-glass windows, at the church organ, at the side of the wall, at anything BUT the pulpit).

And I’d always ask myself, “Why am I so bored, here? Why does it always feel like the same old, same old?” In fact, I even felt GUILTY for “feeling bored” inside a church. I had thought to myself at the time, “Jesus must be really mad at me, NOW! How offended would he be if he found out I felt bored stiff during church sermons?”

In fact, once as a little kid, I even remember saying to my mom one time on the way home from school, “church is boring!” [I went to a Christian pre-school, even though my folks weren’t church-goers, which was weird. I guess my mom was more “Agnostic” back then, sending us there in a “just in case God’s true” scenario]. My mom asked me why. I said, “because all they say is (speaking in a monotone) “Jesus Christ is Lord”.

Now…..I didn’t make that statement to mock Jesus in ANY way, shape or form! What I was TRYING to draw attention to, on that particular day, is more or less that “pastors make Jesus boring“. But the Jesus I KNOW is NOT boring in ANY way, shape or form! The Jesus I KNOW parted the Red Sea, created ALL living things and has the ability to shake the Earth & the Waters with just the mere SOUND of his VOICE! And as I got older, those words I spoke when I was younger about “church is boring” really seemed to resonate deep within me and my soul!

But in fact, NOTHING about today’s “Modern-Day Christianity” is even biblical! It’s sad, folks but it’s true! Church “buildings” aren’t biblical, church “sermons” aren’t biblical, sitting in pews is not biblical, “offering plates” are not biblical, choirs are not “biblical”, the Sunday Sabbath IN AND OF ITSELF is not biblical, getting “dressed up” for “church” is not biblical, “going to church SERVICE” is not biblical, basically, NOTHING about Modern-Day Christianity is BIBLICAL!

Therefore, all of the people that find church “boring” (rather they realize it or not) are actually ON to something! Something deep, deep within their spirits must “sense” that something seems “amiss” in the “churches” today! For example, God created for 6 days, then rested on and CONSECRATED the 7th DAY! So why do “churches” today unbiblically meet on the FIRST day of the week (Sunday?) For Sunday was the very FIRST day of creation!

For another example, “The Church” celebrates New Year’s, Christmas, Halloween, and Easter. But tell me. What do Easter bunnies, painted eggs, Santa Claus, Reindeer, snowmen, confetti and Halloween costumes have to do with JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY? Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

“But Jesus was born on December 25”, some say. Really? Does it say that in the bible? What bible are these folks reading from? Because MY KJV bible doesn’t mention ANYTHING about it being “winter” when Jesus was born! [However, MY KJV bible DOES mention how we’re supposed to instead commemorate Jesus’s death/resurrection/ascension back up to heaven during what’s known as “The Lord’s Supper”!]  

And that’s just the “Protestant” way of things……..For if a person is CATHOLIC, it gets EVEN WORSE!

Catholics believe in “Purgatory” (NOT IN BIBLE), “Indulgences” (NOT IN BIBLE), “Praying to Saints” (NOT IN BIBLE), “Jesus had no brothers or sister” (BIBLE PROVES HE DID), “Virgin Mary was the ONLY being born by Virgin Birth” (NOT IN BIBLE – AND HOW DOES THAT EVEN COMPUTE, ANYWAYS? For they couldn’t BOTH be surely born by Virgin Birth…….because if so, that would make Mary God and she’s NOT GOD! Luke 1:46-47 PROVES THIS beyond all shadow of a doubt, people!)

But on to my next point………the “difference” between true, genuine faith and what I call “going-through-the-motions”/manufactured faith.

First, we’ll take a look at the example of King Saul in the Old Testament. At the very beginning, he was very humble, down to Earth, and had a STRONG faith in God Almighty! But as the chapters of 1 Samuel 12+ wear on, Saul starts to get arrogant, proud, disobedient and FEARFUL.

He starts out as THIS:

“And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the Lord hath wrought salvation in Israel” – 1 Samuel 11:13

Comes to THIS:

“Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor” – 1 Samuel 28:7

And ends up like THIS:

And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it1 Chronicles 10:2-4

So what happened between 1 Samuel 12 and 1 Samuel 28?

The first thing that happened is that King Saul did NOT wait on the Lord’s prophet Samuel to offer a sacrifice unto the Lord. The 2nd thing Saul did was REFUSE to kill all the Amalekites and their cattle/etc., whom the Lord SPECIFICALLY commanded to be WIPED OUT! 

So see……it all started out with what King Saul thought was a “minor thing” and then, over time, his sins became GREATER and GREATER and his faith became LESS AND LESS! In fact, it would probably be safe to say that King Saul’s “spiritual relationship” with the Lord during that time (from 1 Samuel 12 to 1 Samuel 28) became a thing of OBLIGATION, instead of LOVING OBEDIENCE! 

That’s why many people sitting in church pews today feel like they’re “just going through the motions”, because THEY ARE! They’re not truly challenged in their lives to keep the faith and to LOVINGLY obey the Lord and his Written Word! Instead, they’re “spoon-fed” a watered-down/feel-good/cheery message about the bible that doesn’t talk about hell, eternal condemnation, the book of Revelation, bible prophecy, REPENTANCE of sin and/or “getting right with the Lord”. In fact, most church “services” today rarely talk about Jesus AT ALL! It’s more of a “be a good person and that’s good enough” for God type of WATERED-DOWN BLASPHEMOUS MESSAGE! ;(

HOWEVER……an example in the Old Testament of a man who DID have complete and total faith in the Lord is ABRAHAM. Genesis, Chapter 22 in the Old Testament tells us the story of how God TESTED Abraham by telling him to sacrifice his own son, Isaac.

Originally, (BEFORE Genesis 22), Abram (BEFORE God changed his name to “Abraham”) and Sarai (BEFORE God changed her name to “Sarah”) weren’t able to have children due to Sarai being “barren” in her old age. Therefore, it was Sarai’s idea for Abram to marry her handmaiden, Hagar, an Egyptian, which Abram did…..and THAT son’s name was Ishmael. However, Abram was still sad he had no true “genetic heir” and cried out to God in prayer about it. So God opened up Sarai’s womb and him and Sarah had Isaac, the “miracle child” promised by God.

However, in Genesis, chapter 22, Isaac is now a teenager (the bible implies) and God is now worried that Abraham loves Isaac more than he loves HIM (Almighty God). So God decides to test Abraham’s loving, faithful obedience by asking him to sacrifice his “promised son” Isaac!

However, in the biblical narrative, we KNOW that Abraham probably doesn’t like what he has to do, but also that he has FAITH. Because when he and Isaac get to the bottom of Mount Moriah, Genesis 22:5 states, “And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you”. 

Just think of what type of FAITH Abraham have to have had! For it would’ve taken him TOTAL FAITH to do what he did. [And please remember that the near-sacrifice Isaac is a prototype/foreshadowing for what would someday become God’s sacrifice of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ/Yeshua, for all of mankind! As Abraham didn’t hold back his only son from God, God did not hold back his only son from US!]

However, Genesis 22:10-12 further goes on to state: And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me!” 

Further on, we read in Genesis 22: 13-18 how the Lord decided to BLESS ABRAHAM, as a RESULT of his loving obedience and his faith:

“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice”. 

So from these two biblical examples, we can learn what having true, GENUINE FAITH is, and what having “lukewarm/going-through-the-motions” faith is. 

True/GENUINE Faith: Knowing that Yeshua/Jesus Christ has your back, no matter what

Lukewarm/going-though-the-motions: “Maybe Jesus will save me someday on the day of Judgement, maybe he won’t”

See the difference here, folks? Many folks ask the fateful question, “Why has God/Jesus forsaken me?” But ya know what, people? It’s US who forsake HIM! 

How? Simple. We don’t have “time” to read our bibles or pray but we DO have time to watch Netflix, text our bestfriend, listen to the radio, etc. We don’t have “time” to donate to the needy because we’re too wrapped up in our OWN lives and “financial woes”. We don’t have “time” to repent of our sins because we got to clean the house, go to work, pay our bills, hang out with our friends, read our favorite novel, pick up the kids from soccer practice, you get the idea……….

So I leave you with THIS: What type of “faith” do you have? Do YOU have the type of faith, where, you knew if you died today, that you’d go to spend eternity with Jesus? Or do you have the type of “faith” where you’re not sure? 

Do YOU have the type of faith that’s SO strong, that not even a person pointing a gun at your head and/or threatening to behead you will make you DENY your faith in Jesus Christ? Or would you “squirm” at the first hint of a threat on your LIFE? 

Do YOU have the type of faith that’s SO strong, that you share your faith in Jesus with others? Or do you tend to “cower” about your faith in Jesus towards others and try to “bury Jesus” in your life by not letting the name of Jesus be well-known in your life to others?

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” – Hebrews 11:6

What type of faith do YOU have? For IF you don’t have a strong, GENUINE type faith, TODAY is the day to pray to GET that type of faith! Pray the following prayer with me:

“Almighty Yeshua/Lord Jesus, my faith has NOT been where it needs to be, lately. I’ve had a lukewarm faith. But please, bit by bit and little by little, please REMOVE my lukewarm faith and replace it with UNBREAKABLE FAITH IN YOU, EVEN IN THE FACE OF DEATH/TORCHURE SOMEDAY. Please give me a faith and trust in you that’s SO STRONG, that NOTHING or NO-ONE can break it! Thank-you, Lord. Amen”

And pray that prayer with all your HEART, SOUL, MIND, BODY AND STRENGTH and MEAN that prayer with ALL YOUR HEART AND SOUL! TRUST IN THE LORD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYER FOR UNBREAKABLE FAITH AND HE WILL ANSWER YOU! 😉

GREAT AND MIGHTY IS OUR LORD & GOD! HE PARTED THE RED SEA, HE WALKED ON THE WATER, AND HE SPOKE THE VERY UNIVERSE INTO EXISTENCE WITH JUST THE MERE SOUND OF HIS VOICE! GREAT, MIGHTY AND POWERFUL IS HIS NAME! THE NAME ABOVE ALL OTHER NAMES! 😉  

 

 

 

**VERY IMPORTANT!!! The Coming Tribulation/Persecution: Revelation 2:10**

As more and more Christians in general society and the workplace are being persecuted by those with an agenda of “unrestrained perpetual sin” [i.e. the openly homosexual activists that are currently fighting for gay marriage rights, as well as Atheist and/or Satanic activists who want to stamp out as much of Christianity in public and in private as much as humanly possible], I am constantly brought back in my mind to the words of Revelation 2:10 which state: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life“.

[Rather or not the 10 days in question is an ACTUAL 10 days or a “figurative” 10 days is up to debate, as many bible scholars think “they” have the answer and the number of their answers are as many as the number of ice cream flavors at Baskin Robbins, if not even more so, lol].

There’s also 3 other bible passages that deal with this topic as well: (Luke 21:12, Matthew 10:19, and Mark 13:11), which I’ll quote down below. Because lets face it, if you’re one of those Christians who thought that going through the great tribulation/testing of your faith met staying at home, indoors, and doing nothing BUT reading your bible and praying all the time, you’re in for QUITE a rude awakening! Truth be told, there WILL be persecution on every Christian…….atleast, every TRUE biblical-roots Christian, that is. Now, the DEGREE of persecution is going to differ from person to person, depending on the circumstances.

But before you go ANY further into this post, please watch the following enactment video called : “Would You Die For Your Faith in Jesus Christ [Yeshua]?” at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj1d9h7IL0I

Have you ever really noticed how the Devil NEVER, EVER persecutes the WORLDLY CHURCHES? No, in fact, all the WORLDLY churches (such as Joel Osteen’s Lakewood, Texas prosperity church, Benny Hinn’s church, etc.) are some of THE RICHEST churches IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! Why is that, do you think? On other other hand, pastors who do NOT agree with gay marriage etc. oftentimes get reprimanded and/or lose their jobs!

And just like Revelation 2:10, Luke 21:12 states: “But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues [interesting it says TO and not FROM…odd?], and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake“.

However, ONCE a Christian is “arrested” and/or “severely persecuted” for being a Christian (or consequently, for whatever “erroneous charges” that the dark side can come up with as a RESULT of a person being a true Christian who tries to follow the Lord’s will in their lives, NO MATTER WHAT), the bible gives us VERY CLEAR instructions on WHAT we are to do and say WHEN that happens. The following two bible passages command us to do the following:

Matthew 10:19 says: “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak

Mark 13:11 states: “But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost“. 

And DO you, as a true bible-believing Christian, ever get that creepy feeling in your stomach that somebody (somebody from the dark side of forces) is watching you and just WAITING to punish you somehow for doing the Lord’s will and/or for being a true Christian that follows the bible and supports Israel/Jerusalem/bible prophecy?

Conspiracy theorists talk all the time about concentration camps for Christians someday, while others even suggest that beheading will someday become the preferred form of capital punishment in this country (America). As to how much of that stuff is actually true, one can only guess. BUT…..If I don’t write another post on here in a very long time or you don’t hear back any replies from me for a really long time if you make a comment on here, then that probably means something controversial happened and please pray for me.

Also: Please pray for me and ALL fellow Christians all over the world that are being persecuted for Jesus’s namesake.

However, also please rejoice somewhat whenever a person is persecuted for Jesus Christ’s namesake! For Jesus Christ said the following in Matthew 5: 11-12Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you”.

Romans 5:3-4 state: “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope”.

However, you also might be wondering WHY the good Lord makes us suffer forms of persecution in our lives. That is because he wants to test our faith and even try to strengthen it and make our faith EVEN STRONGER!

It’s really no different than car companies crash-testing cars that they make. They keep crashing them over and over again in the “testing process” to learn how to make them more crash-safe and/or durably crash-free. So it is with Jesus Christ and our faith. He sometimes allows us to suffer persecution SO THAT we will learn *perseverance*.

And then, if/when things get REALLY bad, it’ll then seem “normal” and be like a walk in the park for us, faith-wise, since God will have already given us by then the necessary emotional, mental, physical and spiritual tools to deal with persecution and opposition during the previous “crash-testing” process of our faith. Because lets face it, when we already HAVE everything we need, we feel as though we have no need for God in our lives, it’s a PRIDE thing! But whenever things go bad in our lives, OH HOW WE SURE HAVE NEED OF THE GOOD LORD THEN, am I right? 😉

Therefore, like it or not, God uses suffering as a means to draw us closer to HIM! And he does it for our own spiritual good! (Even if, during the TIME of the persecution, it doesn’t feel or seem like that). Remember the words of God in Hebrews 13:5 which state: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee“. So in other words, draw close to God/Jesus Christ at ALL times (ESPECIALLY during times of suffering) and he will draw close to YOU!

Remember how Abraham was tested in the Old Testament? Abraham loved his son Isaac SO MUCH (the son that God MIRACULOUSLY gave to Abraham and Sarah in their OLD AGE), that God was no longer sure whom Abraham loved more, his son or God. That’s WHY God had to test Abraham and see where Abraham’s heart truly was. And then, after Abraham had proven himself faithful and that he placed God even above his own son, God rewarded him DILIGENTLY.

And let us also not forget Job in the Old Testament. He was a GENTILE, yet God was bragging about how faithful of a servant Job was, all across the board. Satan the Devil was angry and more or less said to God “oh yeah? Take away everything he owns and he will curse thee, I am sure”. So God took Satan up on the challenge and guess what? Job lost everything in one day (his cattle, his 10 children, his money, even the love and respect of his own wife!) But still, Job still kept the faith. And God eventually gave back to him ten-fold what he had lost during the “crash-testing” process of his faith. That’s where the popular saying comes from which states “the more you suffer, the more you gain”.

However, SOME people easily give up at the first sign of persecution and it’s THOSE few people I’d like to pray for, today: someone says something not so nice to them on their Christian witnessing Youtube page, an open homosexual at the workplace calls them out for being so “hateful” towards the homosexual lifestyle, a non-Christian friend, family member or stranger calls them “crazy” for believing in things they can’t so-called physically hear or see, they see more and more things in the News about “Christians” being PUNISHED for their beliefs and so they’re too afraid to profess their “Christian beliefs” in public or amongst their friends.

Then, after awhile, they just stop trying to live for Jesus Christ altogether, thinking to themselves that it’s “too hard”, “too much of a burden” in today’s world, and try to mildly blend INTO the world. They think that as long as they don’t become a full-fledged Satanist/Hindu/Wiccan/Buddhist/Atheist/etc. but still merely “believe” in God, that God will forgive them and that they won’t go to hell/eternal condemnation after they die. But sadly, those folks are mistaken. Because HERE is what Jesus Christ has to say about “lukewarmness” in people and in churches:

Revelation 3: 15-17 states: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”.

However, to those that ENDURE persecution and OVERCOME it by MAINTAINING and even STRENGTHENING their faith, Jesus Christ has THIS to say:

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” – Revelation 3:21

“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” – Revelation 2:10

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” – James 1:12