Home About Us Articles Links Presentations Tracts Blog Support

Articles > Bible Doctrines Part 2

Bible Doctrines 2


Christianity is CHRIST! Soteriology is the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ. Through any other name is damnation.  The Bible is Jesus on paper, and the Bible is Jesus concealed in the Old Testament, and revealed in the New Testament.  It’s all about Jesus, and all things were created by Him, and for Him the Bible says. (See Col 1:16).  The Bible says Jesus is the first and the last, the Lion of Judah, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the only bridge to God, the Door, the gate, the living water, bread of life, the Word, the Great I Am, the Rock, the true vine, the Hope of Glory, the Captain of our Salvation, the Rose of Sharon, the Lilly of the Valley, the Prince of Peace, the Bright and Morning Star, the Alpha and Omega, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,  the  Light of the World, Emmanuel,  the Good Shepherd, the King of KINGS and LORD of LORDS.   Great hymns sing of Him! Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, HE washed it white as snow.  He is worthy of our praise, and he is worth losing our life to find the more abundant life He gives.  Lord, you are more precious than silver, Lord you are more costly than Gold, Lord you are more beautiful than diamonds and Nothing I desire compares to you – I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold, I’d rather have Jesus than have riches untold, I’d rather have Jesus than kingdoms or lands, I’d rather be led by his nail pierced hand. 

In Matthew 17:5, the Bible says, “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him”.  God the Father says to listen to Him.  The Bible says we are to Consider HIM! (Hebrews 12:3) For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  Jesus said we are to obey Him.   Luke 6:46 says, And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Jesus soberly stated that what you think about Him will determine your eternal destiny—heaven or hell.  In John 8:24 Jesus says, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins”. The Bible says we are to WORSHIP Him.  Revelation  14:7 says, “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”  Jesus Christ is worthy of honor, reverence, worthy to live for, die for, obey, listen to, listen to, follow after, surrender to, and to pay homage to.  Revelation 4:11 says Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Jesus is the creator of the entire universe and Jesus is God.  In the Beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. (Gen 1:1) In the Gospel of John, it says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) The Bible says, And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1st Timothy 3:16)  Ephesians 3:9 says, And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:.  Jesus is God and Jesus is the creator.  Jesus is eternal, 100% God and when he became flesh, was born of a woman conceived by the Holy Ghost, was also simultaneously 100% man.  God humbled himself.  The hand that spanned across the Universe took the nail of a soldier.  Why? Because that is what love does.  For God commended his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 Isaiah 9:6 says For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Contrary to “religious opinion” Mary is not the “Mother of God”.    She was merely the human instrument God chose, and she is an example of obedience to God’s will even when things don’t make sense.  Lu 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  God’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts, but with God all things are possible.  Philippians 2:5-7 says:  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.  Jesus came not to be served like he deserved but to serve and to die.  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: Colossians l 1:15-17 says, Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  If you have seen Jesus, you have seen God the Father.  John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?   In trying to grasp what Jesus said, I think of when you get to know some children, and then meet their parents and see the clear resemblance and mannerisms.

 Maybe a better representation is when you read an authors works for a long time, and finally get the privilege to meet him in person.  You would find though that you already had met him in reading his work and you never realized it before.  The author’s personality flows out of his writing.  The Bible is God’s thoughts and personality fully woven and preserved through each individual human author.  I can’t fathom how God did this ---All scripture is given by inspiration of God; it’s “God-Breathed”--- yet God also allowed preserved each author’s unique perspective and personality without “squashing” or hindering the revelation of Jesus Christ’s personality either. 2nd Peter 1:21 says For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  Yet, if you read the four Gospels, you will clearly see each eye witness account coming through in a different light, each one showing absolute truth but each showing a piece and perspective that compliments the others.  Peter, Paul, the Psalms of David, the wisdom of Solomon, Moses, Asaph, Matthew, Mark, Luke the physician, John the Beloved.  You clearly see their individual differences, yet all these authors of individual books join together to form one book with a beginning, middle, and end that agrees in perfect supernatural harmony.   You come to know God by reading these pages, and as you meditate on the Word of God day and night and be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, you will have more and more of “Christ in you, the Hope of Gloryfor it is God which worketh in you to do and to will of his good pleasure.  Jesus is the vine, ye are the branches, and he that abideth in him will out of his belly flow living water, and bear fruit of the Spirit that remains, and he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.  (see Psalm 1 and John 15). 

The Bible will change our thinking and when our thinking changes so will our lives, but we must be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only. We do not instantly arrive and a lot of the Christian walk is as much learning by falling as growing as you go –and the scriptures say “in his season”.  Growth, maturity, and victory take time and perseverance.  Only salvation is quick and effortless.  After that there typically are no instant break-throughs or quick fixes.  God tends to show us the process so we can disciple others.  We must look to Christ and have no confidence in ourselves, and yield to Him to get out of us something that can glorify Him.  Psalm 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.  We must realize in our flesh dwelleth no good thing, and know that without him we can do nothing.  Jesus said Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19).  It’s following Christ one day at a time growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s revelation more than education, and we must allow Christ to teach us.  It’s much more than a How To Win Souls in 30 days or less.  We can learn about God from men, but we can only know God by spending time with him, humbling ourselves, being teachable, hungry, searching, patient, curious, prayerful, seeking, asking, and wanting.

He voluntarily surrendered the independent attributes because he humbled himself, and showed perfect obedience and kept God’s law.  I think that Christ even showed that keeping the Law wasn’t enough to pay for our sins.  Justice had to be served.  He also became sin who knew no sin.  He did the impossible---keeping God’s commands down to the very spirit of the Law and then he did the unthinkable --- taking the death penalty that we deserve for breaking the commands.  The soul that sinneth, it shall die.  Christ died, the just for the unjust to bring us to God, and being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  The commandments of God are not something for us to strive for, nor a goal we should aim for in life.  They are to show our need of salvation and expose the dirt that is already there, just like pulling back the curtains to allow the sunlight in reveals a room full of dust.  One broken law means we have broken all the laws.  Christ, because he was God, fulfilled the law, kept it perfectly unlike every human being that ever lived, and even though he kept it, yet still took the death penalty that we deserve for breaking the law.  Romans 10:4 says For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.  1st Corinthians 9:21 says To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. He became our substitute, the propitiation.   Our sin debt was charged to Jesus’ account and  God rendered it paid in full. Galatians 2:16 says, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians 2:21) God’s plan makes sense.  How can a perfect God who wants to accept fallen man yet still punish sin solve that conundrum?  God’s simple plan of salvation.   You broke the Law, Christ paid the Fine.  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Galatians 3:13) And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. (Galatians 3:17) Galatians 3:24 says Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  Galatians 5:4 says Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. If we could earn it, Jesus didn’t have to die. 

 Phillipians 3:9 says  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Romans 7:4 says Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Jesus also took our sin upon himself.  2Corinthians 5:21 says For he(God)  hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  The Bible says in Romans that the Gospel is the righteousness of God revealed (see Romans 1:16-17).  The law first reveals our righteousness –filthy rags--- and then we can be imputed God’s righteousness when we accept God’s provision.  Jesus, as God, was able to fully satisfy God’s requirements for salvation.  By dying in our stead, we can become reconciled to God by accepting God’s only acceptable sacrifice.  Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.  (see Isaiah 53). We must therefore, look unto Him and Him alone, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for He is God and there is none else.  Jesus is saying look to me! I am the one who died on that cross!  Look to me! I am the one who holds the keys hell and of death (Rev 1:18). 

The pride of man, and the love of darkness rather than light, sadly has most of mankind looking instead to themselves, to humanism, to dead religion, to cults, to self-righteousness, to a creed or baptism, to anyone and anything other than Jesus Christ.  How the devil, the god of this world, has blinded the majority of the world from the simplicity that is in Christ.  What must I do to be saved?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.  John 6:28-29 ¶ It’s not our works of righteousness.  Salvation was already bought with a price 2000 years ago.  The trick of the devil is to get our focus off of looking to Christ and to get us to look at something we are doing.  I got baptized, I got confirmed, I went to confession, I repented and prayed.  I did, I did, I did, me, me, me.  Then we look at what we did and think God must be content with our fruits of the ground just like Cain thought.  Yes, with salvation comes repentance, a new creature, a new way of thinking and living, but we need to emphasize salvation is in possession, not in a profession.

Salvation is in a Person (Jesus Christ), not a priest, penance, prayer, program, “plan of salvation”, power of man, pendent (ie, the Scapula!),  Pilgrimage, pope, pouring on of water (Baptism), purgatory, parents (My dad’s a Pastor!), Pentecostal experience (I’m saved because I had a healing! I’m saved because I speak in tongues!), pure living, place of birth (like America), performance, position (Sunday school teacher!) or promises from a church.  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. (Acts 16:31) Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  

Jesus Christ came to save sinners, but the Bible says to: Enter 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:  (Matt. 7:13) God is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance, but God says not all have obeyed the Gospel.   Some teach that there is a limit to what Jesus did on the Cross –either his blood isn’t powerful enough to save everyone or his blood isn’t enough to save an individual.  Many falsely teach that Jesus is just a helper, and Calvary gives us an example to try our best to imitate and be like Jesus.  The truth is if we could earn it, Jesus could have stayed home.

 However, Jesus said “it is Finished” when he died on the cross.  God is fully satisfied by what Jesus did on the cross.  We too must then be fully satisfied in Christ.  Again, it is done, not what we’re doing.  Others teach that Jesus only died for the elect.  They teach that God died for a small few (a group who they coincidently all belong to that believe that) and that we have no say in the matter.  This contradicts the Bible however.  Election in its entirety is a bit of a mystery, but we are wrong to invent doctrines to “bridge the gap” between what is taught and what we don’t understand.   John 6:37says, All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Matthew  23:37 says O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!  It seems that someone forgot to tell Jesus about irresistible grace!  John 5:40 says, And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.  The Bible says “For whosoever will…”        


Election means foreknowledge.  God knows the end from the beginning, and from that perspective, the Bible to God is like me holding a newspaper from 1895.  It’s “old news” because God is outside of time and He is merely reporting and recording events already completed.  It’s already passed in God’s time frame.  He merely is telling what already happens.  He “writes” about the great falling away ---did God cause this?  Did God invent evolution, apostasy, Roman Catholicism, rock-n-roll, LSD, witchcraft, etc?  I trow not, I think God merely is reporting these ploys of the devil corrupting and counterfeiting things, and the Bible says we are not ignorant of his devices.  I think God is sovereign, but I think God doesn’t violate free will either.  I think that perhaps God knows who would accept him with the right circumstances, and who won’t accept no matter what is thrown at him, but I don’t think God forces himself on anyone.  That was the whole point of giving Adam and Eve a simple commandment, to test their love for God by giving them a simple command to obey or disobey.  I think God is good to both lost and saved (this side of eternity for the lost), and it rains on the just and unjust.  God may likely orchestrate things to either leave everyone without any excuse how He tried and tried to show them the way of salvation –or he may use events in life to bring those He knew in advance would accept him to that very point.  I wish my dad were alive, I wish my Catholic dad didn’t die lost like he almost certainly did at age 49 of esophageal cancer.  I can’t imagine my dad not being one of the few in my family to get saved had he lived after I became a Christian.  However, if my dad never died, I would still be on my way to Hell.  Maybe God knew that no matter what happened my dad was set in his ways and rejected the light God gave him at some point.  Maybe God sacrificed my dad who was heading for hell for my soul because he knew that was the only thing that would get me to look to him.  Maybe my dad was just a casualty in this sin-cursed world at war against God, but God took advantage of the circumstance and turned it around for good.  I don’t know.  But I know God does.  I also know that I don’t have the right to think God was unfair, because I don’t see the whole picture.  

Mark 2:17 says When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Jesus calls people we wouldn’t expect.  Jesus came to save and seek that which is lost, but most of the world is not willing to lose their life, is satisfied with their lives and their sin, and see no need for salvation.  Jesus can’t help them until they come to a place where they see their need.   John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.  John 10:27 says My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  God knows them that are his.  2nd Timothy 1:9 says, Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

What is faith?

It is by faith we are saved, by grace, and not of ourselves or works.  The trick of the devil is to get man to think he can do something to get right with God.  Either salvation is paid for completely, or it’s not.  Either it’s free or it’s earned.  Either it’s already done or no man knows whether he can find out what God requires of him.  If I bought you a car, and you tried to give me a nickel for it because it’s too expensive for you to accept, I’d be insulted.  Think how insulting our two cents of self-righteousness must be to God.  The Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God.  Faith is the opposite of sight as well as at the other end of the spectrum as works.  The easy way to explain faith, is to believe God’s promises and take him at his word.  The Bible says in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  God makes no attempts to prove himself or to apologize for how hard it is to accept that in the light of all the “evidence for evolution.”  God is God, and He has the power, ability, and authority to announce who he is and what he did.  We would be rise to get with his program.

The Bible says, For we walk by faith and not by sight.    In John 20:25, Thomas said he wouldn’t believe until he saw the nail pierced hands.  The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. Jesus showed them to Thomas and he said, “My Lord and My God”.  Jesus said blessed are they that believe and not see.   We must take God at his Word.  He can’t lie, and think how insulting it is to not believe someone, especially when it’s God.  It’s “God said it, that settles it”.  Whether we believe it or not.  I don’t have to believe the law of Gravity for it to exist.  I just have to jump off a building to prove it exists.  I’m better off if I first agree to believe what is already there, and what has already been reasonably proven, and it better cause me to think twice before I decide to put it to the test. 

When you become a Christian, you are by no means leaving your brain at the door.  There is plenty of evidence to prove the Bible is true, and to prove the resurrection.  The Bible is the only Religious book where you don’t have to be afraid of the facts getting in the way of what you believe.  An honest skeptic could tear the Koran, Baghad Vida, Book of Mormons, and the Watchtower into shreds.  You cannot do that with the Bible. However, God gives just enough evidence that it still requires as little as a mustard seed leap of faith.  You merely have to go in the direction of the weight of the evidence.  The Bible says you will seek Him and find him when you search for him with all your heart and if we knock the door will be opened unto us.  The response of the Author (God) is determined by the attitude of the reader.  Many scoffers and triflers come to the Bible ready to prove it wrong, and God does not go out of his way to show them otherwise.  Professing themselves to be wise, they become fools, and the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.  God is self proving, as you don’t need to know there was a builder –you just have to see there is a building.  Watches demand a watchmaker, pizzas demand a pizza maker, and our finely tuned universe with design, order, and laws, and demands an intelligent designer, orderer and lawgiver.  Everything designed has an owner’s manual, and God designed man.  His owner’s manual is found in the History Book of the Universe –the Bible.  B.asic I.nformation B.efore L.eaving E.arth.  The Bible becomes an exciting and an open book for the true seeker.   Johh 7:17 says If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. If we come hungry, ready to let the book judge us, we will leave satisfied.  O Taste and See that the Lord is Good!

It is important to know head knowledge is not enough.  There are many people who will miss heaven by 18 inches because it is with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.  Conversion is necessary for entry to heaven.  With conversion comes adoption into the family of God. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become sons of God even them that believe on his name. (John 1:12)  Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  Without the spirit we are none of his.  I can claim all I want that I’m one of Bill Gates illegitimate children and I demand a share of the inheritance plus a new Lap Top.  Yet, the blood test will clearly show I’m a liar.

Again, the Gospel is according to Romans, the righteousness of God revealed.  You can’t come to heaven in “your own clothes”. You need a change of outfits from the inside out.  Mt 22:11-12 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.  This passage talks about a man showing up for a wedding but he didn’t have the proper attire on.  The Bible says, Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is more than a parachute, but think of believing on Jesus like being on a plane and knowing there is a parachute under your seat but never bothering to put it on.  That knowledge won’t save you when the plane goes down.  When you “put on God’s righteousness”  you are declared to have right standing with God and he sees Jesus and not you.  God sees you in his family. You’re born again, adopted into God’s family.   This is known as the second birth.  Jesus said Except a man be born again, he shall not see the kingdom of God.  Heaven would be full of self righteous braggarts talking about their wonderful accomplishments for all eternity if we could get there on our merits.  I tell Sabres fans that we don’t choose the devils team—we’re born on it.  We hence need to be traded if you will, onto God’s team. 

I think of it like this.  If I’m 10 years old and show up at my best friend’s door, I might expect to be let in.  However, his dad is at the door, they just shampooed their antique Persian rug, and I happened to fall into a pile of manure on my way there.   “Let me in!” I say.  The dad says, “Not looking –and smelling---like that!”   Being a loving dad, he directs me to the outside faucet, hands me a bar of soap, and tells me to scrub.  Now our hearts are just as dirty, if not worse.  How do you get a clean heart?  The Bible says our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked and that our righteousnesses are as of filthy rags.  I have said it’s like watching Hitler help an old lady across the street ---it would make me nauseous because Hitler is wicked compared to me.  However, I’m much more wicked compared to God.  My heart can’t enter heaven in the state it’s in.  I need it to be washed, cleansed.   Create in me a clean heart, O God ! The Blood of Jesus Christ, Shed on Calvary is what washes my heart clean. Whiter than snow, yes whiter than snow, Wash me and I will be whiter than snow says the hymn.  Marvel not when I say unto you, Ye must be born again.  That is justification, getting right standing before God and meeting HIS requirements to one day enter HIS home in Heaven and today abide with Him. 

Justification is then what happened at the cross.  It’s like I owe the IRS $20 million dollars, and here, Bill Gates hears of my situation and in his generosity sends a check to the IRS for what I owe.  The IRS only wants their money.  When the check is cashed, my debt to them is clear.  However, if I refuse to believe someone did that for me, I’m still under the condemnation and guilt from owing that debt.  Jesus died for the sins of the world, and on the cross, he paid for everyone’s sins.  Everyone that ever lived could have gone to heaven if they wanted to.   Jesus drank the cup of the wrath of God and he took the punishment on himself.   Just as if I never sinned.  God must punish sin, all sin, for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a). Either we spend eternity paying for our sin in hell, or we accept Jesus Christ who took the punishment for us.

Regeneration is essential to salvation and makes us fit for the kingdom of heaven.  Christianity isn’t someone quitting drinking and smoking and fornicating and then being acceptable to God.  It’s not turning over a new leaf, it’s more of a metamorphosis likened to a dirty plain caterpillar becoming a radiant butterfly soaring through the air.  Yet, someone who is in Christ, in a general sense is no longer smoking and drinking and fornicating.  1Co 6:9 ¶  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of YOU! 

Repentance of a sinful lifestyle is a by-product that partners with salvation, but the fruits of repentance happen after salvation.  Repentance toward God, Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.  As you turn to Jesus you are also turning away from your old thoughts, ways, and sinful lifestyle.  You may fall after but you don’t dive into sin.  You are not going from doing bad to doing good.  You are going from natural to spiritual.  Your degree of “badness” will change as you see the goodness of God.  The closer you get, the smaller you look.  When I was lost, I was wicked, I lived in fornication, I drank, smoked, cheated, lied, was self-righteous, covetous, and I had a filthy wicked, dirty mind.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a good person, though, I thought I was about a 9.  When I got saved, God not only brainwashed me, he tongue washed me, he washed my heart, and my head.  On a good person scale today, I may be a  7 or 8,  but I FEEL like I’m about a 1 and a ½ now.  I’m simply stating that I saw the holiness of God, and hence I saw the wickedness exposed on my end.  Woe to me, I am ruined, for I am a man of unclean lips!  Depart from me for I am a sinful man! When I try to do good, evil is right there beside me.  Who can deliver me from this bondage of sin?  Thank God for the Lord Jesus Christ!








I don’t have it figured out, but it’s almost as if God draws and convicts, you see your need and your guilt, you see Jesus, you repent in a willing to turn from sin if you only could sense, you taste Christ and find the satisfying thirst quenching drink that you tried to get from sin all your life, you now found satisfaction, you receive Christ, fellowship to God the father is restored, you have now the guilt of your sin gone, you now have access to the throne of Grace, and you now have Jesus living inside you trying to get your flesh to get on board with what happened spiritually.  Repentance is not cleaning up my life first so God will accept me.  If I quit murdering, I’m still guilty of my past crimes.  God isn’t interested in our righteousness at all.  Cain gave God his best –that’s not what God is looking for.  Brother Colson states how Good and Evil are on the same tree.  Good works are irrelevant to God to someone who is lost.  Mother Theresa and the Pharisees have done some of the most “wonderful” works in the world’s history, yet they shockingly live in hell at this very moment. 

I see two errors with the idea of salvation, and I think true repentance will clarify that.  One idea is when you get saved you basically immediately act like a Christian.  They live in self-righteous indignation.  Anyone who is holier then them is a hypocrite and a phony and is lost.  Anyone less spiritual than them is lost. Anyone that hangs onto worldly habits or falls down must be lost.  Everyone but them is likely lost.   The other side lives in gullible, blind ignorance and thinks anyone who professes the name of Christ, even flippantly, is saved regardless of how ungodly they live.   Everyone is saved in their book, even catholics, mormons, and President Obama.   The truth is we can’t tell for sure who is lost and who is saved, but we should want to avoid making two-fold children of hell as well.  We should be careful to give an honest gospel presentation, allow time for God to work, look for proof of salvation, not give false hope or false assurance, and not try to get someone just to pray a prayer to prove to other people how spiritual we are.  There is not too much difference between how a backslider and someone who never slid forward would present themselves.  The Lord knows them who are his.

I think the best way to explain salvation is likened to  knowing a tree by it’s fruit.  If you put seeds in a dozen pots and think they are all apple trees, you might not know for a while that half the seeds were really for oranges.  Salvation is in a moment, but time will prove out, and God will pull through the real Christian.  Some type of fruit will no doubt come out, even if it’s a small bunch of grapes, and even if it takes a few seasons and a lot of pruning.   With real salvation comes real fruit and true Biblical repentance, a change of mind resulting in a change of life. The proof is in the pudding.

One thing I try to do is not get too close to any camps.  I realize that no man is perfect, and what I like about our church is we get exposed to a lot of the many schools of thought that are out there.  We can fall in one ditch or the other, but seeing all the “camps” and shades of doctrine gives me a better balance, than what I tend to see in Christianity today.  If I was right about everything, I’d be God.  In fact, God used a lot of people with “worse doctrine” than mine a whole lot more than he will ever use me, men like John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards.  Typically I see College A refusing to fellowship with College B.  College A thinks that B are heretics.  College B only will support Church B people, and Church B will only allow graduates from College B to come through.  I see every camp has some error in it, but each camp has some strengths.  I’m not intimidated and I like to try and pull out the strengths from the Ruckmanites, Hylesites, Crownites, Easy prayersism folks, etc, and go easy on where they are off.  For example, I will never believe the Gap Theory but by the grace of God, I’m secure enough in what I believe to not be led astray when someone pushes their agenda.  I also have found truth by not committing to anything before it becomes a true conviction.  This has allowed God to lead me out of the modern evangelical circles, come to a Young Earth position, and find the King James Version as God’s preserved Word.  I have said for awhile I’d rather find the truth at any cost than to “stay right”.

 When it comes to repentance, you have especially in the south a “you must repent of every sin you ever committed” camp and to counter that pendulum you have a “you just have to believe” camp.  The truth is in the middle.  You can’t repent of everything, nor if you are doing the repenting does it mean you are saved.  Yet, you cannot believe and turn to the Lord without your sin being exposed and your deeds being reproved and your life changed.  If I run into a mack truck, I will look a lot different.  How much more should my entire makeup be changed if I have a head-on collision with the God of the Universe? 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature!  Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.  Christianity is not us trying to be Godly.  Roman Catholicism and most religions look at passages like the Sermon on the Mount as an ideal and as a way to live. “I lived by the golden rule, I never killed anyone, and I’m a pretty good person” is the attitude of most.  Most think that if their good outweighs their bad, they will come out ok on the day of judgment.  However, I work at a prison and I see how that plays out.  Men there that are in prison had many good works.  Some went to church, some got baptized, some were good husbands, some were good employees, some didn’t rob a bank, some didn’t murder anyone.  Many people they didn’t rape, murder, or rob from.  Many times they got behind a wheel sober. However, they all did at least one horrible crime, and for that they are punished.  Their good works weren’t factored in when they faced the judge. 

If you run a 26.2 mile marathon, finish first, but leave before the gun goes off, you will no doubt be disqualified when you reach the finish line.  The same will prove true when it comes to the eternal finish line.   If we didn’t come to Jesus first, we will be shocked to find out we were disqualified before we even started.  Mt 7:21 ¶ Not 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. Mt 7:22 Many 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? Mt 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Regeneration really is going from a pig who loves the mud to a sheep that hates the mud.  It is not trying to train a goat to act like a sheep.  One of my favorite verses pictures what God does to the believer.  He spiritually transplants in us a heart of flesh, taking our hard stony heart out.  Jeremiah 32:40 says And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.  It’s not acting like a Christian, it’s Christ in you the hope of Glory, not an imitator but a partaker.

Sanctification happens after justification.  It’s first birth, then growth.  The order is what makes the difference.  This is where the confusion lies, and explains why many people think they can lose their salvation. Without the new birth, we are just spiritual still borns, and no amount of church attendance or bible reading will change that. A corpse needs life, which takes a miracle.  Ye hath he quickened!  1Peter 2:2 says As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: Philippians 2:8 says And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Christ is our example, and we look to him by really seeing him with the eyes of faith.  2Pe 1:5 ¶ And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  There is a progression, and it starts with possession, which comes from faith.   Galatians 2:20 says  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.   The Blood justifies us, and the cross is what crucifies us.  Crucifixion is a slow, painful death process, and sanctification is just as slow and agonizing.  Galatians 5:24 says And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  First, we are saved from the penalty of sin with justification.  Now, we are being saved from the power of sin with sanctification.   And one day in heaven saved from the very presence of sin when Jesus returns for us like it promises in the book of Revelation.

Perseverance says that it’s God that keeps us saved, and it also says the true Christian overcomes.  God is able to keep you from falling and God is faithful.   Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:   So can a true Christian turn away?  I think that our flesh is still our flesh, and a Christian can still so harden his heart with bitterness and unbelief that he turns away.  However, in general the majority of saved Christians end up overcoming.  The ones that don’t Christ just may call home early.

I think of it like this---on Animal Planet, I watched the sheer almost impossibility of the Emperor Penguins march home each year.  They battle enemies, obstacles, brutal weather, starvation, and the unexpected.  Yet millions of them get home, alive.  They have to time the waves to get to these high rocks to march onto land.  They have to huddle together and rotate who is on the outer perimeter so that they don’t freeze to death.  The mothers go out hunting for fish while the eggs hatch, and at just the right moment, the mothers come back to feed the new hatchlings.  Yes, some get eaten by the sea lions, some don’t find the right wave, some freeze because they wandered from the group.  However, the majority make it through.  Why?  Because God hard-wired that into them.  They have the “software” programmed from the creator for the things they need.  Yes, there are casualties, but the overall results prove there is a supernatural leading and protection, supernatural instincts that ensure survival despite the odds.  When we get saved, Christ hard wires our hearts to want to conform to his image.  We naturally desire the things of God in our spirit just like our flesh naturally desires the things of the devil.  Our flesh nature isn’t taken away at salvation, but if we live after the flesh once we are saved we hate it.  Like that sheep that gets mud on him.  When I got saved, I couldn’t enjoy drinking alcohol any more.  I went to a church that gave opinions about why their leaders don’t drink. My cousins went to a charismatic church in East Aurora and they saw nothing wrong with drinking wine at a meal. I remember drinking and even though I didn’t have anyone preaching it to me, I knew it was wrong.  I had the liberal NIV and it said the last half of Mark 16 may not belong in the Bible.  It made the Great Commission optional and gave you the ability to decide if you want to do it.  My church preached a lifestyle evangelism.  Yet something in me knew Mark 16 was scripture.  I knew we were to witness.  Within 2 weeks of being saved, I knew I had to leave the Catholic Church.   Salvation is supernatural.  God knows our flesh is weak, yet I’ve fallen time after time and I don’t stay down because I can’t stand being far from God.  Many times in my weak moments, God keeps things that would temp me away from my grasp like I try and keep a boiling pot from my son. When there were opportunities to fall away, they usually came at times I was stronger.  When I was at my apartment for example, I was passing my dumpster and I heard God speak to my heart about being on guard and being careful. The next day when I tossed out my trash, I saw a large collection of pornographic videos thrown out in the open dumpster.  I’m flesh, and in a weak moment I would have caved in to that tempation. However, God had protected me and  prepared me and I boldly told the flesh and the devil off and I didn’t have the desire to take the videos.  That is God putting that in me.   

One of the greatest tools God uses for growth is the local church.  You don’t grow in a monastery or in a cabin in the woods away from anyone to bump shoulders against.  If you bloom where God plants you, and realize God will place you in a local assembly for your benefit and theirs, faithfully attend, give of yourself, talents, and finances, you will mature into a sweet usable Christian.  The church is like an incubator.  It’s a training facility for soldiers.  It is not a place just to soak it in, and hide from the world.  It’s a place to gain strength to go out and engage the world. 

When the word church is used in the Bible, it refers to a group of professed believers in one locality.  The early church had church officers, raised money for the Lord’s work, and had stated times of meeting.  Some met daily, but all I would say respected the Lord’s day, the first day of the week.  Sunday.  I find it interesting, on a side note, that if you look at a calendar, Sunday is still the first day of the week.  Saturday is the last day of the week.  So where did the term weekend come from?  God is pushed to last place and Monday is exalted in it’s place.  It’s perhaps a by-product of our lazy, pleasure pursing lifestyle that gave birth to this thinking, ie, live for the weekend!  Who has time for church?  Weekends are made for Michelob!

The mission of the church is to fulfill the great commission, to be salt and light to a dark world, to glorify God, to edify its members, and to purify it’s members.  Christ gave his life for the church. Mt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  Christ will build his church –we must obey the great commission and go and preach the gospel and leave the results to Jesus Christ.  One plants, another waters, but God gets the increase.  Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.  Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.  We need to not forsake the church and we need to become vibrant church members who the world identifies as Christians.  Everyone, even President Obama, calls themselves a Christian.  It’s something else when the world identifies you as one.

The offices of a church include deacons, bishops, and Pastors. Ac 15:3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.  Ac 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.   Ac 15:22 ¶ Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren  1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.  1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;.

The Ordinances of the church are the Lord’s supper and baptism.  The Lord’s supper is not the literal blood and body that the catholic church teaches.  It is a memorial.    Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Baptism is the first step of obedience for a saved Christian.  It is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Baptism will not save.  It will get you wet, but it will not put out the flames of hell.  Many churches teach baptism saves, and often this doctrine then takes the natural digression toward infant baptism.  In the Bible, salvation has always been a prerequisite for baptism.  Babies hence cannot qualify.  The infant baptism merely indoctrinates members into church membership right from birth.  What doth hinder me to be baptized?  If thou believest thou may.  The Bible also teaches baptism by immersion.  John 3:23 says And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.  If John was only sprinkling, he could have settled for a closer puddle!

Like marriage, church membership only should end at death.  Physical death is when our spirit leaves our body.  To be absent with the Body is present with the Lord.  There is no such place as purgatory.  The Bible says as it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment.  Christ will return again at any moment – Lo I come quickly!  Those that are saved and alive will be taken in the rapture. 1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.   Those who are dead will be resurrected first.  Those that are lost will be resurrected later for the great white throne judgment, which is “Judgment Day”.  Re 20:11 ¶ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. Acts 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.  We will face God one day –every one shall give account of himself to God. It is just a matter of how we face Jesus.  As our judge –or our savior.  We will either hear well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.  Or Depart from me for I never knew you.   Sheep vs. Goats.  What we did with Jesus will determine which resurrection we are “assigned to”.  The way to avoid being left behind or facing the great white throne is through Christ.  John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

The millennium will take place before the great white throne judgment.  A quick summary is 2042 years or so ago Jesus came to earth, he lived 33 years, died, rose again, walked the earth alive for 40 days, ascended into heaven, is now seated on the right hand of the Father, and ushered in the church age.  We are now fulfilling the great commission, building and perfecting his bride, the church.  When the gospel is preached to every creature -- Matthew 24:14 says And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come and all the events prophesized take place, the stage is set for the rapture to take place.  War is declared on Israel – WWIII ---just after the rapture I believe, and the Antichrist comes to power, making a peace treaty with them.  3 and ½ years of peace and then 3 ½ years of hell on earth where God unleashes his wrath on a God rejecting world.  Then just when all looks bleak for the surviving Jews, they cry out to God for deliverance and Jesus comes and rescues them.  This time they accept their Messiah. This ushers in the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth, and the devil is locked up during this time.  There is peace and justice over the earth.  Then Satan is allowed one final onslaught, and he gathers the nations in the battle of Armageddon. Satan is finally defeated for good, and the great white throne judgment takes place.  All the lost are judged here, and cast into the lake of fire for all eternity.

Re 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,  Re 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. Re 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  Re 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.  Re 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

1Corinthians 15:52 says In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  Until that moment when we are changed, God wants us to look different from the world and show the world that He is real. We are to practice separation.  Jesus was a friend of publicans and sinners but he didn’t sin with them.  We need to be close enough to the world to be able to reach it but far enough to not get contaminated.   To be part of the bride of Christ, we need to desire to be divorced from as much of the things of the world as we can.   2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

God gives spiritual gifts building the church.  1Co 14:1 ¶ Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.  1Co 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure Ga 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Salvation is in a person, not a performance.  I think this point needs to be emphasized more than ever today.  We preach it’s not works for salvation, but to some degree we often translate that into “Now Go and Do “X” and you’ll be saved!”   I’m not trying to rebuke anyone, I’m not trying to hurt someones feelings, but if we look around the church today as a whole, something seems drastically wrong.  Why in general is there more interest in the things of the world than the things of God?  Why are we so close to Jesus return yet when he returns will he find faith on the earth? If the Bible says there will be a great falling away toward the end, today more than ever we should question the methods, motivations, and madness we see as we head full speed ahead toward the last days of the last church period.  I don’t know all the reasons but the two largest reasons for the apostasy today is we are harvesting like the Great Awakening but we need first an AWAKENING!  We are dressing up corpses in pretty little suits, and spraying cologne on them, and we notice a smell, Jesus says He stinketh!, yet we continue on.  Everyone wants to go to heaven, but most people don’t want the simplicity that Jesus offers.  Most people will come to Jesus only if they can bring their self-righteousness with them.  In the great awakening time period, people had a fear of God and were aware of what the Bible said.  There was that foundation present, and the Gospel had the ingredients to work.  Today, we are emphasizing the Romans 10:13 Romans Road 6-things God wants you to know 1-2-3 repeat after me type of evangelism. My argument as stated above is salvation is more of a trusting in Jesus Christ like you would trust a heart surgeon with your child’s life or trust your wife to watch your children while you are away oversees for a few months.  It’s more of a trusting than an asking. It’s more about looking to what Jesus did and looking at the cross, than it is searching within or doing something without.  Jesus’ warnings about false Christs would be unnecessary if all we have to do is say Jesus Save me!  Jesus would hear them no matter if they said that in a mosque or a church!  False Christs can’t save, so salvation must be in a person, the right person.  So secondly, the reason that there is so little evidence of salvation is because the person of Jesus Christ has been watered down like diluted chemotherapy.  At some point, that medicine will not work because it’s potency has been removed.  You need the right Jesus for him to save.  Today’s average lost person comes to calling on Jesus with this evolution based, History channel altered, post-modernism New Age All Tolerating fun Jesus image, Catholic idolatry tainted version, that shows them how God is pleased as long as they are sincere.  We need to plow a while like never before, and I think that is where creation science can be of use.  Repair the foundation that 100 years of liberal theology and dissecting the Bible to fit with “science and the history channel” and combine that with direct soul-stirring convicting preaching  and you’ll have revival in the church.  Will he find faith in the earth when he returns?  Not if we don’t change our present course!

The truly saved that Jesus purchased with his own blood, and with the reward of his suffering, God will continue to work on, call, and guide.  The truly saved will want to come to church, will care about the things of God, will in general end up looking, smelling and acting like a Christian in some way shape or form, and won’t have to be cattle prodded to be a sheep willing to look to the bishop and shepherd of his soul.  Today if you ask 10 preachers how to be saved, you may get 10 different answers.  Pray this sinner’s prayer.  Get baptized.  Repent of all your sin.  Repent of your big sins.  Ask Jesus into your heart.   Jesus is knocking at your heart, open the door.  Go to the altar and confess your sins to Jesus.  Give Jesus your life.  Call on the Lord.  Give Jesus your heart.  My challenge is in many ways, we are at the very least creating a land of confusion.  We may be often setting the stage for false converts because in a lot of our presentation, we ask the sinner to do something.  If I told a seeker to go and get baptized if he wanted to be saved, I’d obviously tell him to do a work.  Yet, Mark 16:16 says He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  We know there is more to it than that.  My argument then is why do we then not test Romans 10:13 with the same standard?  Before someone gets mad at me slaying a sacred cow, let’s look at what the Bible says.  I agree with Romans 10:13, but I think the prerequisite is “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.”   God does not hear sinners, that is clearly stated in scripture.  Jesus is the only bridge, only access to God the Father.  God the Father won’t hear by any other means.  Hear me out a second.  The Bible says in Romans 10, How shall they hear in whom they have not believed?  My point is confession is after believing, and you can’t  believe unless you’re confessing. It proves you meant what you believe.  Lord, remember me when you enter into your kingdom.  God be merciful to me a sinner.  You can “confess” without believing.  You can say “Jesus save me!” or you can pray a prayer and if there is no belief first, it does nothing.   The Bible clarifies all this.  Genesis 12:8 says Abraham called upon the name of the Lord at least 3 times---this can’t then be “salvation”.   And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. Genesis  13:4 says  Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD. Genesis 21:33 says ¶ And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. Psalm 80:18 shows the order I believe---God makes us alive and then we call upon him.  It could be a split second after, but I think the Bible teaches calling comes after, even if it’s immediately after.  So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.  All I am saying, is that let’s make salvation and let’s make 21st century Christianity more about Jesus Christ and preach Christ over and over and once people understand who Jesus is they will want him.  They will receive him, believe him, trust him, come to him, look to him, and then they will be ready to talk to him because they already know him.  Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.  Salvation is in a living breathing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Let’s not lose that. 


1stCorinthians 8:6 says But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.  There is one Christ, and many false Christs.  The True and Living Christ came to deliver from sin (Matt 1:21), completely satisfies (John 10:10), gives us a love for the people of God (1st John 3:14), gives us a desire to live a righteous life (1st John 2:29) and gives us an assurance we are truly saved.  (1st John 5:13)