The Scariest Words Jesus Ever Said

You know the verses, you have probably heard them your entire Christian life, but when is the last time you really meditated on the words of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 7: 21-23? Here are the verses…

Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Understand the context of this verse. Jesus is referring to His “followers”… or at least those who claim to be followers of Jesus. This is a startling proclamation from our King that should give us pause. In our culture today, where people are taught to say a “sinner’s prayer” and they are saved… where hyper grace doctrines are being pushed at every turn… where many are seeking to live their BEST LIVES NOW…

In our culture it is almost a crime in the Christian community to speak of this truth: MANY Multitudes of “Christians” today are deceived and unknowingly on a path to Hell. You see scripture is very clear… Jesus was VERY clear…

Matthew 7:13-14  (ESV)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

According to PEW Research nearly 70.6% of Americans self identify as Christians. That means that out of 325 Million Americans, 227 Million think they are going to Heaven. Yet Jesus tells us that the path is NARROW and FEW will find it.

So where is the breakdown?

What are Christians missing in this equation of salvation? This gift freely given by God. John 3:16 famously reveals “…that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” ~ Emphasis mine.

So is that it then? All one needs to do is believe in Jesus? What does that mean to believe in Jesus? Does Satan believe in Jesus? Do the demons believe in Jesus? Is salvation then just an intellectual exercise?

I would argue that salvation has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with what you have brought yourself to believe in your mind, and has everything to do with the condition of your heart. In fact, let’s go back to the Gospels, in the book of John chapter 3…

1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Here Jesus clearly indicates a requirement for those who wish to live in eternal paradise with God, they MUST be born again. This goes beyond a mental exercise of simple belief and delves into a transformational relationship with the Holy Spirit of God. You must DIE to your SIN… another way of saying it… you must repent or “turn from your sin” towards God. This is not to say you become sinless or perfect when you accept Christ as your savior. But every Christian should be in the process of change, where we grow more and more Christ-like the closer we draw near to God.

If you have been a Christian for some time, and you still find yourself living the same life you always lived, you may need to examine your life closely. This is what Paul exhorted the church members of Corinth to do… “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” ~ 2 Corinthians 13:5

Brothers and Sisters, if you said a prayer years ago, and just accepted what people in church said about your eternal destination, I would strongly encourage you to follow Paul’s advice and evaluate your relationship with Jesus. If you find yourself running joyfully into sinful behavior or with little regret when you transgress God’s law… you have a real reason for concern.

Most Americans take the time to be absolutely certain of things far less important than their eternal destination, don’t make that mistake. Eternity is a very very long time.

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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Fellowship Friday #13 Have You Met These Christian Bloggers?

Welcome back to Fellowship Friday, a weekly post on Stand Tall For Christ where I will share four Christian Bloggers with you I have met from around the world. It is my hope by doing this you will discover some of the amazing men and women doing the Lord’s work and spend time in fellowship with them. I want to encourage you to visit their blogs, follow their blogs, comment on their blogs, share their blogs and ultimately grow spiritually from the time you spend with them.

Here are this week’s bloggers:

daily hopeful

Daily Hopeful: “Daily Hopeful is a place where I where I share images, Bible verses, and inspirational quotes that emphasize faith-based hope. As with my other blog, Daily Thankful, I write from a Christian perspective, and hope that this new blog will be a source of blessing and encouragement to any who may read it.”

Lift Him Up

Lift Him Up: “My name is Debra, and I write to acknowledge the name of our merciful and glorious God! In 1997 I heard a sermon preached by Rev. Mark Arnott about God’s gifts to each of us. The message presented offered clear points regarding God’s gifts to us. When we share our gifts they help make a difference in the lives of others. It was on that day in 1997 that I decided to hone in on discovering God’s gifts to me and begin sharing them with others.”

Gracelife Blog

GraceLife Blog: “Mark McGee is a Christian apologist, career journalist, and former atheist. God saved him by grace through faith in Jesus Christ in 1971. Mark became a professional journalist in 1968 and retired in 2009. He worked on the news staff of several radio and television stations and two large metropolitan newspapers. Mark was a reporter, correspondent, anchor, managing editor, executive producer and news director during a four decade career in news.”

Divide the Word Blog

Divide The Word Blog: “DivideTheWord.blog is a cloud-based ministry whose purpose is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world in such a way as to be available to all of God’s children. Free from denominational judgmentalism, free from race, color or creed stipulations. Our Purpose needs to be His Purpose – that we would visit people in their time of distress, be a salt that still has its savor, a light set upon a hill for those lost in the darkness. We cannot and must not silo ourselves into little communes, sects of this denomination or that denomination, all vying to prove who is right, and who is wrong.”


Thank you for taking the time to check out these Christian authors, all doing Kingdom Work in the name of Jesus… AMEN! Check back here every Friday for another installment of Fellowship Friday with all new bloggers from around the world.

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Want to submit your blog to be featured in a future edition of Fellowship Friday? Or maybe you are familiar with a blog that deserves to get noticed? Send me the information below… I do not promise to feature every site I review… but I sure do love to meet new Christian bloggers!

 

New Video Podcast Launch

I am very excited to announce the launch of the STFC Video Podcast, this will take the place of the original STFC Podcast and it is my hope to launch new regular Q&A videos each week.

You can participate in this new podcast by asking questions that might be featured in a future episode by leaving your questions below in the comments, or by emailing me directly: standtallforchrist@gmail.com

Here is a link to my youtube channel where the video podcast will be hosted, I hope you take a moment to Subscribe to the channel.

Additionally I will be looking to do some collaborations in the near future with other like-minded Christian Bloggers who want to expand into the video podcasting realm. If this is you, get in contact with me ASAP and let’s see what we can put together.

Thank you for your continued support.

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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The Three Destructive Philosophies We Have Used To Replace Truth In Our Lives

This article was contributed to Stand Tall For Christ by my friend and fellow Christian Blogger Victor Uyanwanne. Please be sure to visit his blog and follow him if you find his writings inspiring and practical as I do.

Speaking of America’s increasing drift towards secularism, Pastor Rick Warren, recently wrote, “We’ve been systematically removing God from all areas of our lives — from schools to the government to the media. We’ve basically relegated God to Sunday mornings, if we even consider him [at all].”

This is the picture of the effect of secularism and similar philosophies not only in America but in many places around the world.

Instead of embracing God’s truth in our daily lives, “we’ve brought in three very destructive philosophies that have replaced truth in our lives,”

According to Warren, the three destructive philosophies, we have used to replace truth in our lives are:

  • Individualism
  • Secularism
  • Relativism

A society governed by these three ways of thinking can never have a strong moral fabric that can make it withstand the test of time.

Let’s now take a closer look at each of them:

Secularism, relativism

1. Individualism

You feel that no one should tell you how to live your life. You do what you think is right only in your own eyes.

You are your own standard. And you think no one else – not even God – should ‘interfer’ in the running of your life. You don’t even care that what you consider right may not be right in God’s eyes.

Replacing the principles of God’s truth in your life with the human philosophy of individualism will not take you closer to God.

Living your life by the philosophy of individualism, doing only what seems right in your eyes – will land you in trouble. As Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

In the final analysis, living by the philosophy of individualism will not turn out well because, you cannot continuously be doing only what you like without hurting the people around you – friends and families alike, without running foul of the laws of the land, and most importantly without displeasing God.

2. Secularism

This has to do with a philosophy that thinks “God is unnecessary” in your life, or the thinking that, “you don’t need God.”

As a result, you focus on removing God from your daily consciousness and you persuade other people to do the same as well.

Don’t you really need God? I bet you do, even if you don’t want to acknowledge Him.

It is self deception to think that you don’t need God. You had better face the truth now: you are eternally lost without God. So you need Him.

The more you run from God the more your need for Him. And the more you fail to acknowledge Him, the greater the need for you to acknowledge Him.

3. Relativism

This is the belief that there is no absolute truth; that truth is relative, that what’s true for one person may not be true for another person.

Many people believe this lie and are running their lives with it. It is a dead end, because it does not consider the fact that God’s words are absolute truths that apply to everyone of us.

Anyone who believes in God must understand that God’s truths are not relative. God’s truths are eternal and are universal.

The philosophy of relativism is a weak foundation. A life built on it will collapse in your face.


Let us conclude this post with the following advice from Pastor Rick Warren:

Don’t be conned by individualism (love for yourself), secularism (God is unnecessary), or relativism (there are no absolutes). The consequences as a society and for us as individuals for falling for these cons is staggering. Without a commitment to truth and a commitment to the authority of God, our culture is crumbling.

What do you think?

—————————————–

Victor Uyanwanne writes from Lagos, Nigeria where he lives with his wife and two children. You can visit his blog Victors Corner for more inspiring articles by him. Thank you again Victor for your contribution.

 

Disgusted: VA Hospital Replaces Military Flags with Gay Pride Flag

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) – Flags representing the branches of the United States Military were restored to their places outside Fort Wayne’s VA Hospital Tuesday afternoon — but not until after someone swiped the LGBT “pride” flag that had gone up in their place.

Some residents and veterans expressed their outrage to ABC21 after they arrived at the hospital Tuesday morning and noticed the military flags had all been removed. On one post, instead, a rainbow pride flag flew, in honor of LGBT pride month.

Source: Fort Wayne VA temporarily removes military flags to fly LGBT pride flag


Perhaps being a U.S. Army Veteran is the driving force, but I feel disgusted over this story. The LGBT Machine is non-stop, full force, in your face… and if I could blame just ONE person, it would have to be Obama. Anyone remember this pathetic display by his administration?

ShowImage
Credit: The Jerusalem Post

This imagery was permanently etched into my memories, I mean the nerve of a sitting U.S. President to disgrace our Country in such a way. Now I may be going WAY overboard here, and if so tell me about it below… I just hope Donald Trump harnesses the power of twitter to make sure this never happens again.

So what say you?

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For New Christian Bloggers – The First 90 Days

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Recently I read an article from T.R. Noble of Inside Cup, where she details how her blog grew and I found it very interesting and insightful. It got me thinking about all that has happened here on Stand Tall For Christ in the very short time this blog has been online. This post is directed towards New Christian Bloggers, to give you a short glimpse down the road ahead, and to myself so I can look back in the future and see how it all worked out.

When I first launched the blog it was January 17, 2018 and my plan was to get close to 10 articles on the site, before I actively began sharing it with anyone. Here is how the posting went by month to month…

  • January – 9 articles
  • February – 8
  • March – 2
  • April – 15
  • May – 31
  • June – 12 so far

At the end of January I began sharing about the blog with people I know, but didn’t really know anything about TAGS and CATEGORIES so I never really messed with them. Telling all of your friends at church about your blog, and none of them visit once – Priceless. Needless to say it didn’t take long to feel as though I was writing and writing but no one was ever going to find my blog let alone read it.

Now as you can see there was a major lag in activity early on, at the end of Feb thru Mar, and the reason? I was letting frustration defeat me as I struggled to break single digit followers and there were no comments or likes on anything.

What I was doing wrong

One day my wife asked me why I hadn’t written on my blog in a while and I explained, in my best WOE IS ME storytelling mode. It is quite embarrassing looking back LOL. My beautiful wife who is 8 years my junior is ALWAYS full of wisdom, God bless her.

She explained that she followed a Minimalist blog for a long time, and it started out very slowly but grew over time, and that blogging is hard long work that it takes time to develop. She said to lower my expectations and see where the blog is at in 2-3 years, and form a long term plan for growth.

Her talk made me see the two things that were getting in my way, first my pride…oh poor Keith no one is reading his articles. And second, my need to have everything right now, my incredible impatience (which appears in many areas of my life).

What Changed

So I immediately did two things… I changed my mindset to long term, focusing on building a blog that could grow as God desired and not me. Then I began writing and writing… but not just on my blog. What I discovered, and I am sure you already know, is that most of your time blogging will be spent on OTHER people’s blogs.

This is where people will get to know you, not just other bloggers, but their readers as well, so while I spend probably 4-5 hours a week writing for my own bog, I easily spend 2-3 times that commenting and interacting on other blogs.

Once I did those two things, starting back in April, things started to pick up as people began to like, comment and follow my blog. When I hit 50 Followers it was like… a massive milestone for me LOL. One day you and I will looking back on 5,000 followers and think…. remember back then?

You might ask, Keith – why are you concerned about a follower count? Just write for the Lord and be happy! You might be correct, maybe I shouldn’t be looking at that number, but darn it all I can’t help it… it’s right there!!! LOL. Plus at least I can look at it and see growth and this gives me encouragement.

My advice to you

  • Keep writing, if people find your blog, the more content the more likely they will be to revisit your writings.
  • Make use of Categories and Tags early on, and decide how you want to structure your site. This will help you get discovered through search engines more quickly.
  • Write about something that you have lived and experienced when you can, really connect with your audience by being authentic.
  • Comment on other blogs and connect with other bloggers (follow them). I never leave a comment like “great to meet you, nice blog, please visit mine“. How lame. Instead I read an article and give a thoughtful response, this blogger spent a good deal of time writing this article the least I can do is spend a little time writing a comment.
  • Visit blogs with counter-thoughts and ideas. This may seem weird to some, but I spend a lot of time on Atheist blogs, commenting on their articles. You know what’s interesting is some of them have come back to my blog and when they do, the conversations are LONG. Not always in a negative way, although sometimes that happens. Plus if I am just writing to Christians all day, how do I reach the lost? One word of caution, if you decide to venture out into the lands of Atheism, be prepared. You will be challenged greatly and need to know the reasons for your faith. Equip yourself.
  • Get comfy and buckle in for the long haul, blogging is not easy and takes a lot of time. If you desire, as I do, to blog full time – understand it will be a full time job… not some dream where you write three hours a week from a beach in Jamaica.
  • Have fun! You are serving the Lord, building the Kingdom… what greater joy can be found?

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Why Is Sound Doctrine So Important?

This post has been re-blogged from my friend Bruce’s site over at Reasoned Cases For Christ. If you like this article, pay him a visit, his blog is a gold mine of Christian resources, with over 500 articles!


 

our-beliefs

Doctrine is a set of accepted beliefs held by a particular group. In Christianity, it is the set of true beliefs that define the parameters of our belief system. Consequently, there is true doctrine and false doctrine relative to each belief set. For example, within Christianity, a true Biblical doctrine is that there is only one God in all existence (Isaiah 43:1044:68). A false doctrine is that there is more than one God in all existence.

This major_christian_doctrines link provides a PDF list of the basic major doctrines of the Christian faith that are accepted by all Protestant denominations that are considered Christian, should you wish to peruse them. Bear in mind that there are a good number of other subjects within our Bible that are also important such as our understanding of the end times, the Law of Moses and the covenants etc.

Understanding the doctrines of the Bible is a skill set that is quickly diminishing within the body of Christ, the Church. The reasons for this are varied but paramount among the reasons is a basic lack of knowledge or familiarity with God’s Word. In order to be able to recognize a teaching that is not in accordance with God’s Word, it is necessary to be conversant with what God’s Word teaches on a given doctrine.  If you’re reading something in a book or listening to a podcast or watching a video, we need to be able to have a standard to which we can compare it with to discern as to whether what is being taught is in line with God’s Word. If you aren’t conversant with God’s Word, then you have nothing to compare it with and are more subject to being mislead.

“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” ~ C. H. Spurgeon

Sound doctrine is important because our faith is based on a specific message. The overall teaching of the church contains many elements, but the primary message is explicitly defined: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures [and] . . . he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This is the unambiguous good news, and it is “of first importance.” Change that message, and the basis of faith shifts from Christ to something else. Our eternal destiny depends upon hearing “the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:3; see also 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).

Sound doctrine is important because the gospel is a sacred trust, and we dare not tamper with God’s communication to the world. Our duty is to deliver the message, not to change it. Jude conveys an urgency in guarding the trust: “I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3; see also Philippians 1:27). To “contend” carries the idea of strenuously fighting for something, to give it everything you’ve got. The Bible includes a warning neither to add to nor subtract from God’s Word (Revelation 22:18-19). Rather than alter the apostles’ doctrine, we receive what has been passed down to us and keep it “as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).

Sound doctrine is important because what we believe affects what we do. Behavior is an extension of theology, and there is a direct correlation between what we think and how we act. For example, a man who believes in well-defined moral standards will have a tendency to conduct himself differently from one who believes in no standard or accountability. In one of the Bible’s lists of sins, things like rebellion, murder, lying, and slave trading are mentioned. The list concludes with “whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:9-10). In other words, true teaching promotes righteousness; sin flourishes where “the sound doctrine” is opposed.

Sound doctrine is important because we must ascertain truth in a world of falsehood. “Many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). There are tares among the wheat and wolves among the flock (Matthew 13:25Acts 20:29). The best way to distinguish truth from falsehood is to know what the truth is.

Sound doctrine is important because the end of sound doctrine is life. “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). Conversely, the end of unsound doctrine is destruction. “Certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 1:4). Changing God’s message of grace is a “godless” thing to do, and the condemnation for such a deed is severe. Preaching another gospel (“which is really no gospel at all”) carries an anathema: “let him be eternally condemned!” (see Galatians 1:6-9).

Sound doctrine is important because it encourages believers. A love of God’s Word brings “great peace” (Psalm 119:165), and those “who proclaim peace . . . who proclaim salvation” are truly “beautiful” (Isaiah 52:7). A pastor “must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (Titus 1:9).

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

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