Adam’s Road Concert, 4 Cats and God’s Plan

Tonight was an amazing night of worship at my local church, as Adam’s Road performed live on stage… incredible music and powerful testimonies of how our wonderful God changes hearts and lives. All of the members were Mormons before Christ came into their lives… and VERY active in their faith.

Micah, Matt, Lila and Joseph all shared their stories, and their love for God in the form of music on stage tonight. There were few dry eyes in the entire worship center. I don’t want to share too much of their testimonies here, because I really want you to visit their site and watch them yourself.

But one testimony struck me right in the heart, and that was Joseph’s. He shared how 12 years ago he came to know Jesus Christ and out of Mormonism, how his entire family is still lost spiritually and how he married Katie (Matt and Micah’s sister – also a part of Adam’s Road) and they have two cats. Now to you this may seem like nothing at all… but God grabbed me tonight and I was filled with utter sadness over the knowledge that no one in my family knows Christ. I could not stop from crying during his testimony, my heart broke for Joseph knowing the pain he was experiencing.

After the show I was able to speak with Joseph one on one, which started with a hug and being choked up with tears and ending with us praying for each other’s families. PRAISE GOD! I am so blessed to have met Joseph tonight, that I almost feel like God crossed our paths and I made a new friend tonight… or maybe I’m just a fanboy stalker, I am not really sure… LOL. But I was just struck by the fact that we both came to a saving faith in Christ 12 years ago, we both have families that don’t know Jesus and we both have 2 cats… coincidence? I think not.

God’s Real Purpose for this Evening

All joking and cat stories aside I am very serious when I said God grabbed hold of me tonight, and it wasn’t just so I could pray with Joseph. God refreshed or reignited a passion within me to share the Gospel. Not just share it, but share it intentionally… with purpose and with passion.

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This is what we lose sight of so easily, especially being Christians in America, that we have been Commissioned by God. If you want to go by Webster, that means we have been given AN ORDER by God. To go and make disciples of all nations… to GO. That would be a verb, an ACTION word. As I wrote in another post, we can often make the mistake of thinking if we live “good Christian lives” (whatever that means) then our example is witness enough. That attitude is dead wrong. Can you imagine if the 12 Apostles had that same attitude? None of us would know the name of Jesus!

This is my personal challenge to myself, to share the Gospel every day with someone who doesn’t know Jesus. It may be a casual conversation at a grocery check out or an in depth conversation elsewhere… I will leave it to God to place people in my path. But how refreshing would it be to LIVE for Jesus every day? We exist in a world of lost souls, all destined for an eternity separated from God… Can you imagine how many people may come to know Christ if we shared the Gospel on a regular basis? Can you imagine how many people… those people might plant the seeds of the Gospel within?

The thought gives me chills.

I want to thank God again for a wonderful evening at Church, thank Adam’s Road for making the journey, thank the team for their testimonies… and invite you to get to know Adam’s Road, share in their ministry… and prayerfully consider how you can share the Gospel with someone you know.

Adam’s Road

Adams Road

Jesus unshackled four religious people and filled them with the knowledge of God’s amazing grace. Adam’s Road is made up of these four individuals, whom God rescued out of Mormonism and brought into a personal and saving relationship with Jesus. Through the transformative power of the Gospel, we who once were blind, lost, and dead are now trophies of God’s immeasurable grace. We have discovered the Bread of Life and no longer hunger; we have drunk from the fountain of life and no longer thirst. We are proof that no one is outside of the reach of God’s grace. We were lost, but Jesus searched us out, relentlessly pursued us, and saved us. We are evidence of the life-changing power of God’s incalculable love. ~ Adam’s Road, Official Website

All of the music produced and performed by Adam’s Road is given away free on their website, just as The Gospel is freely given. Please visit their site today and share it on your social networks.

https://www.adamsroadministry.com/freemusic

 

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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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New Blog Series: Testimonies. Share Your Story

Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Today I am very excited to announce a new upcoming series on Stand Tall For Christ called TESTIMONIES. As you might have already guessed, this series will showcase Christian Testimonies from around the world… and to get this series off the ground I need to hear from you! If you want to be featured… email me today, the following:

  • Your Name (full or abbreviated, whatever you want to use).
  • Your Story of How Christ saved you. This can be your story of salvation or any other way Jesus has saved you (addictions, abuse, etc.) Preferably around 500 words or less.
  • Link to your Christian website or blog if you have one. (optional)
  • Square photo (head shot).

I believe testimonies are one of the most powerful tools God has given us to reach the lost and I always like to tell Christians… your testimony is NOT yours, it belongs to God. By sharing your testimony you are letting the power of God’s work in your life reach others who never knew you… and desperately need to know Jesus.

Email me today if you want to participate in this new series… I hope to get so many emails it will take me a week to read through them!!!

email: standtallforchrist@gmail.com

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Fellowship Friday #12 Have You Met These Christian Bloggers?

Welcome back to Fellowship Friday, a new weekly post on Stand Tall For Christ where I will share 4 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:

Freedomborn

Freedomborn: “My main focus in life is my wonderful Friendship with Jesus Christ, without Him all else would be meaningless. He is my best Friend and never lets me down and I have deep heartfelt appreciation that I’m a Spiritual Child of The KING of Kings and LORD of Lords, part of His Church, The Bride and The Body of Christ and I seek to share with others how truly wonderful that is with the hope they too will realize the same and will know His Melody in their heart.”

Capturing Christianity

Capturing Christianity: “The purpose of this blog is now coming into focus. I want to awaken American evangelicals to the fact that Christianity is among the most intellectually defensible world views out there. But also, it doesn’t take a degree in Astrophysics or Theology to engage in intelligent discussion. I am convinced that anyone with an open mind and willing heart, including a photographer like myself, can learn to engage in discussion and give a reasoned defense of the hope that is within them (1 Peter 3:15)”

Christian Thought Sandbox

Christian Thought Sandbox: “As kids, the sandbox was where anything could happen. Racetracks and castles would be made, and then Godzilla would come along and destroy everything. Our imaginations ran free and wild. This place is a sandbox, but not for Godzilla or racetracks and castles. No, this is a sandbox with a specific purpose. Christian Thought Sandbox is a space where we can openly and freely discuss, debate, theorize, ponder and teach all things Christianity.”

True Life Christianity

True Life Christianity: “As we embark on the ultimate race of spiritual life, while we are trapped in these physical bodies, won’t you join me as we go down the road of life together? Furthermore, I hope will join me as a True Life Christian as we pick up some travelers along the way to share Jesus Christ with them.”


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..

 

Rebuke: An Open Letter to Christians Who Are Against Homosexuality, From a Homosexual Christian

Today I found an article online titled “An open letter to Christians who are against Homosexuality, from a Homosexual Christian”. Obviously with a title like that I had to take a peek, what I discovered was a LONG list of justifications put forth by the writer for her sin. She signed the article Katie Breckenridge is a gay Christian from Sydney, Australia. To give you an indicator of her mindset, she places the fact that she is GAY ahead of her identity as a Christian, as you will soon see in her writings.

Link to Full Article – Click Here

Below I want to rebuke her article, one paragraph at a time, her writings are in blue.

Christians claim to be full of love. Christians claim to not be judgmental. But so many Christians have absolutely no idea how wrong and hurtful they are. They live in blissful ignorance, believing they are so holy that they could never hurt another person and that their way of thinking is absolutely correct.

I have never met the Christian she describes here. What does being holy have to do with hurting someone any way? Was Jesus holy? Did he say things truthfully or sugar coat everything?

This letter isn’t aiming to change anyone’s mind. Most Christians are set in their ways and will never admit that their interpretation of the Bible might be wrong. This letter is simply trying to let Christians know how hurtful and damaging their ignorance can be, even when they think they are being accepting and loving.

Ignorance of what exactly? Maybe we will get to the bottom of this if we keep reading.

Of course, many Christians don’t think like this. Many Christians don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin and they understand that the Bible was relevant to the context of the time, when homosexuality was not understood like it is today. Homosexuality back then was (generally) a lustful act. Today, however, we know that homosexuality is a real, loving commitment that two people have with each other. Furthermore, Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, not even once. If being homosexual is such a perverted and sinful thing, surely Jesus would have commented on it, like he did about divorce.

  1. If a Christian doesn’t believe homosexuality is a sin, they are wrong.
  2. The Bible, as every Christian should know is RELEVANT in ALL times, which is why we call it the Living Word of God.
  3. Homosexuality is about SEXUAL attractions and actions. Which is why it’s called homoSEXUALITY.
  4. Jesus didn’t mention rape, embezzling, arson, heroin addiction, animal cruelty, or a thousand other sinful behaviors. So by his silence, then these are all good things?

1 John 4:8 says “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Read that again. God is love. The fact that two people of the same sex can experience true and pure love for each other is proof that their love is real and God breathed. If their love was so wrong and so sinful, and God hates sin, how is it that they’re experiencing love? I guess some Christians would argue their love isn’t real love, that it’s just replicating real love, that it’s just lust or a perverted love—which truly shows their ignorance.

I can LOVE another man, in fact I DO Love other men, my father, my brother, and many friends in my life. There is nothing wrong with love, it is LUST and sexual desires of the same sex that are sinful. If you LOVE another woman romantically, that is sinful. This goes back to feelings… just because something feels natural to you, doesn’t make it less sinful. Talk to ANY person with any sexual desire you don’t agree with, they will state emphatically it feels natural to them.

A line many Christians like to say when they’re trying to seem like less of a judgmental asshole is, “Jesus called us to love everybody, including prostitutes, criminals, and tax collectors. We are called to love those who are especially hard to love, people like you.” To compare homosexuality to murder, lying, and rape is so hurtful. All the sins in the Bible are sins because they ultimately have negative outcomes either toward the individual or others. But homosexuality does not have negative consequences, because it is love, and there is nothing destructive about love.

Sin is not a sin because it has negative outcomes either toward an individual or others. Sin is Sin because it is a transgression of God’s law. It is shocking that she is trying so hard to justify her behavior, and yet lacks a basic understanding of sin… or worse willfully denies it. Homosexuality has plenty of negative consequences.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 tells us that “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” If two people experience all these amazing things, then it is a good thing, regardless of their genitals. Comparing same-sex love to other sins—sins entirely devoid of love—is incredibly wrong.

She is fighting hard to defend her sin, but if she is honest, there are lines she draws in the sand as well. If you ask her, can a grown man have a romantic loving sexual relationship with his grown daughter? She would most likely say no, yet it is all just love right? There are no negative outcomes right? Wrong. Whenever we deviate from God’s design and plan, there are always negative outcomes.

When Christians claim to love everybody, yet still oppose marriage equality, they sound so hypocritical: “I love you, so I advocate laws and policies that systematically discriminate against you!” Thankfully, more and more churches accept gay marriage for what it really is, marriage—two people in love who are committing their lives to each other.

Marriage is not defined by man or decided by a man’s desire, it is an institution that God designed for a very special purpose, one that a homosexual union cannot fulfill… bringing forth Godly people into the world. Before you mention the 60 year olds that cannot have children or a woman who is barren or man who is infertile, none of that changes God’s design. Men and Women unite as one flesh in marriage, something that cannot be achieved otherwise.

Some Christians still cry, “but marriage is our thing!” If marriage is so exclusive to Christians, why are adamantly anti-religious people allowed to get married, yet two gay Christians cannot? Christians seem worried that marriage equality will somehow invalidate their own marriages, which of course it does not. If you don’t believe that same sex people should get married, and don’t want your church to perform gay weddings, fine. You are allowed to believe that, you have religious freedom. If marriage equality laws are passed, your church cannot be forced to perform gay weddings. You can carry on preaching hate and ostracizing gay people as much as you want.

  1. Marriage is between one man and one woman. There is no restrictions to their belief or unbelief in scripture. However the Bible does teach it is UNWISE to be unequally yoked, but not forbidden.
  2. Truth is not hate. You are living a life of willful sin Katie, and it is only from a place of love I warn to you turn away from this behavior and repent. Your friends you love so much will cheer you on your path to Hell. While I sit by weeping for you and yet I am the hateful one?

But, even if you’re against same-sex marriage, you do not have the right to prohibit other people from getting married. Let people live their lives without you infringing on their rights—it does not affect you. Many Christians seem unable to understand the difference between religious freedom and discrimination. Religious freedom is the right to believe what you want: you are allowed to build a church and openly pray and not get arrested. But religious freedom is not the right for you to discriminate by refusing business services to gay people or to stop them living their own lives in peace.

This is the exact opposite advice you should be giving Christians. If laws are being passed that usurp God’s design and Sovereignty, it is our duty to STAND on the side of God. On a side note, the Supreme Court of the U.S. disagrees with you Katie, but I understand you are from the Outback and they may do things differently out there.

One of the most upsetting things Christians say is that they are against homosexuality, but that they still accept you: “I accept you as you are, so every night I pray that you will reject one of the most fundamental aspects of your identity.” Oh wow thanks, I am honored you still supposedly treat me as a human being, you are so Godly.

If one of the most fundamental aspects of your identity is your sexual desires, then you have a very low image of yourself and I would encourage you to embrace your Secret Identity. Which is a child of the Most High God.

But of course we know that being gay is not a choice. Though there is more to personal identity than our sexuality, who we love is an essential part of our being. Ask any Christian who has a partner if loving that person is one of the most significant aspects of their life. They’ll likely say, “yes absolutely.” Then tell them to imagine, really imagine, how it would feel if the church and most of society told them that their love for their husband or wife is wrong and evil, and that they should dump their partner. They would be horrified and hurt. This is what most Christians cannot grasp: that their love for their opposite-sex partner is identical to same-sex love. Love is love, regardless of gender. Too many people lack the empathy to compare their relationships to those of same-sex couples, and then fail to understand the cruel implications of their beliefs.

You assert that being gay is not a choice, which is necessary to help you escape any culpability. Who can blame you, even God… if you truly have “no choice” but yet we see people making a choice to be gay every day… and others leave the lifestyle every day. Choices are being made all the time to partake in sexual desires of all sorts.

But we have to make a distinction, between sexual desires and sexual acts. If you have an impulse or desire towards someone sexually, that doesn’t mean you have to act on it. Therein lies the choice. Does a pedophile CHOOSE to have a sexual desire towards a kid? No the impulses are there, but the act of doing it… that is a choice. If you ask that pedophile why he has those impulses he will surely explain how he has always felt that way, and how he loves those children. Sound familiar?

Christians also say “hate the sin, love the sinner.” The reasoning here is that being a homosexual might be ok, but practicing homosexuality is wrong. Ultimately they think that while you are ok simply being gay, you should be alone forever because you are unworthy of love. That hurts! To be considered unworthy of love by a community who spouts love to everyone is heinous. They expect gay people to abstain from connecting with another human, to be alone, and to never follow their heart.

No the expectation is not to be alone forever, but to ultimately understand sin in your life and get as far away from it as possible. When you align yourself with God, you will find greater joy than you ever imagined.

Why would God make a person gay (because, spoiler alert, it’s not a choice) if it is so wrong? Why would God make someone fall completely in love with another person and then be like, “oh just kidding!”? Why would God set someone up to have their heart broken? That would be malicious and cruel, which God isn’t. God loves love.

God didn’t make you gay Katie, it is part of your sinful nature.

Homosexual love is not a sin. Love is Love. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).

Homosexual love IE. desires, romanticism and sexuality are all sin.

God Is Love. Love is God. Love in all its forms.

Finally something we can agree on.

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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