As should be plain to anyone that read the March 14, 2021 post the Lord led me to write presenting the biblical Gospel, salvation from sin is the uppermost concern of the living God for His human creatures.1 Every other instruction, promise and benefit follows from this divine priority and is built on that spiritual foundation. Any professed Christian preacher, teacher or anyone else that asserts otherwise is deceived and as a deceiver, not telling the truth (Mark 1:14-15, 13:10, 16:14-16; Luke 19:9-10, 24:46-47; John 3:16-18; 1 Timothy 1:15)! Also, God’s salvation is not obtained through any other person or means except His Son, Jesus Christ, (John 14:6; Acts 4:8-12).
In continuing concern for black males without Christ and now, also those that profess to know Him, I write as He leads to dissuade any that may consciously or unconsciously believe the social good works they are doing are good enough for Him to slide you into Heaven and eternal glory. Not so, according to God’s Word the final authority for what Christianity is all about. Indeed, Paul, the Jewish apostle to us Gentiles makes it clear that neither by attempting to keep “the law,” its works or those considered good by sinful mankind can anyone “be justified in” the sight of God, but only by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:19-4:4; Galatians 2:15-16, 3:10-14, NKJV)!
A works based salvation is common to manmade counterfeit Christianity as men strive to be good and do enough through their own efforts to make it into Heaven. Of course, those with no interest in religion at all during these socially conscious latter days also seek to do good works as a false show of inherit human goodness that is impressive to people and they think God too, should He be taking note. The Lord led me to address this contemporary pitfall of people doing social good as a replacement for His call to repentance from sin and salvation in a 2016 post.2 For professed Christians, such a notion wickedly attempts to redefine biblical Christianity and is heretical!
The reason no works or deeds no matter how noble or good can impress God our Creator enough to dismiss human sin is because of who He is eternally in character--holy, righteous and just (Psalms 90:2, 99:1-5, 9, 111:2-3, 7-8).3 As holy, God is wholly other than and set apart from sin. Sin offends the holiness of God and stirs up His wrath against it! Perfectly righteous, God can never just “let sin slide” or uphold it, but must judge it out of His perfect justice. He created angels and man perfect, but some of the angels and man sinned. God has judged all fallen sinners giving only willing mortal man grace to be saved from His wrath and eternal separation to Hell (Revelation 20:10-15).
After being saved by grace through faith in Christ, His followers enjoy intimate fellowship with Him and the Father. This fellowship is possible only because the blood Christ shed on Calvary is effectual forever to enable divine forgiveness and cleansing upon our continual humble and honest confession and repentance from our sins--often revealed in the study of the written Word along with the Holy Spirit’s convicting work (Psalm 19:7-14; John 16:5-11; 1 John 1:1-2:2). Faithful Christians in this biblical context do good works serving Christ and fellow man at His direction through the power of the Holy Spirit to glorify God (Matthew 5:14-16; John 12:25-26,13:12-17; Acts 2:44-47, 9:32-43)!4
Truly, for the Christian as it is written, “Faith without works is dead,” (James 2:14-26, NKJV). Thus, we in Christ do not do good works to be saved, but because we are saved and as a result, God who is at work in and through us is glorified (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 2:11-15)! Here is where the Lord gives sober warning to church folk doing even “wonders” in His name beyond the typical dead churchy works carried out in the midst of manmade counterfeit Christianity the religion thinking they are pleasing Him. For unless you are doing the will of His Father which is first to actually be saved by grace through faith in Christ and walking in the intimacy of relationship with Him, your works are worthless as a means to gain entry into Heaven and immortal glory (Matthew 7:21-23, NKJV).
Therefore, to the men I share identity with as black Americans and all others: not social good works, but salvation from sin is God’s limited time priority for us and only means of reward from Him! Otherwise, despite self-gratification, the honor and awards of grateful mankind, “you will die in your sins” (whether that is from the “normal” ways mortal men die or the escalating judgments of God leading to His nearing foretold wrath) to await “the judgment seat of Christ” in Hades with no hope of exoneration because you refused to believe in Him through the Gospel (Luke 16:19-31; John 8:21-24; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11, NKJV). I implore you by the mercies of God to seek His salvation now, since as His Coronavirus judgment has reminded us, tomorrow is not guaranteed and sudden happens!
1 See the March 14, 2021 post, The Gospel Is For Black Males Too!, under the category, The Cause
2 Read the January 17, 2016 post, Suffering For Preaching God’s Word, under the category, Instruction.
3 See the May 31, 2020 post, Keeping It Real About God, under the category, Instruction.
4 This is the heart of every Christian man and woman that aspires to be like and obey Christ as strong men and great women of God I write about respectively in my book,
The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. The book is published by Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. and is available in print or digital formats at major internet
booksellers. You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
Joyful greetings to you on this Palm Sunday! Please receive this edited 2013 repost as a word of encouragement during this very special week for us as followers of Jesus Christ. Per usual, I will be taking Resurrection Sunday off in this current case to celebrate my 42nd spiritual birthday. The Lord saying the same, my next post will appear on Sunday, April 28th.
Originally Posted March 29, 2013
My short holiday blog for Resurrection Sunday appears today so that I may respectfully pause to honor the Lord’s triumphant work to save a wretch like me culminating in His powerful resurrection from the dead as I hope all of you will do as well.1 The Lord’s challenge to us who would be faithful in these days of open rebellion by the world against as well as spiritual confusion, adultery and apostasy among those professing to know Him, is to all the more take to heart the benedictory exhortation of the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 6:11-16; following Christ’s example to the death as we have been called (Philippians 1:27-30; 1 Peter 2:19-23, 3:13-17).
The foregoing is the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ! The times we have entered into have been foreordained and told by God through the prophets, the Lord Jesus and His apostles (Mark 13:9-23; Acts 8:1-4). There is nothing we can do to reverse this present course permanently for even when the Lord does send revival to His people in days ahead, it will not be to restore the so-called “good old days” as I write in my book, the Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.2 It will be the marking out and protection of elect Israel as well as renewing preparation for enduring “the great tribulation” by faithful saints leading up to Christ’s return (Revelation 7, NKJV).
Thus, the wicked wherever they are found fill up the cup of their sins that God in increasing severity judges until finally, He pours out on them the fullness of His wrath to crush them at Christ’s appearing (Revelation 16:17-21, 19:11-21). Meanwhile, the faithful “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12, NKJV); staying in it until death or the Lord’s appearing and receive as our good end, the promised resurrection to immortality in the likeness of His own we celebrate on Resurrection Sunday (Revelation 20:4-6). A glorious Resurrection Sunday to you, indeed!
1 Read the April 3, 2016 repost the Lord gave me richly exploring the resurrection, God Raises The Dead, under the category, The Faith!
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
The teaching gift’s aim with the leading of the Holy Spirit is to give men the ability to explain and make plain the Word of God for the simplest hearts. Quickly straying from the reform intent of Martin Luther, European Protestants set aside the simple Gospel and the precious teachings of salvation revealed to the apostles by the Holy Spirit in Scripture and began inventing all manner of heretical and complicated schemes they attempted to support with Scripture. In that free for all and volatile environment Catholics and Protestants were killing folk who did not hold to their respective theological positions. Even so, the schemes and divisions have just kept coming to this very hour.
I am reposting this blog and those that follow the rest of this month for the original, still relevant reasons I stated back then. I did not name any specific group that held to the idea that God gives predetermined men the faith they need to believe the Gospel and be saved forever, but do so now to sound the alarm as this group (splintered as the rest of professing Christianity) in the main is attempting to pass off their theological system as biblical. Calvinists trace themselves back to European reformer John Calvin and have taken his original teachings to places it is not clear he would have gone in the development of their theological system with the acronym, TULIP.
As Christmas draws near this year, I am awestruck yet again by how God brought to sudden fulfillment in time what had been planned from eternity (2 Timothy 1:8-10); His work of salvation foretold by His prophets of old (Luke 1:67-75)! For Christmas from the Bible is nothing less than the simple, but profound narrative of a loving God’s next in time action step among many before with a few still coming to save His fallen creature, man, from sin, Satan and death. Among those prior steps was the never before done in history calling out of a people through whom to bring forth His chosen Deliverer (Genesis 3:14-15, 22:9-18; Exodus 3:1-10; Deuteronomy 4:32-39, 18:15-19).
Though surrounded and obscured by various Gentile secular and manmade religious cultural traditions as I was led to write in a previous post,1 if there is to be an authentic, biblical celebration of Christmas it must begin with God and the divine plan to save among fallen mankind! The divine plan designating the Son of God as mankind’s Savior was formulated before there was ever a creation because God foreknew man’s fall (Acts 2:22-24; 1 Peter 1:20-21). Many--including some Christians I have taught--struggle with this truth. They wonder, “If God knew man was going to fall, why bother to create him?” The simple answer is bound up in God’s nature and wisdom as well as man’s purpose.
“God is love,” the apostle John emphatically declares (1 John 4:8, NKJV). The visionary desire of God to create man is rooted in the very depths of divine love. Thus, the existence of man is not the result of a divine whim, afterthought or experiment. In love, God would create eternal sons to love that would love Him back in the image and likeness of the eternal Son (John 14:31; 1 John 4:19)!2 In wisdom, God knew (and now, even we know) in order for His creature to love, he must not only be equipped with the ability, but the free will to choose to do so. For this reason too, created to loyally serve God and His eternal sons, angels also have free will (Psalm 103:20-21; Hebrews 1:13-14).
The sovereign God, who knows all things, saw in advance the first man would freely choose to disobey His command and bring forth upon himself the just judgment His holy nature demanded. Since this was no experiment where God discarding the first man, would continue trying like some mad scientist until He finally created one that obeyed, in perfect love and wisdom God constructed a righteous plan to save His fallen creature. No plan was made to save disloyal angels that chose to rebel against God; they would be condemned to Hell forever without recourse (Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10). But from eternity God in love would show man His grace!
Here is where Christmas gets really deeply moving for me and I trust you also if in fact, you are among those saved by God’s grace through repentance and faith in the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ! While some stumble over the fact God would bother at all with constructing a plan to save fallen man, I am completely blown away by the fact His plan involved choosing to become one of us, His creature, leading to the indescribable pain, suffering and death He endured in successfully carrying it out (Isaiah 7:10-14, 53:1-9; Luke 1:26-40, 2:1-38; John 1:1-18, 3:16, 19:17-37; Hebrews 2:5-18). I am overwhelmed attempting to search out the kind of love that would do this for me!
Away from the secular commercial clamor, most significant for me as a Christian is the joyful worship of the God of my salvation; my Savior as planned, foretold and fulfilled--the powerful in simplicity real objective of Christmas! Indeed, so powerful is Christmas as the joyful worship of God in celebration of His action step to save fallen men by sending us His Son, the world has sought to diminish it with its own satanically inspired fabricated, sentimental storylines and cultural traditions which many churches of Christianity the religion of men endorse and support. To their shame and condemnation over the centuries, a great number of these have themselves offered up many complicated and heretical doctrines that corrupt the simple biblical narrative of God’s work to save.
Contending also with what he later describes as “false apostles” and “deceitful workers” as those that were phony messengers “of light” like Satan (2 Corinthians 11:12-15, NKJV), the apostle Paul strongly appeals for the Corinthians and all Christians to be faithful to our Lord Jesus; retaining “the simplicity that is in Christ,” (2 Corinthians 11:1-4, NKJV). For as Paul was concerned in the first, so, it continues to happen right into this twenty-first century that professed Christians are abandoning the simplicity of God’s work to save us from our sins through the first coming of Christ Jesus. Instead, to their destruction they are going after false christs, other gospels and doctrines following deceitful spirits as foretold (Mark 13:5-6; Galatians 1:3-7; 1 Timothy 4:1-5).
In faith and God’s command to stand fast, however, let every aspiring strong man of God in Christ’s image proclaim and witness the truth prepared from eternity and fulfilled to his family, church and the world at Christmas (Isaiah 53:10-12; John 20:1-18; Titus 1:1-3).3 Let us also accurately teach that if all of God’s foretold action steps in His work to save us from our sins were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming, then, it must be soberly understood that every one of the remaining prophesied action steps of salvation’s consummation at His Second Coming are to be shortly fulfilled (Acts 1:4-11, 3:18-26; Hebrews 9:23-28; Revelation 1:1-8, 21:7-8)!4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
I will take next Sunday off as part of my Christmas celebration and Lord willing, return with a final 2018 post on December 30th. Merry Christmas!
1 See the December 2014 two-part post, Culturally Conditioning the Faith, under the category, The Faith. The Church is not a creation of culture, but Christ’s called out
assembly from it (Matthew 16:13-18). Therefore, the Church is not beholding to the culture its members have assembled out of, but to Christ as His “light” exposing the
darkness and His “pillar and ground of the truth” in it (Ephesians 5:8-14; 1 Timothy 3:15, NKJV)! Because this is true, I stand by every word and Scripture cited in the
post referenced in this footnote.
2 Read the June 19, 2016 post, Eternal Sons Of God, under the category, Instruction.
3 Learn more about the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at all major internet booksellers,
by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
4 Read Now Is The Day Of Salvation, posted December 4, 2016, under the category, Call To Repent. Also, while it is righteous not to attempt to declare a specific date or
hour of Christ’s return as He warned (Mark 13:32-37), a disservice is being done to the Body of Christ by those at this hour that say “it could be another thousand
years.” Not! The Lord also commanded us to watch for the prophetic signs He gave indicating His coming was near (Luke 21:25-36). Such signs have been breaking
out profusely since the time Israel became a nation again on May 14, 1948 which itself is the greatest of them so far and confirms as foretold that the punitive dispersion
of the Jews to the nations was only to be temporary (Hosea 3; Luke 21:20-24; Romans 11:1-15, 25-36)!
Last week’s repost, “The Devil’s Bullpen” and this one form the February 2012 posts to which I refer in the opening paragraph of the two-part, “The Faith That Saves,” under The Faith category.1 Sadly, satanically inspired confusion over the exact origin and nature of the faith God requires to save a man continues to this hour. While some have wrongly made the faith that saves so high men need a special gift from God to exercise it, others have made it so low as to be mere words devoid of any heartfelt sincerity which Scripture teaches God requires (Romans 10:6-10). It is from out of the latter group that easy belief from a cheap grace arises and which this edited repost addresses.
The Lord Jesus likens a man’s heart of faith to be saved to that of a trusting little child (Matthew 18:1-5). Such faith is anything but empty words. As every parent knows, trusting little children constantly and consistently look to them wide-eyed to take care of them and meet their every need. So it is with us who are saved by grace through faith in the living God! Unlike human parents though, that weary with their children’s dependent faith, God is pleased with and encourages the growth of it in His.
Originally Posted February 26, 2012
The Lord has led me to follow-up last week’s blog on Whitney Houston’s death to address the issue of faith that endures to salvation as is plainly taught in His Word. This faith is in contrast to that which passes for it in the lives of so many professing to be Christians today. It is the faith that fills the heart of and is a matter of character in every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.2
As many in our nation are physically flabby, so, many professed Christians are spiritually. Consequently, they are weak, effortlessly seduced and perpetually overcome by Satan, sin and self. One major reason for this is the easy belief in Christ and the Gospel that many pastors and churches accept without question or follow with genuine discipleship in their eagerness to fill seats. Essentially, all one has to do to be pronounced a Christian these days is say with the lips, “I believe.” And while there is a real place for not making ourselves judges of the heart, God surely expects us to pay attention to the attitudes, lifestyle and behavior of those who have said, “I believe,” (Matthew 7:15-20).
According to Hebrews 11:6, the faith that saves and endures to completion is two-fold. First, it is confidence and trust in as well as reliance on the truth that God is. That is, that God exists. Though this is good, in my experience it is unfortunately where many people stop in their faith. They often struggle for a lifetime because while they believe there is a God, they are unwilling to accept His judgment of them, repent and take the next step to embrace the Gospel for deliverance (John 3:16-21; Romans 3:9-26). Of course, many of those persons are not truthful at all about believing God exists since if they really did, like the demons, they would be in terror of their Judge (Isaiah 6:1-5; James 2:19)!
The few--relatively speaking--that press on into salvation are those who not only believe God is, but that He is also “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,” (Hebrews 11:6b, NKJV). This is the second aspect of the faith that saves and endures to completion. Diligence has to do with pursuing something with all perseverance and painstaking effort. Diligence is so important to God, it is purposely built into the lives of His aspiring strong men and great women of God as a character trait.3 In repentance and the two-fold faith that pleases God, then, folk believe the Gospel and cling steadfastly to God’s promises contained therein through many trials and tribulations to the death (Matthew 5:10-12, 10:21-22, 24:9-13; Hebrews 3:14, 10:32-12:2; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Revelation 12:11).
Salvation is of faith from beginning to end (Romans 1:16-17). “Without faith it is impossible to please” God and be saved, much less live for Him (Hebrews 11:6a, NKJV). Sobering, is it not? Therefore, I urge you dear reader, to see if you are really a Christian and repent from any easy belief that has deceived you. I also urge you to get my book to learn what God from the Bible expects your life to look like as one professing to know Him in faith. You will be shown how to live with the “blessed assurance” and victory of biblical faith in Christ that endures to the saving of the soul. No one will question from your lifestyle and deeds at your death whether you really knew Christ or not.
1 The Faith That Saves Pt. 1 was reposted April 6, 2014 followed the next week by Pt. 2.
2 The book is available at all major internet book sellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
3 Purposely teaching men biblical manhood in Christ’s image includes teaching them His holy character God wills to build into their lives. Half of the twenty-six week
Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study is spent doing this. Learn more.
Shortly after the greatest of all revivals commences, while earth’s inhabitants are going about their noisy routines, Heaven briefly goes quiet from its normally thunderous worshipful activities. As reported by the apostle John, the solemn silence in Heaven is a prelude to the divine warning judgments about to be unleashed on earth that lead finally to wrath. This time has come urged by the prayers of all the saints in both locales that are fragrant to God. In dramatic fashion, seven trumpets are given to seven angels that blown in Heaven, signal God’s actions to take place and countdown His coming Day of the Lord on the earth (Psalm 34:15, 119:126, 141:1-2; Revelation 6:9-11, 8:1-4).
The angel that had ministered the prayers of His saints before God, now, fills his censer with fire and throws it to the earth. Suddenly, there is a global wonder in the sky of loud noises, booming thunder, fierce lightning and a quake that rattles the entire planet at once! In an instant, God’s response to the prayers of His saints who have waited millennia for Him to act occurs and creates the fitting fear and alarm among humanity very clear “acts of God” should elicit (Revelation 8:5). Quickly recovering from the suddenness of this terrifying event and emboldened all the more, the faithful ratchet up their Kingdom work and warfare and stiffen their resolve to stand on the Lord’s side!
The seven angels prepare to blow (Revelation 8:6). The question of whether there is a God for all but the most cynical in denial is answered after the first four angels sound their trumpets of judgment (Revelation 8:7-12)! These “third” judgments fully demonstrate God’s control over nature and the cosmos as well as His ability to destroy all when and should He desire.9 Thus, as with the plagues upon Egypt, God’s first four judgments are meant to awaken unsaved mankind and their rulers to His superior reality. After graciously giving the unsaved an opportunity to repent and believe the Gospel to be saved (Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9), timeout on the field ends.
With the atmosphere still filled with smoke and the stench of death from decaying sea life, many will be those including non-remnant Jews and professed Christian religionists that willfully harden their hearts against the Gospel like Pharaoh who was not impressed with God’s display of power and resisted Him (Exodus 5:1-2).10 So, in support of His two-fold elect God will repeat another thing He did in Egypt: make a distinction between His people with the mark of the Holy Spirit and those without Him in the first of three woes an angel has warned about (Revelation 8:13). The game resumes with the first and goal attempt by Satan’s team to run its favorite persecution play against God’s faithful and Jews when immediately the fifth trumpet sounds.
Confusion ensues and the play is stopped dead in the backfield as God’s judgment summons Satan to release demonically controlled creatures that painfully sting only those without the mark of the Holy Spirit for five months; members of his own team of deceived mortals (Exodus 8:20-24; Revelation 9:1-12)!11 The pain is so great the unsaved want to die, but cannot do so. The temporary nature of this judgment and woe once more shows God’s grace and willingness to save. Though the faithful continue laboring to restore men, the results are negligible because instead of being humbled by their pain, the unsaved persist in their sins. The sixth trumpet sounds (Revelation 9:13-15).
Knowing plainly who God’s faithful are, Satan’s team is about to blast up the middle on its second and goal murderous play to steam roll into the end zone when reinforcements foretold from ancient times suddenly take the field (Joel 2:1-11; Revelation 9:16-19). The play is turned back by God’s army with a major loss of yards as one third of unsaved mankind then on earth is killed and eternally condemned! Humiliated, nevertheless, the now fully heart hardened remainder of unsaved mankind defiantly refuse to repent from their sins (Revelation 9:20-21). However, they are weary of God’s judgments and are reluctantly ready to concede to another of His demands through the Jews.
In echo of His demand of Pharaoh by way of Moses, God declares to the world rulers of the day as spoken to me and through the passionate insistence of Jews, “Let My people go worship Me at the Temple built on Zion’s hill for that purpose,” (Exodus 8:25-32)! God then calls His second timeout to allow the necessary details of His demand to unfold. Those details include the successful negotiation efforts of the still mortal Antichrist that result in Daniel’s seventieth week and the Temple worship covenant (Daniel 9:24-27). John is told by an angel there will be no more delays in the days just before the seventh trumpet sounds (Revelation 10-11:2). The game resumes with Satan carrying out a third and goal persecution screen pass play intended to harm the Jews in particular.
However, two men suddenly appear in the defense; God’s foretold two witnesses His faithful and worldwide Jewry recognize in the familiar plagues they freely bring on the earth to validate their prophetic utterances, glorify God and take out enemy blockers coming against them and Israel. They serve the first half of the seven year Temple worship covenant (Malachi 4:4-6; Revelation 11:3-6). During this period, Satan has trouble in Heaven too since the holy angels have made war against and defeat him and the heavenly hosts of his team; casting them to the earth. In “great wrath,” he presses the screen pass play that is stopped short of the original line of scrimmage by another divine miracle reprise from the days of Moses (Numbers 16:23-33; Revelation 12:1-16, NKJV).
9 I have referenced the judgment of Revelation 8:12 in a number of blogs over the years mostly noting the chaos it will cause when for His two-fold elect’s sake as
foretold, God shortens the end time days (Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20) by making a day sixteen instead of the twenty-four hours humanity has known from
creation. Read the July 27, 2014 blog, God Of Order under the category, Instruction, to learn that while this judgment is a blessing to God’s two-fold elect and
all mankind because mortal life will be preserved, in the immediate face of its jarring suddenness, the world is thrown into debilitating fear, stress-filled be-
wilderment and disorder (Luke 21:25-26).
10 God’s 144,000 elect Jewish remnant will not accept the Gospel either because their repentance and complete conversion by His will awaits Christ’s Second Com-
ing (Zechariah 12:10-13:1) lest they lose their mortality required for their promised experience of David’s kingdom restored (Jeremiah 23:5-6). However, they will
not be hostile to the Gospel or its messengers who they understand like them, enjoy the Holy Spirit! By the way, this all being true, the teaching that the 144,000
are Gospel evangelists cannot be equally true.
11 The world’s love of fictional horror and hideous monsters to scare themselves is surely behind this judgment too which in perfect and real divine justice, painfully
terrifies the unsaved!
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