Thursday, August 6, 2009

DEADLY MISTAKES versus Principles of VICTORY in the Christian Life - Part I

This post is for the benefit of so many who don't understand how to become a Christian and stay one. One of the greatest deceptions misleading many in these last days is that since Jesus died for everyone, just believing in Him will save them. No good works are required in order to go to heaven.
This is what was told to George Sodini - the 48 year old man who went into a health club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 4, 2009 and killed 3 women, wounded several others and then killed himself. Story here -

Here is an excerpt from his online diary entry the day before he committed the murders:

"Maybe soon, I will see God and Jesus. At least that is what I was told. Eternal life does NOT depend on works. If it did, we will all be in hell. Christ paid for EVERY sin, so how can I or you be judged BY GOD for a sin when the penalty was ALREADY paid."

This poor soul was deceived about eternity, Christ and salvation. To the end that others may be saved from such tragic misunderstanding, this series of posts are being made available.


Our happiness comes not from what is around us, but from what is within us; not from what we have, but from what we are. 
(Proverbs 3: 13, Luke 12:15)

The very first requirement for victory in the Christian life is that the person be a Christian indeed. The doorway into the Christian experience, the first step on the path to complete victory is conversion sometimes referred to as being born again. This takes place when a person allows his or her heart to be softened by God’s love and the impressions that God makes on the conscience. When the power of the will is not used to resist this experience, the thoughts and feelings about God will change and the process of character development begins. It is only God, who can, in answer to prayer, cause a person to be born again and thus begin a Christian life. (John 3:3-6, 1:12,13/ Hebrews 3:7/ Romans 2:4)

Beginning in the morning of life, controlled by the laws of nature and of God, the Christian moves steadily onward and upward, daily drawing nearer his heavenly home, where await for him a crown of life, and a new name, "which no man knoweth saving him that receiveth it." Constantly he grows in happiness, in holiness, in usefulness. The progress of each year exceeds that of the past year. (Philippians 3:13,14/ 2 Peter 1:3-11)

For the benefit of any reader who has not yet commenced a Christian life and does not know how to begin or what conversion is, an explanation follows...

In his conversation with Nicodemus, Christ explained the nature and importance of true conversion. He solemnly declared, "Except a man be born again,"--unless he receive a new heart, new desires, purposes, and motives, leading to a new life,--"he cannot see the kingdom of God." He is no longer to be a willing subject to the enemy of Christ, to remain in subjection to the power of sin. (2 Corinthians 5:17/ Ezekiel 36:26)

True conversion = new desires + new purposes + new motives from God

Conversion is a change of heart, a turning from unrighteousness to righteousness. Relying upon the merits of Christ, exercising true faith in him, the repentant sinner receives pardon for sin. As he ceases to do evil, and learns to do well, he grows in grace and in the knowledge of God. He sees that in order to follow Jesus he must separate from the world, and, after counting the cost, he looks upon all as loss if he may but win Christ. He enlists in his army, and bravely and cheerfully engages in the warfare, fighting against natural inclinations and selfish desires, and bringing the will into subjection to the will of Christ. Daily he seeks the Lord for grace, and he is strengthened and helped. Self once reigned in his heart, and worldly pleasure was his delight. Now self is dethroned, and God reigns supreme. His life reveals the fruit of righteousness. The sins he once loved he now hates. Firmly and resolutely he follows in the path of holiness. This is genuine conversion. (Romans 6:6,11,12,18/ Matthew 16:24/ 2 Peter 3:18)

In the unregenerate heart there is love of sin, and a disposition to cherish and excuse it. In the renewed heart there is hatred of sin, and determined resistance against it. In the renewed heart there will be a fixed principle to obey the will of God, because there is a love for what is just, and good, and holy. There will be no hesitating, conferring with the taste, or studying of convenience, or moving in a certain course because others do so. (Romans 8:1,2,5,7,12, 13)

It is not the will of our heavenly Father that so many would be deceived concerning salvation and eternal life in these last days. While GOD loves everyone and will forgive anyone HE does not change our character against our will or without our cooperation.

A Christ-like character is the only kind of character that could enjoy heaven and a Christ-like character is the only kind of character that could be trusted in heaven.

We are given a life-time, (be it long or short) to cooperate with God in developing a Christ-like character for eternal life in heaven. It begins with the new birth experience.

Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life today and to begin the work of changing you for heaven. Confess your sins and acknowledge your need of Him. He loves you and wants the privilege of enjoying friendship with you forever.