Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The World's Greatest Lie: You get to Heaven by being Good

I want to address something that has on my mind lately regarding heaven. I have heard this subject called "The World's biggest lie" and even though it sounds over the top, it really is one of, if not the biggest lie ever invented. The sad part about the lie is 1. Most of the world has fallen for it, and 2. It is a matter of life or death.
You may be asking yourself, what is this big lie? Well, the lie exist in many different variations, but the most common two are that "You go to Heaven if you're good" and that "you get to heaven based on your good works". Sure, your grandparents and parents may have fed you that lie as a child, and almost every Hollywood film uses that lie to comfort people. But the fact of the matter is: Going to Heaven has absolutely nothing to do with how good or how bad you are! Sure, Heaven is associated with "good" and Hell with "bad", but truth be told, many "good" people will go to Hell, and many "bad" people will go to Heaven.
First off, nowhere in the Bible is it said that being good gets you to Heaven. What does God say is the requirement to enter into Heaven?
In Psalms 15 David asks God:
"Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?"
And God answers:
"He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken."

Wow! So to get to heaven, I have to obey the Ten Commandments? I have to be perfect and sinless? I'm pretty sure that I've broken a lot of the commandments! I guess I'm going to spend an eternity in Hell.

It is said in Romans 3:23 that "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". That means that everyone has sinned, and thus do not meet God's requirement to enter into heaven. In Ecclesiastes 7:20 it says: "There is not one truly righteous person on the earth who continually does good and is sinless" So in reality, it is fair that we ALL deserve to go to Hell! But, because God is a merciful and loving god, he gave us a second chance. God sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to Earth to live a sinless life, to die for ALL sin, and to raised from the dead to further prove that He was God. Though he was fully human, Jesus was also fully God, God in the flesh, his miracles were done as a way of showing people who he really was.

*Side note: (He had a mass following of believers and because he claimed to be God, the Roman Empire was threatened by that. They wanted him dead, so they, along with the Pharisees and Sadducees (Jewish political & religious leaders) tried to find fault with him. They wanted to find something they could charge him with, so that they could arrest and kill him. But because he was God, thus making him sinless, they couldn't find anything to use against him. )*

In John 14, Jesus is meeting with his disciples about going to heaven to prepare a place for believers, when Thomas (often called doubting Thomas) asked Jesus: "How will we know the way [to heaven]?" Jesus answers: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. Nobody come to the father except through me!"
In John 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus, a Pharisee: "Good loved the world so much, that he gave his one and only Son, and that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
When Jesus died on the cross, he shed his blood and died for ALL sin! He paid the price of death so that we could spend eternity with him in Heaven, if we believed in him! Before he died, hanging on the cross beside Jesus was a thief. The thief realized who Jesus was and admitted that he believed in him, Jesus pardoned him of his sins and assured him that he would be with him in Heaven that day (Luke 23:39-43). Now, this thief, who was clearly a criminal, did not have time to be baptized, do good works, or anything. He simply BELIEVED and put his faith in Christ, and he was admitted into heaven.

In Acts, Paul and Silas were imprisoned because of teaching the gospel. Their prison guard asked: "What must I do to be saved?" Paul and Silas answered: "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved"

In Ephesians, Paul writes to the Church in Ephesus: "For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through FAITH. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God's gift, so that no one can boast about it." So, in other words, because of God's grace (sending Christ to save us), we have been been made righteous (made right) in the sight of God. This has nothing to do with any work you have done, but is a gift of God, so we can't brag about doing anything to have earned it.

I urge you to read the book of Galatians, it is a letter Paul wrote to the Church in Galatia reprimanding them because they have fallen under the assumption that they must obey the law (do works) to earn their way into heaven. They were already saved, but had been deceived by false teachers into believing the "Great Lie". Paul sets them straight. At the end of chapter 2, Paul makes a very powerful statement: "If keeping the law (doing good works) could make us right with God, then Christ died in vain!" WOW! That's intense! It's true, if we could get to heaven based on doing good things, what was the point of Christ dying? There isn't! We can only get to heaven by believing in Jesus Christ.

One of the big passages that is used out of context to back up the "Great Lie" is in James 2. James is talking to a group of Believers about what they need to do after being saved. He tells them that they need to do good works to bring non-believers to Christ. He tells them that "Faith without Works is dead!" If read out of context, this looks as though James is saying that your faith is useless without doing works, but that is not at all what he is saying! Since he is talking to believers, and their salvation cannot be lost (John 10:28-30), he is telling them that in the eyes of man, their faith without works is useless, because they have not shown the attitudes of Christ and have not lead anyone to Christ. Thus meaning their faith is useless to others. It is very important that when reading the Bible, you read it in context and in its entirety

One illustration that I often use is that the world is a sinking ship. We are all on our way to death by drowning. God saw that nobody would survive, so he threw us a giant Lifeboat (Jesus) to save us. He proved that it is really a Lifeboat, and many people climbed aboard. But many people refused to believe it was a lifeboat, so they didn't grab on. God gives us free will, meaning we have the choice to choose him or not. But he only saves those who chose to believe the facts. The rest of the people who refused Christ will spend eternity in Hell. You can do all the good works you want, but as long as you dont have faith in Christ, you will surely burn for eternity. The wages of Sin is death, so this is completely fair.

We are supposed to do good works as a way of showing our love for God, not as a way of earning salvation. As you can see, "The World's Biggest Lie" has been around ever since Jesus was living. It is clear that you can only get to heaven by believing in Christ. The statements that "You go to Heaven if you're good" and that "you get to heaven based on your good works" are lies straight from the pit of Hell

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Free Country Under Oppression

"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, and which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and which insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."
-Charles Carroll (My Ancestor)

As he stated above, a Republic, which is what we have, cannot exist without the morals (such as that of the Christian religion) cannot survive. When our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence 234 years ago, they were forming a Nation Under God. A nation that was built strongly on Christian values and morals.
We had just finished fighting a war to gain our independence from the King of England, and many brave men gave their lives so that we may be free. But today, ladies and gentlemen, that freedom is slowly being taken away! And if we dont do anything about it soon, we will no longer be free!

Our government, for at least the past 60 years, has been destroying the very thing that we fought for! Our government kills good people, lets their citizens die (when they could have helped them), lied to the nation about serious threats, and has taken away our rights.

Freedom of speech is becoming less and less of a freedom. We cannot say anything publicly without having people getting furious at us and calling us un-American. If we say Merry Christmas, people get mad and call it offensive.

"I Miss God in my country! I remember when everybody cared! I remember when everybody would say merry Christmas to everyone! But now people say 'Happy Holidays!' because they dont want to offend people! The overuse of the word Offensive is driving me out of my mind! I mean, what part is more offensive? The Peace on Earth, or Good Will toward Men? Why is it only Christmas that they say 'Happy Holidays' in? There are plenty of other holidays In February, and they say what it is: 'Happy Valentines Day! oops! Do you believe in love? Ill just say Happy Holidays instead!'. People dont say Merry Christmas because it has the word Christ in it, and after 2,000 years he's still intimidating people! When a religious person says 'I am the way', people dont want to hear it! Christianity happens to be the religious heritage of my country whether you like it or not! Christianity happened to be the belief system of 99.9% of the Founding Fathers whether you like it or not! Every Founding Father said that the Bible would be a basis for the laws and the ethics in this country whether you like it or not! Its the World Views that have let this insanity happen" -Brad Stine

I want our country to be as it was intended to be. the way that the founding fathers said it SHOULD be! But our government is far from that! and we should turn it back the way it was! and according to the Declaration, we have the RIGHT to do so!

"That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." -The Declaration of Independence

Many people will say that because I'm saying this, I am going against our country and that I am unpatriotic. Well, my friends, I am a Patriot! I love our country! I just want it to be as it was! all these politicians are the unpatriotic people! They are going against what we were founded on and what we as a country were meant to be!

God Bless the United States of America