We all have a choice to believe in something, I choose to believe in God!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I would to God that every atheist had eyes to see and ears to hear. I have found myself desperate at times to convince an individual that God exists. All I have is my testimony, and the devil has already gone before me and worked on each person to stall our attempts at convincing them. He knew we were coming and he has months or may be years of conditioning that has left the battle nearly futile for a Christian.

I have had conversations with atheists wherein they have armed themselves with some serious statistics, scientific evidence, sources, etc., of why God couldn't possibly exist. They do a very good job of convincing me that what they say is true. I don't believe a word of it but it's convincing information and if it weren't for my own eyewitness testimony, it's possible that I be swayed. If I didn't have a good foundation in Christ, I could possibly be swayed to the dark side. That's what it takes to stave off the devil. A foundation in Christ.

I was in church for so long until the religion quenched the Spirit and I could take no more. I had to get free because, "whom the Son has made free is free indeed." I struggled so much with the Sunday morning rituals. God held me fast and firm to those rituals, but only for my benefit and future form, until the day arrived that He knew me to be strong enough to stand without the congregation I was a part of. And stand I have. I still don't fully understand but it's not for me to question. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2:12. (a verse I cling to when it's time to break out of bondage).

Without that foundation, I would have crumbled under the weight of the natural world. But it had little impact at all the first few Sundays I missed church. I'm the same devout Christian I was while attending regularly. I'm still fully persuaded that there's a heaven and a hell and I still "seek out the Kingdom of God first" and rely fully on the promise that "all other things will be added to me." Luke 12:31.

When someone tells me there's no God, I have to ask them, "so if you were on your death bed and knew not what awaits you when you've breathed your last breath, you would kick the praying man out of your room at that instant in favor of the uncertainty of nothingness?" I get blank stares. It's not something anyone ever thinks about. Being on their death bed, there's almost always time for a priest to be called. I can't think of hearing one tale where the individual said, "no, don't try to get my soul into heaven..a place of joy and peace. Leave this room and let me face an uncertain place or worse."

Can we convince the atheistic mind that there's a God that loves them? I guess that depends on the persons life story. Someone raised under the oppression of a religious sect or cult might not be swayed. Fear is the likely reason. Fear that they'll be put back in the place of oppression and held to a ritualistic standard they cannot bear to adhere to. Proof that religion oppresses. But someone who just doesn't know what to believe has an open mind. There's hope for everyone but especially one with an open mind and a questioning heart.

How can we reach them though? I'm going to say something controversial and what most Christians of today's church won't agree with. We are not supposed to walk up to anyone and confront them with their sins. We were not meant to shove the gospel down the sinner's throat, as is supposed by some. We were meant to model a Christ-like behavior and that behavior is supposed to represent a strength and joy that can't be found in the natural. People are drawn to the light. Like a moth to a flame.

We were not meant to be sitting in a church building pretending to be pious and righteous. We were not meant to tote our Bibles from door to door. We were not meant to dress a certain way or to speak without flaw. These things are not a model of Christ. Perhaps not using foul language comes closer than any of it but the other details of our Christian life are not to be modeled using such "antics." "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." Romans 3:2.

Where was Christ most of His life? Walking the streets, meeting folks as they were drawn to Him, and sharing His heart and love with them. Not once will you find an account of Jesus pounding on someone's door at dinner time saying, "Hi, can I share the gospel with you?" Not once did He (in all His ministry) EVER say, "get to church." He only ever said, "go your way" Luke 10:3. Or as He said to the woman with the alabaster box, "Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace." Luke 7:50. He said the same thing to the lady who touched the hem of His robe. In Luke 10:3 he tells His disciples, "Go your ways..." What does "go your way" mean? It means, go on with your life, carry on. God doesn't change our hearts after saving us only to expect our good deeds to manifest for all mankind to see. Our righteousness is inherited through salvation and a relationship with His Son. "...Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Romans 4:3. "Even as David also describes the blessedness of the man, unto who God imputes righteousness without works." Romans 4:6. 

Note: to substantiate this fact of Jesus using this phrase repeatedly, read all red letter words in the new testament and you will see just how often He says, "go thy way."

It pains me to watch certain religions go door to door selling Jesus. By "selling" I mean that they try to tell you why you need Him and what He can do for you. Sort of like a Kirby Vacuum Cleaner salesman. This isn't what we're called to do. We are to represent Jesus in a loving outpouring of Spiritual gifts. My grandson has upper respiratory problems right now and I just love him so much that I simply lay hands on him every time he comes and allow faith to flow. I thank God for healing him and wait for the manifestation. I pour out the love of the gift. I help where and when I can, however, if I help someone that's not an open invitation by the Holy Spirit to say, "if you're having sex with your boy/girlfriend then it's a sin and you need to repent and be saved."

The word of God is to be shared in a loving way. The word of God has no impact if it isn't shared with love. When Jesus did the sermon on the mount, do you think He stood there and shook His finger in the faces of men? No. He spoke with authority and enlightened them. The key to His success with the open-hearted of His day was that He demonstrated a love for the people by over-extending Himself or sacrificing of Himself. He poured out from a place within Himself that could only be refilled by the Holy Spirit. A gift of renewal and revival. HALLELUJAH!

There are those who will be confronted on the streets by a zealot eager to "win" as many souls to Jesus as possible, but how many of those folks accepted Christ with a true heart and not from a place of annoyance? How affective can you be at leading the lost to Christ if you bug them at the end of a long hard work day as they sit down for supper..(either at home or in a restaurant)? And doesn't the Bible say, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts"? Zechariah 4:6. That means not by your actions or your hand or your strength or your doing, but by the power of My Spirit within you. I've said this before...I can't "do" anything right. And it's not expected of me to.

Let me try to put it in a nutshell. My job, as a Christian, is to model the Lord Jesus. I am to sacrifice when ever I can or someone needs it of me. I'm to sacrifice in big and small ways but I'm not to begrudge it lest it be a blemished sacrifice and unworthy to be accepted. I am to live my life with Christ as the center of my heart...not my mind. He can't be the center of my heart if He's the center of my mind instead. How do we know if He's in the right center? If you spend more time thinking up ways to serve Him, then you're not on the right track. If doing things makes you feel like you are a good Christian, then you're mistaken and ill-informed. Our righteousness is not found in these things. It's found in Christ and Christ in us. It's an inherited righteousness. It's not anything that can be acquired through work. The church today has turned into a place of offering as a means to righteousness. In other words, "if I give money to Lottie Moon offering (or whatever cause your church supports) then I'm making God happy and I'll have an extra big mansion in heaven." That's just not true. Who wants a bigger mansion anyway? It's just more to clean. (just a little joke)

"Religious" is the word that Jesus used to describe the Scribes and the Pharisees. The Scribes and the Pharisees were the pompous arrogant priestly types of His day that desired the best seats and the long outward prayers for the show that Jesus warned His disciples against. "Woe unto you, Pharisees! for you love the uppermost seats in the synagogues..." Luke 11:43. He warned them (and subsequently us) not to be like them. Seeking out the best for ourselves and making show of ourselves in front of men, as if that makes us good in His sight. Their tongues were close to God but their hearts were far from Him. God knew this because He judges the hearts of men, not the words and deeds. Remember how Jesus spoke to them in Mark chapter 7? He rails on them and specifically mentions their traditions that they have chosen in place of God's commandments. These things they do. Washing their cups and hands before they eat as if they thought what went into their bodies defiled them and that they could not be defiled if they washed the outward man first. But Jesus told them, "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men as the washing of pots and cups." Mark 7:8. Then He tells them in vs. 20, "that which comes out of the man, that defiles the man."

Any atheist can pay good money in church. Any evil person can pretend to love. Any human being can make an outward show for the eyes of others so as to portray themselves to be pious and good. None of this earns us favor with God. We are to love and forgive, and show compassion, and leave the judgements up to God.

Jesus railed further on the Scribes and the Pharisees for their actions and how they taught others to behave certain ways as if it made them righteous. He told them in Mark 7:12-13, "you suffer him no more to do good for his father or mother; making the word of God of none affect through your tradition." When I think of the traditions that are still being adhered to in the churches today, I worry about this very thing and how it's making the word of God of none affect. Telling us that we're commanded to give tithes. I've studied this extensively and all I find with regards to this is a man in the old testament vowing to give a tenth part of all he has to honor God. It's his offering and not a commandment. Jesus too never touted such a thing. He simply made a reference as to the lady with the mite who gave all she had and was therefore remembered for it. But it was her great sacrifice and the quiet way she went about it that He was impressed with. Not her big show and the mighty dollar she gave.

The end of my saying is this, we must follow as we're led. But who leads you and who do you follow? What doctrine do you adhere to and is it asking of you that which requires your much doing and outward show? Make sure that if you go to church it's because you find a peace from it or a joy in the meeting for the purpose of corporate worship. If you go because the thought that plagues you is, "what will they think of me if I'm not there?" then perhaps you've lost sight of the reason we join together to worship Jesus. Man isn't our creator nor should he be given place in our worship. Jesus came to abolish religion. He came to sacrifice that which would save all of mankind. We have to do nothing but accept it. We don't work for it, we can't fix it if it's broken, or change it. It is what it is. It comes just the way God planned for it to. There's no assembly required.