2012/10/19

Salvation is a Choice

Revelation 3:20
Salvation is a free gift. You can take it or leave it. If you don’t want to obey God, He will not force you to. All the same, He has made it known to us where our choices will lead us. If we choose to obey Him and live a righteous life, our destination will be heaven (eternal life). On the other hand, if we choose to live a sinful life, our destination will be hell (eternal suffering). He has done His part to make the first choice possible (click here to see how), but has also left room for those who prefer the second option. After all, the choice is ours, and we have the liberty to make it.
Even Jesus Christ made it clear how much of a choice salvation is when He said, Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16) . And, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20).
Of course, many people choose to push away this gift in preference of an unsaved life of carnal and corrupt indulgences. After all, it is a gift. You can choose whether or not to take it.
However, it is important to note that “Although we are free to choose, we are not free from the consequences of our choices.” If someone chooses to live an unsaved life, then they should be ready to go to hell when their time on earth runs out. Nobody ever knows when that time will be (Ecclesiastes 8:8),and so nobody ever knows whether they have just enough time to make that commitment before it becomes too late and they die unsaved. This is quite unfortunate, because many people plan to get saved just toward the end of their lives. After all, that is how valuable God and salvation are to them. They see them as something to be ignored and not really paid much attention to because there are so many other things that are more interesting, worth the while and more to be preferred than God and salvation. Of course, God knows our hearts very well (Jeremiah 17:10), and He can see all this. There is no need to pretend that we adore Him when our lives and choices say otherwise. Actions speak louder than words, and what we do says
i.    whether or not we value God,
ii.   how much we do so, and
iii.  whether we have other ‘gods’ that we have placed above Him.
We may believe that there is a God and that Jesus Christ is His Son who died for the sins of the world, but unless we put this faith into action, it is dead. Hear what the Bible says about action-less faith:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” – James 2:14.
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” – James 2:26.
Therefore, the fact that the Bible says that Jesus Christ came so that “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” does not mean that if we simply believe that God and Jesus exist and that they did what they did but leave it at that then we are saved. James corrected those who think this way when he said:
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.” – James 2:19.
Our faith must therefore be matched by our actions, and believing in Jesus goes hand in hand with repenting and devoting our lives to Him. The Bible says:
“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” – Acts 17:30.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” – John 3:3.
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12:14
At the same time, the Bible warns us that our good deeds alone will not save us.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9.
“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” – Romans 3:20
Therefore, God will not accept us into heaven just because we did several good things in our lives. We must go the whole way of putting our faith in Jesus Christ, repenting and turning away from our sins, receiving The Holy Spirit, living a righteous life based on God’s Word, and sharing the good news with others, if we are to enter the kingdom of God. As the Bible says:
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” – Titus 2:11-14
Conclusion:
Now that you have read this, you can make what is popularly known as ‘an informed choice’. You can choose to brush salvation aside for now and wait – for who knows what (as we saw earlier), or you can choose to place the security of your soul above the many other things that demand attention, and say “Yes, Lord.” The choice, as we have ultimately seen, is yours.
If you would like to say the salvation prayer and turn your life over to God, click here.
“For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:2.

2012/10/05

Miracles Do Happen

There are those who say that seeing is believing. Others say that believing is seeing. Whichever of these two categories you belong to, here is a testimony that will uplift your faith:
Shalin was taken to a three-day Christian revival meeting held in Kenya's Kakamega County from 31st August to 2nd September 2012, in a pitiful state. She was suffering from leprosy and could neither stand nor walk. Her skin was full of wounds and sores, and a stench came from her. When the servant of God, Prophet Dr. Edward David Owuor walked into the stadium and declared that every sick person be healed in the name of Jesus Christ, Shalin was instantly healed. Her wounds dried up and she stood up, much to the amazement and joy of those in attendance. Two weeks later, the evidence of her healing was astounding. Large chunks of her old diseased skin had already fallen off, and she was forming a new healthy skin. Here are the images of the glorious healing:
Shalin being brought to the altar
Shalin is brought to Prophet Dr. Edward David Owuor
Shalin is undressed

Shalin's neighbour testifies about the healing
Prophet Dr. Edward David Owuor prays for Shalin
The prophet requests Shalin's neighbor to take her to the pastors' tent after the testimony
Shalin relaxes in the pastors' tent after the testimony

Two weeks later:

The old skin is peeling off

One month later:


Tremendous progress



Halleluiah!


... and the healing continues! Glory be to God!


Videos of this and other healings can be obtained from www.repentandpreparetheway.org and www.youtube.com [repentancechannel]

2012/10/01

The End of The World

One of the most controversial topics that has ever captured men’s attention is that of whether, when and how the world will end. Many prophecies have been given about the day on which this phenomenal event will take place, causing people to react in different ways and make extraordinary preparations.
In 2011, an elderly Californian preacher known as Harold Camping did some calculations and concluded that the world would end on May 21st 2011 at 6pm. Many people quit their jobs and began touring the United States to warn people about the coming doom. Billboards were put up all over, and broadcasts were made over the Family Radio Network. However, the day passed normally, much to the disappointment and embarrassment of those involved.
The Heaven's Gate cult mass suicide
A similar incident took place in 1997 when Marshall Applewhite, the leader of a cult named Heaven's Gate, predicted that the world would end on March 26th 1997. He told his followers that a spacecraft was following the Hale-Bopp comet that had come close to the earth that year, and that they could only board it with their souls so as to escape this doomed planet. As a result, he and 38 of his followers committed suicide on that fateful day, bringing the world to an end for them.

These blunders have caused many people to treat the idea of the world ending as a practical joke. However, it so happens that it is one of the things mentioned in the book that contains hundreds of accurately fulfilled prophecies: The Bible. Over one thousand prophecies given in The Bible have already been fulfilled (click here to confirm), and the remaining ones continue to be fulfilled each day.

Although many people have tried to dispute the Bible’s credibility, it has proven to be a reliable source of information about both future and past events. Scientists have found overwhelming evidence in support of it, and this can be obtained from numerous sites such as www.6000years.org, www.creationevidence.org and www.reasons.org.
This amazing book contains many detailed accounts of what will happen during the world’s final moments. One of these prophecies is found in the book of 2nd Timothy which says: 
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” – 2 Timothy 3: 1 – 5
All these things are happening today. Hardly a day goes by without some vile and sinister act being reported in the news. The world has become a den of cold-blooded murderers, sexual perverts, fraudsters, hypocrites, organized criminal gangs, false preachers and psychopaths of every kind. Crimes and social ills have become so rampant that they no longer surprise us the way they once did, and are instead seen as normal day-to-day activities. People have become so mean, selfish and hateful that animals have put them to shame on several occasions (click here, here and here for more about the animals of note).
The extent of the moral decay plaguing our societies has reached new heights. People are no longer ashamed of their dishonorable deeds, but rather defend and justify them to the point of making them a rule of law. Wickedness is now considered admirable in many circles, whereas virtuousness is scorned at and reviled. In the entertainment industry for example, the more vulgar and immoral one is, the more they are celebrated and idolized by millions of fans worldwide. It is considered ‘cool’ to sleep around, take drugs, use abusive language, and so on. Secular magazines fill their pages with stories of how these celebrities did various disgraceful things, and people buy them in bulk.
The name of God is also now freely taken in vain and used in curses and abuses of every sort (see Exodus 20:7 for God’s view on this). People blaspheme without any reservations, and are quick to belittle and laugh off matters that have to do with religion. I have heard many a person laughingly say ‘this needs prayers’, and then let out a chuckle. It may sound real humorous to them, but there certainly isn’t anything funny about treating divine things as though they are an object of amusement and embarrassment.
For sure, what is written in the Bible about the last days is all being fulfilled. It is written that men’s consciences would be desensitized. They now are. It is written that falsehood would establish itself in the churches. It now has. It is written that materialism would occupy the hearts and minds of men. It has. It is written that sexual perversion and ungodliness would reach new dimensions. They have. It is written that men would praise sin. They are. And the list goes on and on.
What we are seeing however, is just the tip of the iceberg. The Bible shows that the world is in for a rough ride as it draws to a close. Things will go from bad to worse and severe afflictions will befall mankind. There will be massive natural disasters, many fatal and incurable diseases, wars, widespread famine, religious oppression, and so on. Jesus Christ gave a detailed account of all this in Matthew 24.
“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:3 – 14
Unparalleled Distress
We have been seeing evidence of such things for quite some time now, and they are scheduled to continue happening with increasing severity. Daniel foresaw that there would be “a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then” (Daniel 12:1). Luke noted that “nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken” (Luke 21: 25 – 26).
Fortunately, God promised to rescue those who are righteous from all this.
"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" – Revelation 3:10
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.” – Daniel 12:1
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”  – Isaiah 26: 20 – 21
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.” – Luke 17: 26 – 29
The Bible describes a day on which Jesus Christ will descend into the sky and take only the righteous with Him.
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” – 1 Thessalonians 4: 15 – 17 
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” – 1 Corinthians 15: 51 – 52 
“Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.” – Matthew 24: 40 – 41
This event will take place suddenly and unexpectedly. Jesus himself said that He does not know the specific day on which He will come to pick the saints, and compared it to what happens when a thief breaks into a house.
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” – Matthew 24:36 
"Behold, I come like a thief!” – Revelation 16:15a
It is therefore unfortunate that several people have purported to know the exact date of Christ’s return. Jesus Christ warned his followers about them when he said:
“Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” – Luke 21: 8
Nevertheless, Jesus told his followers that they would know when the time of His return was near from the signs that He had given them. He warned them to remain alert and watchful so that when He comes back, he would find them ready and take them.
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” – Matthew 24:42
"Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” – Revelation 16:15 
The clothes that Jesus Christ was referring to in Revelation 16:15 are revealed in Revelation 19: 7 – 8:
"Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)"


This means that only those who are walking in righteousness will be taken.
The Bible says that the way to become righteous is to repent (turn away from your sins) and get born again by surrendering your life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, receiving The Holy Spirit (to be your inner counselor), and walking in holiness by obeying God’s Word from then onwards. (See my post about ‘Why Jesus Christ Had to Die’ for more on this).
It is an undeniable fact that what is happening compares well with what is in the Bible. Scientists and theologians alike have confirmed this, and it will be woe unto those who are caught off guard. The wise thing to do therefore, is to stay prepared.

For more truths about how the world will end as written in The Bible, visit www.repentandpreparetheway.org 

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:9