Thursday, April 10, 2014

Losing Spiritual Freedom, When Friends Control You


When Friends and skeptics control our decision making processes we betray ourselves by showing our weaknesses and they know it. We are no more than a Lemming at that point; to weak to make decisions on our own! So let me ask, who or what is it that controls your skepticism when it comes to the Bible and believing in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior?

A new survey shows that 19% of the population of America are skeptics of the Bible. According to the survey this percentage is equal to the number of Americans who are very active in reading the Bible. The survey breaks the skeptical 19% down the following way:

Digging into the population segmentation of Bible skeptics, we find that two-thirds are 48 or younger (28% Millennials, 36% Gen-Xers), and they are twice as likely to be male (68%) than female (32%). They are more likely to identify as Catholic than any other single denomination or affiliation (30%) and are the most-likely segment not to have attended church (87%) or prayed (63%) during the previous week. They are also most likely not to have made a commitment to Jesus that is important in their life today (76%).1
 
It is clear from the above numbers that this segment of skeptical population lives, for the most part, devoid of a living relationship to God through Jesus Christ. Let's think about this terrible reality for a moment. If we were to place the days in which we live into a proper calendrical time-frame and context what might Jesus say if he were to write a personal letter to the skeptical population of the twenty-first century? 

Context
Currently we are living in the Dispensation of Grace2 which places us between the first advent of Christ3the nativity,4 the death,5 the burial.6 and the resurrection of Jesus,7 and the second advent of Christ8His return with the clouds to raise the dead believers and call living believers up to heaven (Rapture)9, the coming tribulation period,10 His second coming to earth,11 and the one-thousand year Millennial reign on earth.12 That considered, what might God write in a simple letter to skeptics and critics today? What might He say? Would He come at them with vengeance? Would He come at them with a pleading call? How about a loving embrace? Or simply judgment? Our ushy-gooshy emotional side would say that solely love would characterize His sentiment, while our logical, firm and just side might say vengeance as dispensed with love. Not straying from Scriptural truth, here is what I believe Jesus would say:

Dear Skeptic,
I realize your worldview is causing you to disbelieve my Words.13 I also realize that your worldview has been partly built upon things you believe about Me but have never personally read in My Word,14 things you see and hear from family members,15 friends and others in your sphere of influence, as well as a whole lot of peer pressure and fear.16 It is not popular today to be a Christian. But honestly, has it ever been?17 Many millennia ago I set into motion a reproductive process whereby all who are humanly conceived immediately become eternal beings.18 You see, it is My will for all of humanity to have the chance to live and reign forever with Me in eternal bliss.19 My first created man I called Adam.20 Since then, billions of humans have been conceived of which you are one.21 Like it or not, My fingerprints are all over you. You will find them on your DNA, your hair color, your breath, your skin color, and your being.22 Moreover, before you sets a path leading to a fork where you must choose either spiritual life or death.23 Hard as you may try, you will never be able to avoid making this choice.24 This is nothing new. My people Israel were first faced with this choice nearly two-thousand years ago.25

Back then, when the time was right, I left the glories of Heaven to appear to My chosen people Israel in the land of Judah.26 They too had this choice of life and death. For over three years I taught in their synagogues, on their streets, in their homes, on hillsides where they gathered, in their Temple, and finally on a cross where they deemed I should be killed.27 On that cross I stated, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."28 Understand, I did not hold the crucifixion against them, for had they known and believed My Word they would have known that at my first advent I would come to die and suffer for their sins.29 They were skeptics too you see.30 But after I had risen from the dead they had to make a choice to believe or not. Even so, I loved them with an everlasting love.31 To this day they are continually before me and just as a nursing mother, in her right mind, would never forget her nursing child, so I will never forget My people Israel.32

My words are Spirit and truth, and they are life.33 But their skepticism led to their rejection and downfall.34 It did not have to be so. It never has to be so.35 I stood outside of the city of Jerusalem, and I wept over them because in their skepticism and in their desire to please other skeptics, they rejected My Words and the time of their heavenly visitation; that is, the time of their generations acceptance of Me had passed.36 Eternally written in heaven is that rejection and those who participated.37 Shortly after, I told them that destruction would soon come and leave their house desolate. Nearly forty years later Jerusalem and their Temple was decimated.38 If only they would have believed My Word and recognized that I was there for them.39

Yes, I came and showed them My love; I showed them the way to lighten their burdens, but they shunned Me and desired My crucifixion.40 I allowed them their wish because I do not force Myself on no one and I willingly allowed Myself to be crucified that I might present to them My greatest work of lovethe victory over death. You see no one could ever take away my life.41 Soon after, I appeared to them on multiple occasions over a forty day period.41 When those that had listened to My Words and believedthose that had responded to follow Mesaw Me alive and among them they were empowered even more to follow Me. These realized that true life meant putting spiritual life first hating even the garments defiled by earthly things, choosing instead to be totally committed to Me even to death.42

Before I ascended into heaven I told My Apostles that they were very blessed because of what they had seen and witnessed but I pronounced an even greater blessing upon those who would believe in Me because of their words; and so I sent them into the communities of the world. These who would believe are by far blessed in a greater way because they believe even though they have not yet seen Me.43 But as they can attest by My Spirit within them, I live.44

Your skepticism is taking you into a world that is darkened by greater fears than those of a mocking friend or a fleeting acquaintance.45 Your skepticism is taking you to a place of total darkness, where you cannot see or know what is ahead.46 Your skepticism will eternally separate you from those you love and most of all from Me. It will rob you of the presence of My power in your life.47 What you gain in this life is all you will have for there will be no eternal reward for it in heaven.48 When you die, you will die a fearful death because I will not be there with you as long as you reject Me.49 In that hour, just like this very moment, your friends will not be able to help you. A few may go to your funeral and comment on how you were a good person but without Me in your life those things will not help your woeful situation.50 Just like I stood outside those walls of Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago so now I stand outside your heart waiting and hoping you will see the light and choose life. Soon, I will be returning.51 I will take those who are mine with Me and all the rest will war and fight and suffer indescribable troubles. Because you live and because you have the free-will to choose Me there is still hope, but in your unbelieving state your sin has and will continue to separate you from Me and heaven. Be encouraged that I have prayed for all those who will believe on me that they will be strengthened by My Spirit. That could include you. The choice is yours alone. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."
Revelation 3:20 (NKJV) 

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 (NKJV)

Be courageous and explore Jesus on your own. Do not settle for what the unbelieving crowd says. Your eternal destination is at stake. Remember the words of Jesus (and these stick)--

Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
John 10:25-28 (NKJV)



  1. https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/664-the-state-of-the-bible-6-trends-for-2014#.U0VkNlerGk8
  2. Ephesians 3:2 (The Apostle Paul received this Dispensation or Stewardship directly from the Lord. It literally meant there would be a stewardship of the grace of God he would be charged with. That grace is still dispensed today through Jesus.)
  3. Isaiah 7:14
  4. Matthew 1:18
  5. Mark 15:25; John 19:33
  6. Matthew 26:12; John 19:38; Luke 23:55
  7. Luke 24:6, 23; Matthew 28:6-7; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 20
  8. Matthew 24:30; John 14:2; Acts 1:10-11; Hebrews 9:28
  9. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54
  10. Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:29; Daniel 9:27; Isaiah 24:17-23
  11. Zechariah 14:4-5; Jude 1:14-15; 2 Peter 3:10-13
  12. Revelation 20:1-6; Daniel 2:44; Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-10
  13. Romans 2:5, 4:20; Matthew 13:15; 2 Timothy 2:26, 4:4
  14. Jude 1:16-18; 2 Peter 3:3; 2 Timothy 3:13, 4:3; 1 Peter 4:4
  15. 1 Peter 4:4; Acts 13:45; 2 Peter 2:12; Jude 1:10; Matthew 23:15
  16. John 7:13, 9:22; 12:42; Isaiah 51:12; Luke 12:4-9
  17. Acts 4:2-3; Revelation 6:9; Luke 21:12; John 15:18-19
  18. Genesis 2:7; Matthew 25:46; Psalm 49:7-9; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 12:2-3; John 5:28-29
  19. 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4; Revelation 2:21; Ezekiel 33:11
  20. Genesis 2:19; 1 Chronicles 1:1; Luke 3:38; Romans 5:14, 15:45
  21. Psalm 139:14-15; Job 10:9-11; Genesis 1:27
  22. Matthew 10:20; Luke 12:7; Acts 17:25-26; Job 33:4
  23. Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15-22; Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:24
  24. Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 16:27; 2 Timothy 4:1; Jude 1:15; Revelation 20:11-15
  25. Luke 19:41-44
  26. Philippians 2:7; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Hebrews 2:9-18, 10:5-7
  27. Matthew 5:1; Luke 2:46, 13:22; John 7:14, 19:30
  28. Luke 23:34
  29. Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39, 45-47; Acts 3:22-24
  30. Matthew 21:25-27, 32; John 6:63-64; Mark 16:11; Acts 19:9
  31. Jeremiah 31:3
  32. Isaiah 44:21, 49:15-16; Hosea 11:1; Romans 11:25-26, 28-29
  33. John 6:63, 14:6
  34. 2 Chronicles 7:21; Jeremiah 7:9-15; Matthew 13:58, 23:37-38; Luke 13:35
  35. Isaiah 42:3; Luke 13:3-5; Mark 3:10-12; Acts 2:38-40; Revelation 3:20
  36. Daniel 9:24-27; Luke 1:68, 78, 19:41-44; John 3:18-21
  37. Revelation 20:12; Daniel 7:10; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Jeremiah 17:10; Romans 2:6
  38. Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:2; Luke 21:24-26; Acts 6:13 (Note - false witnesses but they recount that Jesus stated the temple would be destroyed)
  39. Matthew 15:24; John 1:11, 3:32; Luke 19:14; Acts 3:26, 7:51; Romans 15:8; Galatians 4:4
  40. Matthew 11:28-30, 12:20; Isaiah 42:3; John 7:37, Revelation 22:17
  41. John 10:11-18, 19:30
  42. 1 Corinthians 15:4-8; Acts 1:2-4
  43. Jude 1:23; Revelation 3:4, 18; Acts 4:13, 31; 2 Corinthians 3:12; Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 10:19
  44. John 20:29; 2 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:18
  45. John 14:19; Romans 5:10; Ephesians 2:5; Philippians 1:21; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4
  46. John 3:17-21; Matthew 13:14-15; Luke 1:79, 11:34-35; John 1:4, 9:5, 10:26-27, 12:46; Acts 26:18; Romans 1:32; 2 Corinthians 2:15-16
  47. Matthew 15:14; Luke 6:39; John 9:39; Revelation 3:17; Isaiah 50:11
  48. Isaiah 59:2; Micah 3:4; Romans 3:23, 6:23
  49. Matthew 6:2, 19-20, 23:13-29; Ephesians 2:8-10
  50. Isaiah 59:2; Luke 16:28; Revelation 14:1; Matthew 24:51; Luke 13:28, 21:16
  51. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (Note- others have no hope because they do not know Christ as Lord and Savior. In God's economy eternal decisions are made by the individual not the group!) Luke 16:19-31; Ecclesiastes 4:10; Isaiah 1:23, 44:11; Revelation 19:19-21
  52. Matthew 16:27; Revelation 22:12


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