Am I Really Saved?


This is the biggest area of concern for Christians.

I wish I could tell you that if you have this worry, it’s a good sign you are. But as I wrote yesterday about the Holy Spirit, if you are NOT saved and think you are, the Holy Spirit will continuously bring up worry about this. It will plague you.

Satan knows this, and so he often torments us with this fear, to paralyze us.

So – how do you know that you’re saved?

  • You should be able to point to a day where you got saved. Clue number one. A moment where you willingly surrendered to God. Where you repented, and asked Christ to save you.
  • There should be a full knowledge that Jesus Christ is God.
  • There should be a belief in the Trinity.
  • You should worry about whether your thoughts and actions please God. This literally is one of the best indicators you’re saved – did you worry about this when you were worldly? Nope.
  • You should have experienced a sudden change of thought, where you see things differently now. If things seem exactly the same to you as before you were saved… danger sign.
  • Last but not least – can you comprehend and understand Scripture? I use this test in person – I hand people a Bible and tell them to read. I turn it to Revelation chapter one, and ask them what color is Jesus Christ’s hair? If you read it three times and still don’t understand, danger sign. If I turn you to Romans 5 and ask you to explain that to me and you can’t – we’re back to square one.

I could give this list to a million Pastors, and they’d agree with me that these are the cardinal signs of salvation. You may not have perfect understanding of every Bible verse – goodness knows, I still read a few passages and I throw my hands up because they could have three different meanings. What’s this “Saved through childbearing” and “baptized for the dead”? I know three possible meanings for each one. I go by the interpretation that makes the most sense, but they’re hard Scriptures.

If you really have a concern, deal with it and make sure. But in 99% of the cases of Christians who worry about this, I usually say, “Don’t.”

Just the enemy messing with you.

And that’s also a good sign you’re saved.

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The Holy Spirit


A rudimentary teaching of Christianity is that the Holy Spirit is God. Just as the deity of Christ or the cross of Christ is always maligned by cults, the deity of the holy spirit is often downplayed by cults as well.

The Holy Spirit is the divine Agent who expresses to a believer the love of God, that is, God’s love for him. The reality of God’s love in a believer’s heart gives the assurance, even the guarantee, that the believer’s hope in God and His promise of glory is not misplaced and will not fail. This ministry of the Holy Spirit is related to His presence in believers as the seal of God (Eph. 4:30) and as the earnest or down payment of their inheritance in glory (2 Cor. 1:21–22; Eph. 1:13–14). Later Paul wrote that the Holy Spirit Himself has been poured out in believers (Titus 3:6). Each believer has the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9) in the sense that He is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 John 3:24; 4:13).

John A. Witmer, “Romans,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 456–457.

One of the biggest ministries of the Holy Spirit is leading non-believers to Christ. It’s the most important office of the Holy Spirit. Not that important? Tell me that again after the day of judgment, when you see vast masses of humanity drop into the lake of fire forever… and you’re spared.

The Holy Spirit is known by several names in the New Testament – πνεῦμα Spirit, ἅγιος πνεύματος Holy Spirit, πνεῦμα θεοῦ, Spirit of God, and παράκλητος comforter. Notice (if you went through my Greek mini lessons) that it’s not Paraklete, which is the lemma form, but parakletos – and that makes no difference really at all. I’m just showing off.

A study of the Holy Spirit would really take a LOT of time and be one of those epic articles that I used to write, that went on and on and on forever until you gave up and stopped reading.

“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16–17, KJV)

No kidding, the word παρακαλέσαι Parakalesai is comfort – and it may well be that the Holy Spirit is meant in this verse, although I’d want to run that by someone who knows a lot more Greek than I do. And the translators of the KJV chose to capitalize the word, which means they might agree with me. This could very well mean that in Greek, 2 Thessalonians 2 16-17 is a verse embodying the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, and prays for us when we don’t know what to pray. The Holy spirit guides us into truth, and maketh alive the Scriptures and its meaning to us as we read it.

One of my cardinal tests to see if you’re saved is to hand you a Bible and ask you to read it. If you can’t understand what it says, it means you don’t have the Holy Spirit to bring the Scriptures to your understanding.

And that means you’re not saved.

There are some spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit no longer gives us – those times have passed – tongues, healing, knowledge (the kind Peter showed with Ananias and Sapphira), prophecy. And it seems once a quarter someone finds my blog and tries to start a comment debate – usually with a word of rebuke that I’ve learned too much – and once to debate that. I’ve addressed that in detail elsewhere. If you’re interested why I say so, please read my writings on the Charistmatic/Word of Faith where I explain how spiritual gifts operate and the Biblical parameters for them.

The Holy Spirit is given as the seal of our salvation. And that blessed assurance keeps us straight in the worst of storms.

When is Logos At It’s Worst?


I believe strongly that every Christian should own Bible software – to understand the Bible you need to:

  1. Read it
  2. Look up things you don’t understand
  3. take notes.

Logos now comes with a free version, Logos Basic. It represents the ultimate tool in Bible study.. But when you first get it…. Logos is at its worst.

Why?

As you take notes within the program, Logos will actually use your notes. If you look up a word and make a note of that, Logos will remind you if you ever forget and look it up again. Logos will return hits from every document in your library (an everything search) if you allow it to – and this includes your notes.

Sometimes you run into a cross over, where you’re looking up one thing, and Logos will tell you “It’s related to something you’ve researched before” by giving you return hits on your own note files.

Logos will give you more and more results based upon your work – so this means it gives you the fewest results the minute you install it and let it get done installing! Don’t like Logos? Wait a few weeks. You’ll get more and more out of this program. I’d almost be scared to go back to where I was at a couple of years ago with it.

Now, the biggest misconception whether you should aim for one of the Logos super libraries (such as gold) is this – the feeling you need to buy more. Logos did a switch recently and reduced the level where all the tools and features are unlocked (previously Gold, now Bronze). Logos must have done research themselves, and found out that most users are unable – not unwilling – to buy the Gold package.

Do you need all the bells and whistles? I’d say you should buy Bronze if you’re able to – but most people can’t afford a couple of hundred dollars to spend. I know if I hadn’t gotten a compression pay bonus, I’d never have been able to afford it.

Do you need Gold? No. When I got my chance to try Logos Platinum for a month, there was really nothing in it I missed. There are some add-ons I’d love to own like BDAG and HALOT (these are foreign language dictionaries for Greek and Hebrew). But do you absolutely need them? no.

Andy Stanley Still Going Strong…


I get emails from Christian book stores, telling me the latest release. You may wonder why I’m so spun up about Andy Stanley, and here it is. Apparently he’s got a new book coming out.

I recently got an email advertising his latest work of fiction (I can’t in good conscience call his new book anything but). What really got me was that the industry is of course getting famous Christians to read it, and put their two cents in on how wonderful Andy Stanley and his new book really are!

Folks, Stanley is a Bible denying, Christ denying heretic. And if you put your two cents in on how great it is, you promptly move onto my “to be avoided” list.

I’m serious. If David Cloud were to read it and write how great it was, even he would be on that list with me!

I fully expect to see the names of the usual people I constantly see talking about how great a book is extolling this book, like Gary Smalley, and the guy with the radio show who’s name I can never remember! Joni Erikson Tada tends to endorse everything, so I’m expecting her name there too. Craig Groeschel has his name on a blurb how “Great” the book is.

Am I missing something?

Are people REALLY comprehending what they’re reading?

On this blog, in the last couple of months, I’ve given chapter/verse of how Andy Stanley denies a literal belief in the Bible, denies a belief in the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, and even denies the virgin birth and deity of Christ!

And all I did was isolate a couple of quotes, one of which was the advertising blurb from his latest book!

Why are people spending money on this man and not realizing, “this man’s a heretic!”

A lot of people are reluctant to call Stanley out, because he has lawyers, and not afraid to use them. One blog got a “Cease and desist” request from Stanley’s attorneys, because they attached the word “heretic” to it. The blog responded with a one-word answer – “no.” I can’t remember who it was – I think it was Iron Sharpeneth Iron?

See, that’s all you need to say. They never heard back, and it’s been a couple of years. It was after all a request, not an order. So I’ll say it now, and save you the trouble.

No.

He’s a heretic. It’s my job to mark those who cause division, and avoid them. It’s my job to never cease warning the flock day and night with tears, that those will arise from within us who are grievous wolves (Acts 20:29-31).

*cough* Andy Stanley *cough*.

Next time you read a Christian book, or listen to a radio broadcast, or watch a TV show, REALLY pay attention to what’s being said. Remember with wolves who raise heresies, they tend to say the heresy first, then issue a denial of it immediately after it, as if to try to erase what they said. So pay attention to what Stanley says, and ignore the roundabout disclaimers he puts after that. He’s telling you what he believes, and then trying to issue a denial of it afterwards to provide deniability.

Question: Why would a man who believes in the deity of Christ keep questioning it in sermons, then issuing a denial that he believes that way?

Why would a man who believes the Bible keep questioning it, and then deny he believes that way?

Christians put it this way. “Jesus Christ is God. The Bible is without error.” There’s no need to bring up (over and over again) the heresies of it – unless you believe that way and you’re trying to cover your tracks.

He doth protest too much.

The Missing G


Bible trivia. Gomorrah in Hebrew is Amorrah.

There’s no G.

What happened to it?

Bible trivia. Awlates, the philistine warrior, had a drinking bowl the size of most Philistine common bowls, the platter that would sit in the middle of the table and everyone would pull food from. Awlates must have been huge. Best guesstimates, around eleven feet tall.

The Bible records his name as Golyat in Hebrew, and Goliath.

Hey., where’d the G come from?

I’m seeing a pattern here! The G that should be in Gomorrah in Hebrew we borrowed for Goliath.

Make sense?

No?

Never mind.

Justified


“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

 (Romans 3:28, KJV)

Foundational understanding of Christianity.

A man is justified by faith.

Without the deeds of the law.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

 (Ephesians 2:8–9, KJV)

By Grace we are saved through faith.

It is not of ourselves but the gift of God.

Not of works, lest any should boast.

What does it take to be saved?

Nothing.

Repent. Turn to Jesus Christ. Beg forgiveness for your sins. You’re saved.

Now that you’re reassured about salvation, get some coffee and read your Bible.

Inerrancy

One Hundred Percent


One hundred percent of committed atheists who have died are convinced of the reality of God.

There are no unbelievers in Hell.

Oh, trust me… there’s no doubting it. The fire burns and burns and it’s never going to stop. That torment will go on and on and on forever.

I can think of nothing more horrible.

There’s no “surprised by joy”. There’s no “love wins”.

If you reject Jesus Christ your entire life and die… you have to face the fact you waited one minute too long.

The penalty for that is horrific. And it will never stop.

“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” 

(Luke 16:19–31, KJV)