Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Post #314: Just a Touch of Heaven and Eternity

The most elusive concept for us humans is the understanding of eternity. We may know what the word “eternity” means, but our minds can’t go much further. Hopefully this post may help make it more realistic to us. If we believe that God is eternal, and He is, that would imply that His angels and others in His creation would also be eternal. The complete endless spiritual/physical UNIVERSE belongs to God; therefore, it is eternal, yet always slowly changing and moving.

Before I get into God’s eternal creation process, let me bring out a concept concerning how and why many people believe as they do, which will startle some.

Modern scientists don’t believe that the universe is endless, and with good reason: because most don’t believe in the existence of an Almighty God. Just because their powerful Hubble telescope couldn’t see any further, some believe that is the end of the universe.

Atheists say they have no need for God. Science has answered the question of how the universe came into existence. Sure! Logic teaches that nothing can come into existence if there is nothing from which it was created. Some atheists say that a very small, densely packed object exploded, and that was how the universe came into its present existence. That is a lot of bull- - - -. Where did this small object come from? It could not have created itself. Some atheists believe that an elusive force created it, and some day they will identify that unknown force. I say that when all is said and done, the “Big Bang Theory” is a silly case of hocus-pocus.

Now getting back to the main topic of discussion… Archeologists are correct when they teach of the substantial evidence that pre-humans existed; some existed thousands/millions of years ago. The approximately 2 million-year-old skeletal remains of Lucy are a main piece of their evidence. The skeletal remains of many pre-humans excavated by archeologists most certainly were the result of God’s creative powers, and not Darwin’s Theory of Evolution; therefore, they must be our ancestors’ bones. By the way, Darwin’s process of natural selection never did explain or even touch on how non-living chemicals, etc. in the primordial waters became the first living organism without the needed information from the then-nonexistent DNA molecule.

There is a confusing statement in the Old Testament as Cain and the Lord had a conversation in Genesis 4-14:15. “‘I [Cain] will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Not so; if ANYONE kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.’” This verse is saying that at that time, there were other people on earth besides Adam, his wife and two children. These other people most certainly must have been the descendants of the people whom God created through a process many call evolution. These are the remains of creatures/people who are mentioned numerous times by archeologists. But for whatever reason, the Bible does not give any specific mention of other humans on earth at the time of Adam, except the above verse “if ANYONE kills Cain.” For a very special reason, God chose Adam to become the first human whose lifeline would eventually give birth to the Jewish Nation and to Jesus Christ.

Some churches believe that the words “whoever finds me will kill me” referred to Adam’s other brothers/sisters. But that can’t be true. Listen to the verse in Genesis 4:25, which took place some time AFTER he said, “whoever finds me will kill me.” This is the reason: “Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, ‘God has granted me ANOTHER child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.’” The phrase “another child” is singular. That rules out any other sisters or brothers at that time. Also, there is more evidence in Chapter 5:3. “When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image, and he named him Seth.” Seth is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3:23. There was no mention of other children at that time, because he had none except Cain: the murderer who lives in the land of Nob.

Hang on to your hats; this next statement will blow the minds of many archeologists and also many Christians: Since time does not exist in the eternal realm of God, I ask this question: How long did it take for God to create Adam? Could it have been in a few seconds/minutes, as many believe? No? What was the hurry since time does not exist with God? Or was it several million years or more in earth time, through the process that is unrightfully called evolution? Again, humans were created by God’s unique, unfailing process of gaining knowledge, etc. as life went on. Just this statement alone is the answer to the fact that God worked/works through the process of natural change; therefore, pre-human beings of long ago (us) eventually became what are now known as modern humans.

Could anyone imagine how Moses (the author of Genesis) would have responded if what I am now writing was presented to him six thousand years ago? Therefore, God presented the creation story as best as He knew how, since what we now know about prehistoric man/woman could not have been understood or accepted by Moses or the early Bible writers.

What God has done in the last several billion years or so in His creation process throughout the endless universe—even though time does not exist in the spiritual realm—will never come to an end. What Almighty God has done on our earth in the last four billion years or so, He will continue until earthlings (except for a few of His obedient disciples) go extinct on this planet by our own doing.

Here is the strange concept about living in eternity: We who end up there will never for a moment be bored. In fact, there is more to do there than can be handled at this time by God and all His angels. Yes, the universe is so jam-packed with worlds similar to our own with living beings that were/will be accepted into the realm of God, just waiting to be taught as to what they should do. Remember this: Other than being filled with divine love, they—and hopefully we, once we are accepted into heaven—must be taught how and what we must do. Even at this time, there are countless trillions of people/angels (although there is no counting in heaven) waiting to go to work.

One nice thing is that heaven’s recipients will never be bored, or get tired or sleepy. There will be no night there either. I am certain that those concepts seem very odd to us humans. One truth spoken of in the New Testament several times is that there will be no desire for sex, or to be male or female; we will all be like the angels. When reading this post, everyone must remember that heaven’s recipients will have spirit bodies not at all like the physical bodies we now have. Of course, when someone is sent to a world/planet that needs special instructions, they/we will take on the form and language of whatever these foreign creatures look like, but will still have spirit bodies.

In every physical world that has progressed to the point where they are ready to be accepted, they all speak different languages, and the one sent to them will speak their language. But in heaven, there will be only be one language—a heavenly language—and believe it or not, it will take eternity for us to learn. You would think that since God is Almighty, He could instantly give everyone the heavenly language. But we humans must remember that there is no hurry in heaven, since we all will be there forever. Repeating, it must be clear to us humans that the words “hurry” and “time” do not exist in heaven.

As I write this, the main concern that comes to mind is this: It is all well and good to live in an environment where there is no such thing as jealousy, evil thoughts, pain or anything contrary to divine love, but I am sure there has to be something that will keep us from getting bored.

The answer is this: When we are in an environment where all those around us are constantly loving us, and we in turn are loving them as we love ourselves, there is no time or need to be bored.

Here is a statement that defies human understanding, but is nevertheless true: Since God is Almighty, He will be in charge of all the infinite numbers of worlds that have, or are gaining, intelligence. Even though God is ONE, He is/will be speaking an infinite number of different languages on each planet, all at the same time. I will not even try to understand that concept.

You see, if all these above words were not true, and the spiritual universe was/is not eternal/everlasting, then Jesus Christ could not teach that those who believe and obey His words according to the New Testament would have EVERLASTING life.

A theme that is mentioned frequently in this blog is worthy of being mentioned again for the sake of new readers. Don’t be fooled or let anyone fool you into believing that if a person belongs to a certain denomination or is financially loyal, etc. to a certain church, and believe they have faith to be saved by Jesus Christ, that they have a guaranteed a free ticket into eternity.

There is a New Testament catch that is ignored by many: The New Testament teaches a truth that cannot be ignored as it is by many/most. It loudly reverberates over and over and over again in almost every book from Matthew to Revelation. It is the simple word “obedience” to all that is taught by God/Jesus Christ through the New Testament. You may never hear these words mentioned in most churches. The reason is that many of these verses are extremely difficult to adhere to, and are totally unnatural to our modern human nature.

Here is a very sad situation: A person may be so holy and devout that he/she seems like an angel who just dropped down from heaven. Don’t be deceived; if that person is not OBEDIENT to the teachings of Jesus Christ and confirmed by the authors of the books of the New Testament, that person is as hell-bound as the most notorious sinner on earth. In short, there is no salvation, no matter how devout one is, without obedience. That is the reason every genuine disciple of Jesus Christ must be thoroughly acquainted with the New Testament, so that any preacher, etc. or church can’t trick him/her into believing otherwise. To know what the New Testament contains concerning obedience is not an easy task to become familiar with, but is absolutely necessary. The obedience of many is cafeteria-style; pick and choose what to obey, and disregard all that doesn’t fit our modern lifestyle.

This paragraph is for the readers who are not familiar with the New Testament. In the last section of Post #313: “The Complexities of Salvation,” there is a comprehensive list of New Testament verses that will help you to know and understand what is required to live in a way that will please God and make certain that you are/will be conforming to all that is required to enter into everlasting life.

At this time, some might be thinking this: Where did this author get this unique information? My answer is this: If I were to say that an angel told me what to write, I would be characterized by many as a religious nut; and if I said I made it all up, I would be a liar. Therefore, I will let you decide where it came from.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

# 313: The Complexities of Salvation

Not many can understand how complex the New Testament is until they start to study it with a fine-toothed comb, so to speak. One of the most misconstrued words is simply “believe.” This all-important word has been so abused to the point that it loses its intended meaning. Let me explain: John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The question that is asked in this post—and we will attempt to give a full explanation—is about the 170 times the word “believe” or the phrase “believes in Him” is mentioned. Also, the word “faith,” which is used extensively, is a kissing-cousin to belief, most often having the same meaning; thus, those two words can at times be interchanged without losing any content.

What is not mentioned in Holy Scripture is the implications of what the words “believe” and “faith” signified in their fullness. When belief/faith is genuine, it/they will produce many spiritual tentacles/partners, which are the foundation of belief/faith’s survival. This is what we will bring to the surface/accomplish. Acts 18:8, Romans 1:17 and John 5:53 are three perfect examples: Acts 18:8. “Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.” John 5:53. “. . . So he and his whole household believed.” Romans 1:17. “The righteous will live by faith.” There are very many New Testament verses that are similar to these three verses.

It is certain some people are not aware of all that believers must come to understand, via the New Testament, and adhere to; case in point: what belief or faith in Jesus Christ consists of, concerning all the rigid obligations/commands that are intricate partners with belief. The culmination is that belief/faith produces much, much more: mainly, a radical life change from a secular life to a spiritual one, for all who claim Christianity as their religion. As mentioned dozens of times in this blog, that is not an easy change to accomplish.

We modern Christians are extremely fortunate since all that is required for Salvation is openly displayed in our New Testament. And it is a shame to say that many of today’s “christians” don’t believe much more than Crispus the synagogue leader and family did about being a Christian at their “partial” conversion two thousand years ago. To the contrary, we will bring out many New Testament verses demanding that obedience is compulsory to all that the New Testament teaches.

What complicates this matter of knowing all that is required by the New Testament is this fact: Most pastors of Christian churches will never preach/teach many unpleasant, unpoplular or difficult to apply verses. Obedience to these verses is ABSOLUTELY necessary for Salvation, even though preaching these strong verses would alienate many of the easy-does-it laity. Remember, the main concern of church leaders-though never spoken verbally-is to collect more than enough money to keep their church going, along with making a handsome bottom line for themselves. This action is a grievous violation of trust that they will have to account for at the final judgment. This blog has never and will never ignore any tough verses. You see, we don't collect or need any money; this blog is absolutely free, so we can tell it like it is.

Also, an important word that is not mentioned in the New Testament is “commitment.” All people who believe that they have made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior are committed/promise to obey all that is commanded/taught in the New Testament. In short, active deeds and works along with bearing much fruit will always be a spontaneous result of belief/faith’s tentacles.

The biggest unspoken teaching that has been orchestrated for the last several hundred years is this: Church-people have been covertly taught that going to worship in a church building once a week is the most important event in the Christian life. They do this while believing that their church is a reverent place and God actually resides there, even when the church is empty. That is not according to the New Testament. God resides by His Holy Spirit wherever there is a genuine Christian.

What truly bothers me is that when church service is finished, the laity presume they have done their duty for the week. That presumption-which is never verbalized-has made Christianity into a do-nothing organization. The clergy never teaches nor reprimands the laity that when church service is over, the most important WORK is sharing their faith with whoever cares to listen. Philemon 1:6. "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." Remember, all Christians are commanded to continue the work that Jesus Christ just started. That alone is real Christianity! AMEN.

As already mentioned, it will not be easy to obey these upcoming commandments because Divine love is the result of genuine faith/belief, which violates most—if not all—that our human nature has taught us since day one. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Yet, they are the foundation of authentic Christianity. The only way to be obedient is to somehow disregard what we have been taught since childhood, and by God’s power develop our inward fortitude to the limit, by continually aiming toward perfection.

Matthew 5:48. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

The very first and only attribute that will supersede all other requirements is that genuine Christianity is a unique religion that will—through the power of belief—produce Divine Love (God-type Love). This is an active love—mentioned in the next chapter—which is so powerful and mysterious that it cannot be understood, experienced or practiced except by authentic, honest-to-goodness Christians.

Mark 12:28-31. “‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’”

Some might be thinking: It is totally impossible to love God to that degree. Not so! Here is the answer as to how any genuine Christian can and will love God in the way that He requires: 1 John 3:5. “In fact, this is love for God: to keep/obey His commands” Isn’t that answer short and simple? And ALL that He requires/commands is all openly displayed in the New Testament. What is my excuse and yours for not loving God, as He requires?
The only place where it is mentioned in the New Testament where Christians gathered to worship was in each other’s homes; they were called churches. If these type of informal gatherings were prevalent now-a-days, we undoubtedly would know each others flaws and strong points, thus ministering to each others needs. That is what gathering together and praising God is for. I am not talking about midweek Bible studies and prayer meetings at designated churches, or at each other’s homes.

All the synagogues mentioned in the New Testament were places where Jews went to hear the synagogue rulers read verses from the Old Testament. People could not go to the corner bookstore and buy the complete or even small parts of scripture; they were not available, and besides most commoners could not read. Schooling was expensive and reserved only for the elite and those who were highly regarded and reserved for Scribes and Pharisees and other religious leaders. Simply put: Any form of education was for religious people, and possibly for the elite in the community.

Therefore, to know what was written for their spiritual benefit, Jews had to go and listen to the Synagogue ruler on the Sabbath. That was one of the main functions for all Synagogues. The Pharisees and possibly other religious leaders were in charge of who could and could not go or be a member of each Synagogue.

By the way, I believe in the first century, Sunday became the Christian holy day. Funny thing: no body knows when, how or why Sunday became the official day Christians were to worship. Fact: Nowhere in the complete New Testament does it explicitly name Sunday as the holy day of worship. And nowhere in Scripture is the Sabbath (the Seventh day of the week) nullified.

Making Sunday the holy day for all Christians was a decision made-up by misguided religious people who most likely wanted to separate themselves from any and all-Jewish religious formalities. Jew still worship on Saturday-their Sabbath-that is their religious Holy day.

The Christian tradition of going to a church building on Sunday got started in the 15th Century, after the Guttenberg press was invented, and the King James Bible was first printed. At that time, educated pastors could read for the first time exactly what the Holy Bible taught. At this time, Bibles were not readily available, and if they were, they were expensive. And starting at that time, Americans were hungry to learn exactly what was taught and not taught in the Word of God. And we can realistically understand why going to church on Sunday morning was extremely important for their Salvation. Churches were always jam packed with hundreds and even hundreds waiting outside, hoping to catch just a few word of what was being preached. That is not the case now that Bibles are dime a dozen and coming out of our ears, as it were. We now can learn all that is needed for our Salvation in our own homes or in small groups and then go out and live and do the works/deeds that it teaches, which is not an option.

The following is a very, very long list—about 200 verses—that will display and make a comprehensive examination of the New Testament, starting with the book of Matthew and ending in the book of Revelation, of what belief and faith are and are not. In short: the dos and don’ts of the genuine Christian life, but mostly verses that apply to our spiritual safety. This post is not for casual churchgoers, but only for those who are serious and active about their relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Posts #308: “The Enigma of Death” and #287: “Why Death,” along with a few other posts, would be more suitable for materialistic "Christians".

As you read the following verses, please keep this in mind: We were born, especially genuine Christians, with the innate ability to become powerful and active human gods of Divine love. John 10:34-35. Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’?. . .” These verses will teach much of what is required to reach our divine status, with not too much human commentary. All verses are taken from the 2011 New International Version of the New Testament. In my opinion, the editors of this newest version of the New Testament compromised some passages and key words to make the New Testament more acceptable to the modern “christian” church.

It is advised not to attempt to read all the following verses in one or two sittings; they could overwhelm most readers. As you read these verses, ask yourself if and how they apply to you and me.

Matthew 3:9-10. “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Matthew 5:39. “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

Matthew 5:42. “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

Matthew 5:44-45. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 6:19-21. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Matthew 6:24. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Matthew 7:6. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

Matthew 7:13-14. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Matthew 7:19-21. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 10:16. “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Matthew 10:22-23. “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.”

Matthew 10:37. “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Matthew 11:25-26. “At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.’”

Matthew 12:30. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

Matthew 12:50. “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 13:19. “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart.”

Matthew 13:22. “The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.”

Matthew 15:8-9. “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.”

Matthew 16:27. “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” The reward is eternal life. What have you and I done so far?

Matthew 18:3. “And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”

Matthew 19:21. “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’”

Matthew 19:29-30. “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

Matthew 21:22. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” This verse goes to show the power of genuine faith.

Matthew 23:25. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” The many verses in Matthew chapter 23 expose the danger of listening to and believing religious leaders.

Matthew 24:24. “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

Matthew 28:19-20. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 3:34-35. “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 4:19. “but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”

Mark 7:21. “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

Mark 10:21 “Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” Verses like this do not mean to give the essentials to live on.

Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Luke 1:50. “His mercy extends to those who fear him.”

Luke 1:53. “He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”

Luke 2:14. “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 3:9. “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Luke 4:5-8. “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.’” The devil can trick us into doing his thing/s in ways we are not aware of. The only way we will not get caught into his snare is to be obedient in all that is displayed in the New Testament.

I want to inject this very important fact: Many verses in this long list teach principles that sound crazy or contrary to what our human nature (life in general) teaches us. For that reason, a genuine Christian must RISE ABOVE how the animal kingdom (apes, etc.) lives. They are taught by their innate nature this principle: The survival of me and mine are of first and only importance; the rest are enemies/predators who want what I have. If and when we live like them, we are living according to our animal instincts, and then we are no more than highbred animals with not much hair and a finely tuned intelligence. For that reason we will be rejected as partakers of God’s Salvation.

Luke 6:20-24. “Looking at his disciples, he said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.’”

Luke 6:31 and 35. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” 35. “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.”

Luke 6:43-44. “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.”

Luke 6:46. “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Luke 9:62. “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’” It is not what one has already accomplished that one must cling to, but what is ahead that needs to be done.

Luke 10:27. “He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’” This verse is similar to the one in Matthew, but with more emphasis on obeying instead of just reading it.

Luke 11:27-28. “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you. He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’”

Luke 12:52. “Woe to you experts in the law [modern-day pastors], because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

Luke 12:11. “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

Luke 12:15. “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Luke 12:19-21. “And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:33-34. “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Verses such as this one do not mean to give the essentials in life to the poor, to the point of needing help from other Christians.

Luke 13:24. “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to."

Luke 14:11. “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 14:26. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” This verse means we must love Christ more than our family, and put Him before our family, as it teaches in Matthew 10:37.

Luke 14:33. “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Again, this does not mean to give away the essentials in life.

Luke 16:13, 14 and 15. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.’” These verses are a guide as to what is not acceptable in God’s sight.

Luke 17:20-21. “Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, “Here it is,” or “There it is,” because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

Luke 17:33. “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.”

Luke 18:8. “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Luke 18:17. “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Luke 18:24-25. “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” This verse has been explained away to such a great degree that it doesn’t exist anymore in the minds of many.

Luke 19:27. “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.” Though Jesus is loving, kind, etc., He will be stern to His enemies. Let us make sure we don’t become His enemies without knowing it, by being disobedient to just a few of His difficult-to-obey teachings.

Luke 21:17-19. “Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life.”

Luke 21:34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.”

John 1:12. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” This verse is just one of many that does not teach/mention the requirements that are attached to these types of verses.

John 3:36. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son [by not living as Scripture commands] will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

John 5:29. “. . . those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” Belief definitely includes doing what is good.

John 5:44. “How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?”

John 7:7. “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.” If you also are testifying that what the world is doing is evil, you will be hated also.

John 8:29. “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Do you and I always do what pleases Him?

John 8:31-32. “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:51. “Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”

John 9:31. “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.”

John 10:27-28. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Do we listen to His voice as it is displayed in New Testament or in this post?

John 11:25-26. “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John14:9 “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

John 14:15. “If you love me, keep my commands.”

John 14:23-24. “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.’”

John 14:26. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 15:1. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

John 15:5. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:8. “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

John 15:10. “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”

John 15:16-17. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”

John 15:18-19. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

John 16:33. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Acts 2:21. “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” As previously mentioned, those who call upon the name of the Lord must/will also comply with all else that is required.

Acts 2:47. “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” This verse displays that Salvation is a process.

Acts 3:22-23.”For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen [and obey] to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’”

Acts 5:32. “We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Acts 6:42. “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”

Acts 10:34-35. “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”

Acts 12:15. “‘You’re out of your mind,’ they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, ‘It must be his [Peter’s] angel.’” This is one of the verses that seems to say that all genuine Christians are in the company of their own personal angel.

Acts 13:48. “When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.” As already mentioned briefly, genuine Christians were appointed for eternal life from the creation of life. This means that even though we have a free will which God does not/cannot change, He knows everyone’s destination. Or do we really have a free will?

Acts 14:22. “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.’” This is only one of many verses which teaches that “Once saved, always saved” is a lie. Also, the hardships mentioned are not only those inflicted on us by nonbelievers, but not being able to participate in many worldly affairs that make life a little less stressful; in other words “The easy life.”

Acts 16:13. “On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer.” This verse shows that the early Christians still observed the seventh day Sabbath, which is Saturday.”

Acts 26:20. “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.”

Romans 1:17. “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’”

Romans 2:7. “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.”

Romans 6:16. “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

Romans 8:5. “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.”

Romans 8:28. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:33. “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” Are you and I certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are one of God’s chosen?

Romans 10:9. “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Of course, that is if one continues to be obedient to all of Christ’s teachings.

Romans10:13. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” What are the many implications of the word “calls”?

Romans 11:22. “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.”

Romans 12:9-10. “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:10. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 13:8. “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

Romans 11:22. “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness.”

Romans 12:17 and 20. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.”

Romans 13:9-10 “Love your neighbor as yourself.” “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Romans 15:18: “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done.”

1st Corinthians 14:2. “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

1st Corinthians 1:18-19. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’”

1st Corinthians 2:16. “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we [Christians] have the mind of Christ.”

1st Corinthians 4:16. “Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” [The Apostle Paul]

1st Corinthians 5:9-11. “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.”

1st Corinthians 6:9. “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

1st Corinthians 7:19. “Keeping God’s commands is what counts.”

1st Corinthians 11:1. “Follow my [The Apostle Paul] example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

1st Corinthians 15:2. “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

1st Corinthians 15:58. "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 1st Corinthians 16:22. “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord.”

2nd Corinthians 4:4. “The god of this age [Satan] has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

2nd Corinthians 4:18. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

2nd Corinthians 5:10. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

2nd Corinthians 5:15. “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

2nd Corinthians 5:19-21. “And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

2nd Corinthians 6:10. “. . . sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”

2nd Corinthians 11:13-15. “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

2nd Corinthians 13:5. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?"

Galatians 1:10. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” This verse applies to this author.

Galatians 2:10. “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.” Are we concerned with helping the poor in Christ.?

Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

Galatians 5:19-21. “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 6:6-10. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Ephesians 1:19. “. . . and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

Ephesians 2:2. “. . . the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”

Ephesians 2:10. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:22. “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

Ephesians 3:17-20. “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

Ephesians 5:1-2. “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love.”

Ephesians 5:6. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.”

Ephesians 5:12. “It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.”

Ephesians 6:12. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Philippians 1:6. “. . . being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Yes, but only if you are obedient and active in sharing His love.

Philippians 2:3-5. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Philippians 2:12. “. . . continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

Philippians 4:9. “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Colossians 1:10. “. . . so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

Colossians 1:23. “If you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.”

Colossians 2:18. “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you.” Other bibles say/add: [for the prize]

Colossians 3:5. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

Colossians 3:23. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”

1st Thessalonians 2:4. “We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”

1st Thessalonians 3:5. “I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.” The devil never gives up in his efforts of trying to trick us into following him, even up to our last day.

1st Thessalonians 5:16-18. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

2nd Thessalonians 1:6. “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.”

2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9. “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction . . .”

2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10. “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”

2nd Thessalonians 3:3. “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” That is, if you are a genuine Christian. There are so many fake “christians” who don’t realize they are fakes.

2nd Thessalonians 3:6-7. “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example.”

2nd Thessalonians 3:10. “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’”

2nd Thessalonians 3:14-15. “Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.”

1st Timothy 2:9-12. “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” Sure, that will be the day! That won’t happen in this 21st century.

1st Timothy 2:15. “But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

1st Timothy 4:1. “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith.” There are several other verses that teach the same principle. I thought Baptists believed that once a person is saved, he/she is always saved, because God is not an Indian-giver. This is a big joke.

1st Timothy 3:5. “. . . who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.”

1st Timothy 5:15. “Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.”

1st Timothy 6:10. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

1st Timothy 5:17-19. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

2nd Timothy 2:4. “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.”

2nd Timothy 2:17-18. “Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.”

2nd Timothy 2:26. “And that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”

2nd Timothy 3:1-5. “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 such people.”

2nd Timothy 4:3. “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

2nd Timothy 4:9-10. “Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.”

Titus 1:16. “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”

Philemon 1:6. “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.”

Hebrews 5:8-9. “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him . . .”

Hebrews 1:14. “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

Hebrews 3:4: “But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”

Hebrews 3:14. “We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.”

Hebrews 3:18-19. “And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” Unbelief and disobedience are one and the same.

Hebrews 5:8-9. “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

Hebrews 6:4-6. “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance.”

Hebrews 10:26-27. “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Hebrews 11:6. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Hebrews 12:5-6. “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Hebrews 12:10. “They [our fathers] disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.”

Hebrews chapter 11 is devoted to faith. It is too long to put in this post, but if you get a chance, check it out.

James 1:12. Blessed is the one who perserves under trial, because when that person has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised those who love him.”

James 2:5. “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”

James 2:10" "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

James 218: "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds."

James 2:17. “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” [Faith cannot and will not survive without action]. God’s love, mercy and compassion cannot override this infraction.

Also, James 2:26. “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

James 4:4. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

James 5:16. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

1st Peter 1:15. “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”

1st Peter 1:22. “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.”

1st Peter 4:17-18. “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, ‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’”

2nd Peter 3:9. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2nd Peter 3:13-14. “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”

1st John 2:5. “But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

1st John 2:15-17.”Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

1st John 3:5-6. “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

1st John 3:7-9. “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”

1st John 3:13-15. “Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

1st John 3:17. “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”

1st John 3:24. “The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

1st John 4:7-8. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

1st John 5:3. “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”

2nd John 1:6. “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.”

Jude 16. “These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.”

Revelation 12:17. “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.”

Revelation 14:12. “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

# 312: God’s Infinite and Holy Love Story

Before the beginning of any and all life and celestial objects, there was a dormant power that needed and did express itself. That power was Love. In order to express that Love, it needed intelligent entities to receive that unique Love. It was/is the most valuable and priceless “emotion” that would ever exist. At this point, Love had to give itself an identity. The only fitting title for this power was “Infinite Creator” of all that ever will exist.

That meant there was nothing Creator could not accomplish. Creating an endless physical universe filled with endless galaxies would fulfill Creator’s ultimate desire to propagate endless/eternal love. Clearly said, Creator desired/needed an infinite number of free-will, spiritual entities that would be recipients of that eternal, Holy Love.

Since time does not exist in this timeless realm, the word “hurry” did not exist. Creator formed a set of rules (the laws of physics) that could not be violated, to control physical matter.

There is no number that exists, not even quadrillion times quadrillion, to express the number of galaxies in our endless universe. The reason for such an enormous size of our universe is because size or number cannot contain Infinite Creator’s eternal Love.

All this and more—if it were possible—is the successful accomplishment satisfying the love nature that is available through the Creator. Everything that has life and intelligence, which can display love, exists or will exist for only one reason: for the eternal GLORY of Almighty Jehovah God (Creator’s rightful name), and to some degree, for those who choose to attach themselves to Almighty God.

Even though the above synopsis may not be complete in detail, that description is the best a human mind can envision of Almighty God and the origin of all that exists or will exist.

Now for the many whom, with their narrow minds, believe that planet earth is the only one of interest to God, just because other planets that could sustain intelligent life are not mentioned in Scripture…the most we can do for them is to pity them. Check out Ephesians 4:10. “He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.” Fill the universe with what, if not with intelligent beings? I am certain the apostle Paul was not even remotely aware of the seemingly endlessness of our universe, as we have come to know it with our powerful telescopes. Let me ask these narrow-minded people this pertinent question: If God was interested in creating life only on planet earth, what was the reason He created the vast universe? Just for the hell of it?! If you can’t give a legitimate answer to this basic question—except “it is not for us to know” is not a legitimate answer—then you have to attempt to concede as to what this post is teaching.

Bear in mind: The galaxies with solar systems whose environments are conducive to the existence of physical life are the only ones that are of interest to our loving Creator. Believe it or not, there is an infinite number of such planets.

In God’s creation process of life, all life has/was started at God’s silent command, and the result was a countless number of microscopic life that came into existence on planets that could sustain physical life, identical to the way He created the rest of the universe. Hebrews 11:3. “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” As that life grows, it/they will multiply in environments where time does not exist; it/they will go through countless positive changes as designed by Almighty God, until some form of constructive intelligence has developed.

Since God is the only one who has the ability to create life out of nothing—as we know nothing—Darwin was silent on that subject in his Theory of Evolution. In his theory, Darwin never once mentions or even gives a hint/hints about how the origin of life came to be. Acknowledging the existence of a God was not his forte, and would only undermine his complete theory.

Let me inject a few words to skeptics, atheists and even a few people who call themselves Christians, and then get back to the topic on hand. According to physicists, our laws of physics teach that nothing can create itself out of nothing, again, as we know nothing, and for no reason. Since that is the undeniable truth, physicists do not know how and where that small object came from that created/started the Big Bang; who made it, and for what reason? [Ask that question to the honored physicist, Stephen Hawking. He answered that question with this quote: “At that point, the laws of physics break down.”] If, by some rare chance, the Big Bang really took place, it was Almighty God who created it by the spiritual laws of creation He initiated at that point, and with a definite purpose: to eventually create physical/spiritual love beings.

Back to the reality of the physical world: At just the right time on each planet—even though it is incorrect to mention the word “time” since time does not exist in God’s realm—God will introduce himself to these intelligent beings, one at a time, as He did on planet earth to Abraham, in Genesis 17:5. “When Abram [Abraham] was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.’”

Just because God is called “HE” in all Scripture (a male pronoun), that has nothing to do with gender. We will be like the angels. Matthew 22:30. “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Also Revelation 22:8-9. “. . . I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!’”

Let me ask all the readers this silly question: Where did the angels in heaven come from? Answer: Spiritual logic says they came from other planets after being tested in a physical environment as we are being tested to make certain they/we are creatures of divine love. Since Scripture is silent as to where angels came from, and it doesn’t mention any female angels, there will be no gender/s; there is no need for either male nor female—which implies potential reproduction—we will all be alike in heaven.

Now getting back to the matter at hand: All that the New Testament teaches/commands can be understood in various ways, but if SELFLESS, divine love (not only words of divine love) for God/Jesus Christ and the needy—which is not the final product, but an ongoing product of one’s Christianity—that religion could be in question.

Now, the question comes up: how does one know with certainty that at death, he/she is going to heaven? Simply put, having Divine Love is the answer. The only criterion for entering the heavenly kingdom of God is to have the correct answer to this question: Did you and I, through our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord (boss) and Savior, love God and others as the New Testament commands? No ifs, ands, or buts! You see, having real faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior requires/is coupled with obedience to ALL He teaches. That, by all means, as I can attest to, is the most difficult undertaking in the entire world, since many of those teachings do not line up with what our sinful, selfish human nature strongly desires, and most often our human nature will not or cannot give in to obeying New Testament teachings.

Of all who claim to be Christians, a conservative guess would be that one in every thousand might qualify for eternal life. Matthew 22:14. “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Even though this author believes that he will be going to heaven, he may be dead wrong. Why? Because sometimes I do not make every effort in doing things/obedience to all that the New Testament requires. Luke 13:24. “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” There are more New Testament verses that require “making every effort,” which is required of all who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

One of the strongest and most poignant words associated with divine/agape love is the word “holy.” Webster’s definition of holy is “spiritually perfect or pure.” As one studies the Word of God, “holy,” as it is portrayed in Scripture, agrees with Webster’s definition. For example: Hebrews 12:14. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Also, 2nd Peter 3:14. “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this (in previous verse, “a new heaven and a new earth”), make every effort to be found spotless, blameless [holy] and at peace with him.” There are many more verses that stress that holiness is a must in the lives of all people who claim to be disciple of Christ/Christians.

Verses like the above, make me a bit skeptical as to my eternal destiny. That is why I cannot say I am going to heaven in an emphatic manner. That also may be the reason why the word “holy,” concerning the holiness of the laity, is loosely or seldom mentioned from most pulpits. Preachers don’t want their parishioners to think that their Salvation may be in jeopardy. Fools!

In heaven we all will have a free will—something like we now have—of course, inspired by Divine love. And if on earth, one’s controlling and dominating purpose in life is having an active love for God and the needy—which is the result of having faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, demonstrated by selfless love—they will/may qualify for eternal life.

I present many sections of the New Testament that will substantiate the unpopular above statement: Mark 12:28-31. “. . . ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’”

Luke 10:25-28. “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.’” The last section of this verse, with only five words, is the most “explained away” of all verses in the New Testament by most, if not all, of organized religion. (Emphasis added). Why is that? Please, I ask this question for your eternal well-being; take this verse to heart. In fact, this verse encompasses the complete New Testament; by making little of this verse or saying, “That is impossible,” the complete New Testament will be negated/compromised.

One thing that must be emphasized at this time is that self-generated selfless love is not the type that will give eternal life. Obedience to all Christ’s commands—like the above—and not just a verbal/mental affirmation of making Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, is absolutely necessary. Without obedience, God’s Love, Mercy, Grace, Salvation, etc. may be null and void; don’t let any preacher tell you otherwise.

Do you and I love God and neighbor in the above manner? I would like to say yes, but I have to be honest; at this time, chances are if you and I don’t continue to produce more needed fruit/works, we might just be fooling ourselves.

The only reason selfless Divine Love is the most important ingredient in the Christian life is because that Divine Love is the essence of living in an eternal environment where everything is centered around love.

Aside from being the most powerful ingredient in the universe, love is the only ingredient in the universe where the more one gives away, the more one has, especially when it is Divine Love. Someone might ask: How does one give love? This has a two-part answer: When one loves God with all their facilities by obedience to all that He commands, God reciprocates that love, making one more aware of how much God loves her/him, thus amplifying their love affair. So now, that person is the recipient of more love than he/she had before. As this love affair continues, this person is overwhelmed with God’s Love; now that person is more able to share that love with others. That is genuine Christianity in motion.

Sharing that love is done in various ways:

A) If one has a little extra savings, one can actively seek out those in real need and help them. But a word of caution: I am certain everyone in financial need would love to have some of your money. At this point, one has to take heed of Matthew 10:16. “Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” And Matthew 7:6. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.” We have to be extra certain that those who would accept our financial help are worthy of our help. What I mean is, do they smoke or drink? Are they on some kind of illegal drugs; do they waste their money on unnecessary habits, like going to movies and other entertainment outlets? This list could be endless. Most likely, some people will lie to you concerning their expenses. It would be a crime against those in real need not to thoroughly screen all potential recipients wanting your/God’s help/love. Also ask about their religious beliefs. And please don’t forget to reiterate that it is Jesus Christ doing the giving and we are only His ambassadors/helpers. For that reason, I don’t recommend helping anyone through any organization just for the sake of helping the needy, without Jesus Christ receiving all the credit firsthand.

B) Somehow, find those who are aware of their need to be in a good relationship with Jesus Christ. Go door-to-door, like the early Christians did in the book of Acts. Acts 5:42. “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” Also see Acts 20:20. “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.” This is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Most people we confront are content wherever they are, be it religiously anemic, church-going, or atheist. This could be frustrating and discouraging, but still, it is necessary; even so, I am convinced that genuine, New Testament Christianity is not meant for modern Americans. They have genuine church-based Christianity where they hear what they want to hear and do what is pleasing, or they won’t be back. In other words, the majority of churches are well-planned, lucrative, con-artist-type operations. If you don’t believe it, read all the pertinent verses in the New Testament that you will never hear mentioned in churches, and if you did hear a few they would be watered-down to the point that their true meaning is obscured.

C) It may be hard for many to believe that it is poor Christians who are the most fortunate in God’s sight, since they have more reason to be looking for a better place to live. They may be poor for many reasons: it may have been their own fault, or it may not have been. Either way, they are blessed more than those who are not in need. Luke 6:20“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” If we know any such people, they are the ones we should help first. This does not mean we should forget the poor that are not Christians, as mentioned above, even though our generosity may be in vain if they don’t change and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. What I am saying is that our love and generosity are mainly to show the unsaved poor that we are also concerned with their spiritual welfare. That will be an excellent opportunity to show and tell them about the benefits of becoming a real Christian. If we really have God’s Love controlling our lives, this is the time to show the hurting world that genuine, active, Divine Love is the answer to all the world’s problems, especially in America. Even though loving the unlovely is the correct thing to do, it may not be an easy accomplishment.

In conclusion, in all we are inspired to say and do for Jesus Christ, Divine Love is the extreme motivator that keeps us going and doing what God’s Holy Love dictates. Get this: Whenever someone is seen loving/being generous to those who are worthy and in real need, you are witnessing, by proxy, God’s Holy Love story in action. Just remember: Holiness and Divine love cannot be separated; if they are, neither one is of any value to Almighty God.

All verses are taken from the 2011 “New International Version” of the Holy Bible

Saturday, August 27, 2011

# 311: The Battle the World is Winning

Living the Christian life as the New Testament requires is the loftiest quest (Holy Grail) that all genuine Christians will/must strive for until our dying day. The reason we must continually exert ourselves toward perfection and holiness is because if we were to settle for anything less (secularism), that would leave the door open wide for sin to thrive.

Some may ask, “What is Christian perfection and holiness?” There are several answers to that question: A) Christ sees us with His perfection, which He graciously has given/will give to us free of charge. If we truly believe He sees us as perfect and holy, we will always attempt to live that way. B) Then there is the perfection and holiness we ourselves are continually striving for. This tells God that we mean business, and it will take every effort that we can muster up.

The greatest hindrance that keeps us from our goal of perfection and holiness is the physical world and all the so-called goodies that it has to offer.

We must remember this: All that the world offers is here because of popular demand by ungodly people who did not/do not know God. Genuine Christians had/have very little, if anything, to do with what is now offered by the world.

Therefore, whenever the word “world” is mentioned in the New Testament, it means things, desires, and attitudes, etc. that have been formed over the years because of the demands of worldly people who do not know God, and have nothing to do with glorifying God.

Here is a perfect example of the supply and demand mentioned above: When the ratings of a certain TV program are low, guess what? It is canceled. That theory is the same with everything in the world. When something is unpopular, regardless of how good it is, it disappears.

This supply-and-demand principle is strongly indicative that everything in the world remains here because of the demand of worldly people.

Let us mention just a few of the things, desires, and attitudes that are prevalent in this world that multitudes of people who believe they are Christians engage in: On the top of the list is entertainment of all sorts. The list of popular entertainment could be endless. Here are just a few: 1) Sports of all types, either participant or spectator. 2) TV movies (all are make-believe) in all forms being viewed by “christians.” 3) TV-viewing in general, except the national news, so that real Christians won’t seem like ignoramuses when witnessing/visiting with worldly people. 4) All other forms of entertainment, like having parties where drinking alcohol is the norm. 5) Gatherings and parties of all sorts where Jesus Christ is not mentioned. 6) Engaging in politics of any form. 2nd Timothy 2:4. “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer [Jesus Christ].” 7) Secular music must be avoided. 8) Do not celebrate secular holidays. 9) To believe that the gay society as acceptable is against what the New Testsment teaches. 10) Accepting that it is alright for a man and woman to live together in a sexual relationship without being married.

There are many, many more worldly things that are available that have nothing to do with genuine Christianity. They must be avoided. Of course, the most desired thing in the world is the desire to be wealthy—if one isn’t already. The problem is that when we are not fulfilled with inner wealth (Christ), we will desire material wealth in an attempt to make us feel successful and complete. To put it bluntly, the more one has in this world, the more attached one is to this sinful world.

In 2nd Timothy 1-5, the apostle Paul accurately predicts what will come in the last days. “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 such people.”

In 1st John 2:15-17, the apostle John gives us a sneak preview of what things are in the world that we must not engage in: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” The word “lust” is often associated only with sexual/sensual desires, but according to the dictionary, that word also means “a lust for power, and intense enthusiasm and desire.” The words “love the world,” as the apostle uses it, mean “a strong liking or interest in something” (the world).

People who may call themselves Christians, but are not really Christians, are hungry for anything that will quench that inward craving for something that will satisfy their desire to be, to have, and to enjoy the best of what this world offers. People in this category are void of anything inward that satisfies completely. Repeating: Lasting satisfaction can come only from the presence of the Holy Spirit of God actively working to promote Jesus Christ. That is the job of every genuine Christian/disciple.

The big difference between secular Christians and genuine Christians is that the secular are living to promote their own interests in the name of Jesus Christ, while the genuine are living to promote the cause and interests that Jesus Christ started, regardless of the cost to their own lives. On the surface, it may be difficult to distinguish between the two, but inwardly, the difference is so dramatic that one is secretly living like a craven animal, while the other is openly living like a living martyr, just waiting to leave this wicked world. Even though it is difficult to describe the difference, they are living in two different worlds.

Of course, there is a multitude of daily chores/obligations that need to be done every day that have nothing to do with glorifying God, like having to go to work every day. They are necessities that are acceptable to God, and have nothing to do with being part of the world. If possible, we should attempt to minimize those “must-do” requirements so that we can have more time in doing the things of God. And then, to incorporate some of those chores with Godly matters, one can be listening to the New Testament at the same time. I have done this every day for years; it has been a blessing to me and to others.

The signature mark of all real Christians must be the following: Matthew 5:48. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” And 1st Peter 1:16: “for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” It is absolutely impossible for anyone who is involved in worldly values to strive for holiness and perfection in the sight of God. We must be obedient to this command. 1st Corinthians 15:58. “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. ALWAYS give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Disobedience to verses like this would disqualify anyone from calling themselves genuine Christians. No excuses!

The apostle Paul gives us an even better reason why we cannot engage in anything that Jesus Christ would not engage in Himself. 1st Corinthians 2:16. “. . . But we have the mind of Christ.” Do we have the mind of Christ or the mind of the world that is controlled by the evil one? Please ask yourself this question in all honesty; your destiny may depend on it. We are not fooling around with words to make a point, but to openly display what has mostly been kept silent; the price is loss of eternal life.

Here is the best way everyone can tell if what they are engaging in is worldly or from God. When whatever one is doing, has, or desires, does it bring glory to God through Jesus Christ? And, at the same time, is one’s relationship with Jesus Christ being enhanced? If not, it is worldly. But mark this: The Biblical words in this post will NEVER be preached in any religious establishment. Some may be asking, “Why not?” The answer is that it will never be accepted by run-of-the-mill Christians. These Godly words are laced with thorns; who wants to live with thorns? Only those who are crucified with Christ. The apostle Paul says it all too clearly in Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Does Christ truly live in modern church-going Christians? If not, why not?

Here are a few New Testament verses that mention the harm the world can do to our devotion to Jesus Christ:

Matthew 18:7. “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”

Matthew 6:31-32. “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.”

John 16:33. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Romans 12:2. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

1st Corinthians 2:12. “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”

2nd Corinthians 10:2-4. “I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.”

Ephesians 2:1. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”

Ephesians 6.12. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

2nd Timothy 4:10. “…for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.”

Colossians 2:20. “Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules...”

James 1:27. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

James 4:4. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

2nd Peter 1:4. “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

1st John 2:15-17. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

1st John 5:4-5. “And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.”

1st John 5:19. “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” [and lives accordingly].

All New Testament verses are taken from the New International Version 2011 edition.

In conclusion: Leaving the desires of the world for the desires the New Testament adamantly requires will be the most distasteful and difficult undertaking that anyone can be asked to achieve. In all truth, it is absolutely imperative.