I was asked by a man (an Atheist), who I consider my dear friend what church I belong to and what church I was brought up in. I was asked also of his wife (an Atheist), after a prolonged absence, "do you still believe in God"? I have sincere respect for these folks for their honesty. They do not believe in God and they do not pretend they believe. This now 92 year old man once told me, I have been involved in four religions and, "I would like to believe but I just can't. I've read where Jesus Christ was a religious fanatic and that's why he was killed. I believe religion is a form of insanity". What can I say to these dear folks other than live my life as a believer and conversing my faith with them. So what is my answer to these questions.
The Holy Bible - KJV, the written word in scripture, the miracle of life (seen and unseen - heavens and the earth) is my answer! Jesus Christ was a crazy religious lunatic OR Jesus Christ IS who the scriptures proclaim, God with us! I believe the old testament while relevant as history, to be edification of creation and early life and teaching, old covenant (much can be applied to present day living) however, rightly dividing the scriptures (word of God) today we are to live in the new testament scriptures, new covenant. Jesus often said, "you have heard of old times but I say unto you........" Jesus addressed nine of the ten commandments by strengthening them. The commandment "Remember the Sabbath etc". He did not address however, he said, "A new commandment I give onto you, that you love one another" . Jesus followed old testament scripture as he lived in those times. When Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cruel cross he said "It is finished" The Vail was rent from top to bottom! The law (old testament) was fulfilled. When Jesus Christ rose and ascended to heaven we now live in the new testament. Jesus said the comforter "Gods Holy Spirit" will come and so it is today for "Born Again Believers". Recorded in scripture (John chapter three verse three), "You must be Born Again", eternity with God. Also recorded in scripture (John chapter three verse three), the consequence of not being "Born Again" which is separation from God in eternity. Born of water (physical birth) born of the spirit (Spiritual rebirth). Rebirth, a spiritual awakening to an understanding and communion with God. This then comes about through repentance to God, accepting the precious Holy Blood of God (Christ) on the cross as forgiveness for an individuals 'my' sin. This then becomes a personal matter, a personal relationship.The cross did not save, Christ on the cross and only the Christ on the cross and Holy shed Blood is sufficient to save and does' save. Who so ever believeth in God (Christ) shall not parish but have everlasting, eternal life (John chapter three verse sixteen). For by Grace (the grace of God) we are saved through faith (Romans chapter five verse one) NOT RELIGION! Repentance also includes asking forgiveness from those (individuals) one has wronged (this is sin) Matthew 5:22-24. This is most often not stressed by religious leaders. Note also that should the individual you ask forgiveness from refuse to forgive you then God forgives you, you are forgiven, Matthew 18:15-18. In this world today there is so much religion. There are many religious people in the world, in the pews of denominations and yes, there are many religious preachers in pulpits, pastors engaging in sexual activities with other men's wives, and homosexual behavior (in church). Priests molesting young boys, impregnating women (other men's wives), the hierarchy condoning and covering this up. These are serious offenses; Matthew 18:6, Luke 17:2. This hurts the cause of Christ. So to my Atheist friends question I must say "I belong to NO religion". Many, many religion's (religious - denominations) to choose from. Many call there movements "Christian" but are they ritualistic religious movements only, creating their own titles such as, assemblies of god, baptists, bible / community churches (so-called), catholics (many diocese), churches of christ, churches of god, church of jesus christ of latter day saints (actually mormon followers), church of the nazarene, jehovah witnesses, lutherans (several synods), methodists - wesleyns, salvation army - boothns (mostly a helping hand movement), seventh day adventists - whitens, television preachers, (many yet thankfully not all) have become millionaires with their talent of persuasive speech and by exploiting the faith and beliefs of their listeners, on and on and on..... So many want to play lead guitar behind Jesus (Jesus has many fans) yet want to be the leader of their own band. RELIGION! Again RELIGION, pacifies people with humanistic psychology mixed with scripture taken out of context. "Pacifier" going through the motions but receiving nothing of substance (sustenance). Nowhere in scripture is it written one is saved by religion. There is ONLY one Church which is "Born Again Believer's" (John Chapter 3). " the Bride of Christ". One must be in association with God (Christ) in this Church. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. What one sews one will reap (Galatians chapter six verse seven and eight).
* Been or/are abused by dishonest clergy, your denominational teaching? Stop Clergy Abuse!
* Believe you are/or have been instructed wrongly, false-misleading, self serving, eternal security teaching? (Christian in name only.) EZEKIEL 18:24
HEBREWS 6:4-6, 10:26-29. SECOND PETER 2:21,22 God secures born-again believers in eternal security, continuing in "surrendered" faith. Abide in
Me... JOHN 15:4-14. Known, unconfessed, unrepentant sin IS unforgiven sin! To a Christian and/or non-believer! Belief in Jesus Christ, is surrendering, yielding, obeying and following Jesus. Read first, second and third Epistle of John.
* Difference between born into physical (natural) family, No Choice! Born Again into spiritual (faith) family, Choice! God in love, creates each one
with a free will, except or reject. God never removes this free will.
* Often the elderly are spiritually and financially manipulated as end of life nears (Elder Abuse). Stop Clergy Abuse!
* Many denominations pick and choose old testament scriptures to further their own agenda. One being tithing (10%).
A preacher once told me "You are obligated to pay your tithe, we will fight over the money"! WRONG! We are to be good stewards, New Testament.
In the early church there was joy and sound doctrine, but false prophets - spiritual con artists - soon arose, like those we have today.
In his second letter Peter calls them "sick dogs and dirty hogs" (Chapter 2; 22), hucksters of the Gospel. Stop Clergy Abuse!
Ponder these scriptures;
• For what shall it profit a man (woman) to gain the whole world (material things) and lose his (her) soul. Gospel of Mark 8:36.
• For the wages of sin is death; God's gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Book of Romans 6:23.
• ...you must be born again (spiritually), John 3:7. Then begin walking (living) in newness of life. Book of Romans 6:4
• Religion; Ritualistic make believe. Mind over matter. A form of Godliness, however denying the power of God.
Religious Denominations Dominate with their own Doctrine. Self-serving religion = Dead Faith.
• Faith; Trust in God. Commitment! Gods in control - Rest in God! Surrender to Gods Will according to scripture.
Rightly dividing old and new testaments. Yielded believing = Living Christianity
• Important to realize; One's religious organization (Denomination), parents or anyone else's religion will not save. One must have a
personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, One on One.
• Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because
straight is the gate, narrow is that way, which leadth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13 & 14
• Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord Isaiah 1:18.
• I believe there are Born Again Christian Believers in many christian denominations. Living sincere faith fruitfully for the cause of Christ. Matthew 7:13-29.
First Timothy 4:1-2.
My personal testimony;
I believe in God (Creator Of All Seen and Unseen). I accept Jesus Christ (God With Us) as Savior of my soul. I surrender (Yield) myself to the Holy Spirit (God In Us). I sense God's guiding and directing constantly. My hope (Salvation) is built on nothing less than Jesus (Gods) blood and righteousness. I dare not (will not) trust the sweetest frame (gifted speakers and man made temples) but holy lean on Jesus Name (Christ). It is written, their is no Salvation (None) outside the cross of Christ. At the cross at the cross where one finds the light! (Spiritual Rebirth!) It is written in Holy scripture, KJV- 2nd Timothy Chapter Three Verses 1-5, In the last days people will become (more openly) very sinful and so it is now! Lovers after their own selves (flesh), lying, cheating and condoning dishonesty etc,. Choose this day (Now) who you will follow, 2nd Corinthians Chapter 6 verse 2. I follow the Lord Jesus Christ. In doing so I, have been and (am) redeemed for eternity in Heaven with God. But it is written (Isa. 64:4), Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them who love God, first Corinthians 2:19. I love God!
Question to you dear reader,
Have you planned for the outcome of your body after it dies?
Have you planned for the outcome of your spirit (Soul) after it passes away from your dead body?
It is appointed unto man / woman once to die, then the fair and just judgment of God, Hebrews: 9:27. God has provided eternal life (Only) through Jesus Christ, John 20:31.
Have you met Jesus, At The Cross? EPHESIANS 2:16-22. You can know now (today) where you will spend eternity. Repent to God and those you have harmed, accept Jesus as Savior.
Write us, partner with this ministry proclaiming the good news of the gospel. Jesus said to Simon Peter "do you love me?", three times. Peter answered all three times, "yes, lord; you know I love you". Jesus said onto Peter "feed my sheep" (followers-believers). John 21; 15-17
Eternal salvation, God makes so simple, even a little child can understand yet the greatest scholars have not plumbed it's depth.
To put anyone or anything before Jesus Christ and him crucified one commits spiritual adultery.
Natural Mind = Lives (Walk's by sight only)
(Original, Sin Nature)
Carnal Mind = Lives (Self serving form of godliness)
(Religious, Hypocritical Nature)
Spiritual Mind = Lives (Walk's by faith in God)
(Spiritually Born Again, Surrendered, Yeilded, Obedient Nature)
Message of New Testament: The Cross of Christ
Raymen A. Starkka, BACB
Born Again Christian Believer Minister
8124 Channel View Road, Unit 207
Lake Shore, MN 56468
Love one another Forgive one another
God's Precious Peace