Am I really o.k.? Do I need a Savior?

None of us are perfectly sinless. I think most people agree that is true on some level. The biggest issue is that we want to be able to determine for ourselves what is actually called sin. Simply put – sin is “missing the mark”. So who set the mark and what is it? The Creator God did and it his holiness! That’s it. If we somehow attain the holiness of God, then we’re good. We’re sinless. (Note: This has only been done by one person. God himself in the person of Jesus.)

So if I’m a sinner and you’re a sinner … what’s the difference?

By the grace of God, I recognized my sin. All of it. The obvious ones that were a little easier to give up and the ones that I actually kind of enjoyed. The ones I had convinced myself weren’t sin, or at least that I had come up with a “valid reason” to continue doing. The ones that weren’t really a big deal because they weren’t hurting anyone else.  I confessed them all to God (not that he didn’t already know, but that I was finally agreeing with him). I acknowledged to him that I could not save myself. And I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life and the Savior of my soul. Do I still sin? Unfortunately, yes, I do. But I know it is sin and the Holy Spirit living within me makes it much harder to be o.k. with it. My sin is ugly to me just like it is to God. Repentance is something I need to do or my heart aches. But even as I still fall short I will not pay the ultimate price of eternal separation from God in hell. Jesus, My Redeemer, paid that price for me. 

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. – ‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:11-13‬

You, on the other hand, don’t need a Savior. You are offended when someone dares to call what you’re doing “sin”. Or you make excuses for your sin as if a holy God allows for gray areas. Maybe you even pray to a god you figure is out there asking for forgiveness and assuming you’ve received it on your own accord. Then you figure that your prayer wiped the slate clean so the sins you willingly commit today won’t be piled on top of the ones you committed yesterday. You probably figure that you can do enough good things to make up for the bad – since you’re not really that bad anyways. You drown out the voices that are warning you of judgement and cling to the ones that assure you you’re o.k. without truly seeking the answers from God for yourself. In your heart you must wonder, “Am I really o.k.?” The question may be fleeting as your heart is getting hardened, but every once in a while you wonder, “Do I need a Savior?”

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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”…for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans‬ ‭10:9-11, 13‬‬‬

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The Leaders We’ve Asked For

Most people I talk to agree… The fact that we have the current two choices to lead our nation is scary! Both make claims to some form of “Christianity” but the lives of neither reflect a truly Biblical worldview as the driving force. Dishonesty, vulgarity, lack of self-control, celebrating abortion and sinful lifestyles, the desire to silence Christian voices, etc… I can honestly say for the first time in my adult life that it doesn’t really matter which one I vote for because we could be in trouble either way. 

So how did we get here? How is it the greatest nation in the world that for over two-hundred years has been the “big brother” that everyone looked up to and respected is now regularly taunted by its foes? That once protected unalienable rights across the world is now threatening to imprison its own citizens for standing up for their beliefs? That for centuries valued and applauded the family as the foundational structure of civilization now attempts to redefine it on all levels while slaughtering millions of innocent children before they’re even born? That once encouraged free-market through hard work now punishes entrepreneurs and encourages laziness as it promises to re-distribute wealth so that everyone has their “fair share”?

I have a theory.  Could it be because in recent generations we have pushed God out of every facet of public life? The God-haters of this country have trampled religious freedom and instead of living under the umbrella of God’s blessing on this nation because of the Christians that honored God, they’ve brought about the hailstorm of Satan’s schemes by demoralizing anyone with a Biblical worldview. It’s not hard to believe that God has left the building. As a nation we’ve insisted that He does. The Bible is clear, if people want their sin – God will let them have it. (Romans 1:18-32) And now, sadly, America doesn’t look anything like it did even twenty years ago. 

America isn’t listed in Bible prophecy. I’ve heard a couple of different theories as to why that may be. Is it because America is going to implode and become irrelevant in the world? Absorbed into some big conglomerate of nations? At the current pace we’re on, this scenario doesn’t seem too far fetched. Or could it be that America has a grand revival and millions of its citizens turn to Christ for salvation and are all caught up to be with the Lord? (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) No matter the ultimate destiny of America, Christ-followers must remember who we really serve. Our King has always been on the throne and there He remains. Still in control of the world. All-powerful. Knowing the end from the beginning. (Isaiah 46:10) God will give us the leader we deserve, and it could get really ugly from here. But that is exactly why we must stand for the truth as we know it. We must share the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection with as many people as we can. It has never been more clear that we cannot find hope in any earthly leader. It is only through Jesus that we have the ultimate hope of eternity in God’s presence. 

Because we live in a democracy and have the right (and the responsibility) to choose our leaders. We must vote. And as a Bible believing child of God I will do my best to select the candidates that I think will work to uphold the foundational freedoms that this Country was built upon. I will vote for the candidates that I believe will protect my rights to live out my faith so that I can follow Jesus’ command to be the salt and the light of the earth and to spread the gospel of salvation in him alone. We are at a scary crossroads where the future of Christians in America could involve increasingly painful persecution as we try to speak out against the forces of evil rising up in our nation. God help us!

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. – ‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:18-32‬ ‭‬‬