Believing or Knowing?

A Few Good Men

  1. Good Morning,
  2. Example 1. From Mary Haskett, writer of a book entitled “The Noble Life”: To the feeble, the sluggish, and the purposeless the happiest opportunities avail nothing. … You cannot just because you will, speak a foreign language, play a Mozart concerto on the piano, or talk easily on the motives of a famous poet. All of these demand long and arduous study. Example 2. He heard the children in the street ahead, as he approached still somewhat hung over from the previous night. The kids were probably being snarky, repeating what their teacher said to them when they did poorly on their exam. Its easy to imagine he told them if they had just picked up their scrolls and read the text they would have done much better! But boys will be boys we all know that! At least we used to. But as he approached, his consciousness was pierced by the repetition, Tolle Lege, Tolle Lege, Take up and READ!! He looked at the scroll. It was Paul’s letter to the Romans. They held it up and as his eyes scanned over it his heart was pierced. He suddenly knew his condition as a sinner! His mother had prayed for this moment for 40 years but did not live to see it. And so the legend of the conversion of St. Augustin goes. He became the Bishop of Hippo, the most influential theologian of the first thousand years of the church. Even today he is cited as authoritative and rarely contradicted. His walk with the Lord began with the call “Tolle Lege”TAKE UP AND READ!
  3. Example 3. Many if not most of you have probably seen the movie ‘A Few Good Men’

During the trial a witness for the prosecution is asked to show in the marine handbook  where Code Red is.  It’s Not in the handbook!  Oh then it must be in the Gitmo base manual.  No, Not there either. No there is no Code Red. The defense gets up, grabs the book and asks the witness to show him in the book where the chow hall is. No that’s not in the book either.

Did you not eat the whole time at Gitmo?  never missed a meal!

How can that be if the location of the chow hall isn’t in the book? He said I guess I just  followed the crowd at meal time!

IS THAT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST?  Have you ignored Tolle Lege and just follow the crowd on Sunday and hope they worship God as HE commands? Do you believe He grades on a curve? Do you believe he gives you a pass because you follow the crowd in here on Sunday and listen to the same stuff everyone else does?

Is the fact that some Hosannas are sung and scriptures read and the preacher stands up here and entertains you with something out of the Bible or candles and communion or whatever is called worship inside these walls, DO YOU KNOW for yourself That its true worship in the eyes of God?  Does just following the crowd such as it is on Sunday really constitute Worship in the eyes of God?  Because unlike those books in the movie, the directions ARE in HIS BOOK! And if the Sunday ritual is NOT true worship, DO YOU WANT TO KNOW?  Or would that just be too much trouble.  If change is called for would that just take too much effort or cost too much?  Or maybe others in the group MIGHT think that and you just don’t want to stir the pot! Go along to get along?

Since I have asked this question, would it be a relief to know for sure one way or the other?  One thing is absolutely certain:  You cannot have personal assurance by simply taking someone else’s word for it. You have to read God’s word for yourself and allow Him to speak directly to you through IT.  That is why He provided it in the first place! He says if you love Him you will obey His commands! Where can you find those commands for yourself? Not some watered down or misunderstood version from someone else. Tolle Lege!

  1. One of the major questions people have is “Why am I here?” What is my purpose in this life?
  2. No matter how you make your living, no matter what trials and tribulations you experience whether joy or suffering You HAVE PURPOSE! Preparing for ETERNAL LIFE and how to live this one as if there REALLY IS ONE COMING !!! There is a REAL DIFFERENCE between who you are and WHAT YOU DO. No one is perfect, QUESTION IS: Are you TRULY repentant?
  3. Nobody can read God’s Word for the purpose of understanding without having QUESTIONS! God can handle Questions! God has provided teachers throughout History but He also provided you with a MIND! AND THE HOLY SPIRIT!
  4. So right now set blind faith aside and pick up reason with your MIND!
  5. Prepare your mind with a couple of Absolute Truths!
  6. What IS truth? That which accurately presents REALITY
  • Argue about details age of universe, how long man has existed, age of the earth, etc, etc, etc But reason that seeks TRUTH cannot deny that God’s FINGERPRINTS ARE ALL OVER HIS CREATION. GOD ABSOLUTELY IS!
  • HE tells us His creation SHOWS HIS HANDIWORK
  • It PROVES His intelligence, His Wisdom and His Power, It obeys His laws even though we ourselves are MORALLY FALLEN!
  • Creation ITSELF Proves the Reality OF GOD!
  1. What IS a LIE? That which intentionally dilutes or misrepresents REALITY
  2. How much untruth makes a LIE? Genesis 3:
    1. First Lie:  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

  1. Why did she believe the lie and why did Adam go along?
  2. Crazy? Discuss. No. Deceived? Eve Yes Adam No
  3. Could Adam have chosen differently? Seeking the answer to this FORCES us to examine to the utmost of our ability the plan of God FOR THIS CREATION! But this is NOT our topic for today! Perhaps if I can come back.
  4. Today is about what the Bible says we must believe to be Christian.
  • Christ IS Lord
  • Rose PHYSICALLY  from the dead Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
  • Why MUST we believe that?  evidence of the SUPERNATURAL!
  • GOD IS SUPERNATURAL He has a PLAN. He’s working it!
  • Things are NOT proceeding unchanged since the beginning The Flood changed EVERYTHING Finding Eden not possible
  • You must believe in YOUR heart. My belief My certainty of this truth cannot come from YOUR heart or Your belief, your certainty cannot come from MINE
  • We, each of us are called to a PERSONAL relationship with the LIVING GOD through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  1. Saying I believe and believing ARE NOT THE SAME THING!
    1. Confession is from the MOUTH
    2. True belief is from the heart
  2. What IS the difference? The CHOICES WE MAKE! If we love Him we will obey His commandments. Where does love reside? In the Heart!
  3. What IS Faith? Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is not blind: recognize the substance and SEE the evidence!
  4. Ending Question: How can you keep all the stuff you want in this life and keep your Faith and relationship with Jesus Christ ALSO! When friends or loved ones choose to engage in a lifestyle that God has declared to be an abomination we MUST make a choice. Just exactly what did you think He meant when He said you must pick up your cross and follow HIM?
  5. We are told in no uncertain terms that to be a friend of the world is to be at enmity with God! God knows I am not here to point a finger. I’m just here to be an example of one who asks himself which path am I going to take with this choice. Paul said we are to take EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE.
  6. We esteem too lightly that which costs little. Am I here today praising Him with my mouth while my heart is far from Him?
  7. The reason God brought the Flood was because the intent of the hearts of men was only evil all the time! The reason God had the Canaanites destroyed was that their iniquity had come to the full and it was time for judgment. That was 3500 years ago. Israel was judged several times since then and ultimately driven from the land completely 1900 years ago.
  8. Israel was reborn in 1917, regained Jerusalem in 1967, Jerusalem was formally recognized By the US as the capital of Israel in 2017. Many see these as signs of the immanent Return of Jesus Christ!
  9. Given the state of gender confusion, moral turpitude, and lack of personal restraint so pervasive in in this country, the whole world and indeed our very own communities today, should we be surprised if God moves very soon to correct it? He’s done it before! I’m not saying the END IS NEAR! I’m saying that Judgment is due and payable but by the Grace of God there is still time to REPENT!
  10. Let us THINK about how friendly we are with the world. Consider that in a just and fair court of law with all the evidence presented could you or I be found guilty of being a friend of the world ? I submit to you that if SO, the consequences are dire.
  11. Pretty easy to understand do justly and love mercy parts but what does it mean to walk humbly with thy God?
  • Luke 14:26 Jesus said If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
  • Matt 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is noworthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is noworthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is noworthy of me
  • Compare love and hate between these 2 passages There are those who use these passages to claim Christians are HATERS which is a LIE! We MUST consider these passages as comparing the depth and DEGREE to which we love the WORLD to the depth and DEGREE we Love GOD!
  • Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
  • Luke 12:48b  For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

God IS worthy of our Faith, Praise, and Worship as HE commands it! ASK ANYTHING YOU WILL but Know this: God knows why you ask. Is it in faith or just looking for a loophole? TOLLE LEGE

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