From truth seeker to Born again Christian through to discipleship.
The changes have been remarkable and I thank The Lord Jesus Christ every day for this new direction.
In the unlikely setting of Melbourne's inner North, I am lucky enough to be in a position to sit down and talk with people on almost a daily basis. There, I have been able to present The Gospel to a considerable amount of people now.
Sometimes, people are not ready to hear a Gospel presentation, however I will still try and share my own Christian testimony, or read them a Bible verse or two and hopefully plant a seed in their mind, before continuing on my way.
Many people don't accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour and as sad as that ultimately is (if they don't change) that is their decision and as a Christian worker or Disciple you have to respect their decision and move on, for God has given every person free will to make their own choices.
The Bible tells us there are two major choices available to us, either we elect to come to God
through the life and work on The Cross of His sinless and perfect Son or we choose to live in eternal separation from Him.
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever belietheth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
Thankfully, I do meet many people on my travels who do accept Jesus as their Saviour and are saved
and it is always great listening to and sharing stories with fellow Christians, and I have learned a great deal from them.
Worryingly though, there are many who claim to be Christian but are so far wrong on doctrine they are not saved. This is an area of major concern with potentially eternal ramifications.
The Bible makes it clear that once you're born again and saved you're always saved,
yet one of the biggest obstacles I see is people who believe in a works based Salvation.
These people wrongly believe that it is faith plus their own good works which will take them to Heaven when they die.
There is no ambiguity when it comes to Christ's finished work on The Cross. Salvation is a free gift.
If you had to work for it it could not be considered free.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus"
"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
You can not work your way to heaven no matter how much good you think you do.
Time and time again in The Bible the question is asked "What must I do to be saved?" and over and over again the answer is simply to believe on The Lord Jesus Christ.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."
"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God"
1 John 5-10
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
Another false teaching I sometimes encounter is a repent of your sins Gospel which proclaims that first of all we must stop sinning to qualify for salvation. This is commonly known as 'Lordship salvation' and again is works based, as it is declaring that it takes your own good works (stop sinning) plus Faith in Christ to be saved.
What this means is that the person is not putting ALL their Faith in Jesus and are adding works to get them to heaven.
Repentance is not ceasing from sinful bad habits, nor even being willing to turn from one's sins;
God himself repented many times in The Bible and He is, of course, without sin.
Repentance means to turn, to change.
Repentance in a Salvation context is to turn towards God. Accepting that you can't make it through on your own and turning to The Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.
Both John the baptist and Jesus Himself said 'repent and believe' They did not say repent of your sins and be saved.
Repent means to turn, to change. Once again, for the unsaved unbeliever it would mean to turn from not believing or from whatever they believed previously, to believing on The Lord Jesus Christ.
Not once is the term 'repent of your sins' written in the Bible.
To repent of our sins is something us Christians should do every day (during prayer) as it is impossible to be completely sinless while we are still in the flesh.
If you become backslidden and/or continue to live a life of major sin once you are saved, God will punish you in this physical life. He will discipline you like a parent would discipline their disobedient child, but this does not compromise your Salvation.
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
Many people have confused being a humble Christian with Discipleship.
Jesus commands that the disciple pick up their cross and follow Him. Putting the Christian life first before everything and everyone else. Not every Christian has this will or calling.
Others confuse Sanctification with Salvation.
Salvation begins the very moment we are saved in Christ, where as sanctification continues on and on as we grow in the spirit.
Many people claim to be Christian but don't truly know Jesus, they don't fully trust in him and so they don't truly know Him. If they don't change it will be too late some day.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Salvation is a one-time event, it is only by the washing of the blood of Jesus that you are saved, once you are saved. You can not then do anything to lose your salvation. You are born again and have
The Holy Spirit living inside you.
All born again believers are permanently sealed unto the day of redemption by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Regeneration can't be undone.
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
God is not the author of confusion. Once you've been saved you've been passed from death to life,
It is a supernatural event. You are born into The Family of God and it is permanent. The eternal security of the believer is real. God gives us this promise, this peace of mind.
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one."
"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession,
unto the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:12
We simply have to Believe to be saved. You simply have to accept salvation as a free gift.
The Bible is clear, the only way to heaven and eternal life is through Jesus Christ.
"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day"
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
"He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
1 John 5:10
When we are saved we are given a new status, we are born again, we are right with God and forgiven.
We enter into a new Family, we are included into God's people and we are offered a new future,
we are transformed through Christ. We are liberated to love God and neighbour.
The Blood of Jesus Christ washes away our sins and frees us from an eternity of suffering and condemnation. Believers are saved because of Christ's finished work on The Cross. We can do nothing to earn Salvation. It is a free gift given to all who chose to except it regardless of race, age, maturity or merit.
Put all your Faith in Jesus, and let your good works become rewards in Heaven.