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Thursday, February 1, 2024

Believe and Live – What About Other Religions? - Purity 1263

Believe and Live – What About Other Religions? - Purity 1263

Purity 1263 02/01/2024 Purity 1263 Podcast

Purity 1263 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of snow-covered trees lining a headlight illuminated snow covered Waite Rd comes to us from TammyLyn Clark as she captured this scene during her morning commute on January 23, 2024, sharing it on social media commenting that there is “Something about fresh snow on trees (that) is just pretty.”   As much as I would love to see spring sprung in an instant, I would have to agree with my beloved wife. Snow on trees is pretty and a big part of experiencing joy and peace in life is appreciating what we have now.  

Well, it’s Thursday and I appreciate pathway photos and I particularly like to share them on Thursdays as that was the day of the week when I really surrendered to the Lord’s will for my life back in 2015 when I went into recovery for my drinking at a little Christian recovery ministry that was later named Celebrate Freedom.  

Well, a lot has changed since 2015, I am no longer struggling with alcohol and have been set free from sex addiction and food addiction as well as I have continued to follow the Lord and been faithful to answer His call for continued repentance and progressive sanctification.  Celebrate Freedom now exists at three different churches as Pastor Bob Costello restarted the ministry at Rock Solid Church in Hudson last year, Matthew Crandall and company started their own Celebrate Freedom ministry at Strong Tower Church in Philmont NY in the fall, and I have been leading the “Celebrate Freedom Growth Group” at Starpoint Church since May of 2023.   So if you are in Columbia County or in the Capital District/Clifton Park Area and want to be built up in your faith and be set free from your hurts, habits, and hangups check us out. This freedom train is running and all you have to do to experience a new life of hope, peace, and joy is ask God for help and start the process of renewing your mind with God’s word and living according to who you are in Christ.  

Those who come to our meetings, apply the teaching to their lives, and start walking on the path of Christian Discipleship are testifying to the way the Lord is changing their lives for the better.  Testimonies of sobriety, healing, restored relationships, peace, and hope are being delivered every week and all you have to do to experience the transformation is to “believe and live” what the word of God says.  

That might sound easy but due to the common ignorance of the Christian faith and our own ideas about what is “right”, agreeing with God’s word can be a tough pill to swallow.  I know.  As a natural-born skeptic and rebel, I had some serious misunderstandings of and objections to many of the doctrines of Christianity.  

To people searching for God, I would recommend the Freedom in Christ course, which I just happen to have a playlist of my podcast of the course on YouTube (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYr9n4D1yfkq0ZMuXvt4PX2QmtyMN6Keb&si=OYqZ1mjMjd_hK4ZK). If you can believe it the playlist has 4,795 views! – but to keep it real – the Lessons themselves have less than that.  That tells me that some were curious about “Freedom in Christ”, but they decided to not go down that path. Maybe they didn’t like the fact that my teaching is an audio teaching – but I also know that as much as people profess their Christian faith and their desire to be set free or to grow in their relationship with God, not many of them will actually surrender and follow the Lord in earnest.  

Some people stumble before they even start this walk.  

Last night one of the participants of our Celebrate Freedom asked a good question that has a heartbreaking answer that causes many people to choose to not follow the Lord. 

“What happens to the good Jews and Muslims?”  was the question and this actually cameshortly after the lesson of the night taught about the hope we have in “Christ alone” and that quoted

John 14:6 (NKJV) that says:
6  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

It’s hard to answer this question quickly and simply because it deals with sin, the depravity of man, how people are forgiven of their sins, the person of Jesus Christ, and the exclusivity of Jesus's redemption.   

But the bottom line is that because all men sin and because we can’t earn our salvation by our own efforts, we need a Savior. And that is why God sent Jesus to be that Savior – to teach us the truth and to pay the penalty for our sins and to give us new life through faith in Him.  

This person’s question was loaded and revealed the false belief in “good people” and the misunderstanding that God would somehow be unjust by rejecting the people who rejected Jesus.  They also seemed to think that these questions were a matter of debate – they aren’t – but you have to know God’s word, understand that it is true, and believe it – to know that.  The problem is spiritual questions is that they always come from a place of ignorance of God’s word.  So I tried to as compassionately answer that question as I could and encouraged them to read the Bible, specifically the book of John to try to get a biblical understanding of the nature of reality, the person of Jesus, and why He is the only way into God’s kingdom.  

I’ve read the Bible several times, gone to Bible college, read lots of Christian books and listened or watched loads of podcasts, movies, or sermons to hep me understand and know God and His will for our lives.  The truth is out there and when you seek the Lord you will find it – but in ways that are difficult to understand – it is up to God whether or not you will accept the truth and put your faith in Jesus.

There are no good people. We need a savior. Other faith streams may have some truth to their teachings (maybe a lot of truth!) but if they fail to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior, as the resurrected Messiah, they are a false religion – the doctrines of demons – that would lead you straight to hell.  So there’s that. 

The truth is God is gracious in saving anybody. We are all worthy of judgment, death, and hell, and we show our rebellion against our Creator when we refuse to believe and follow Jesus.  Our eternal destiny hangs in the balance of whether or not we follow Jesus and as well-intentioned as our concern for others may be – we really should secure our own salvation first and then concern ourselves with helping others.  

Just like in a plane’s emergency systems – we are to put the oxygen on ourselves first and then help our neighbors with theirs – we have to put on Jesus and then if we are truly concerned about the people of different religions, we are to answer Jesus’ call in.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV) – the last thing He said in Matthew’s gospel – where He said:
19  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

What about the good Jews and Muslims?  Tell them about Jesus and how He is the only way to the Father, teach them to truth, and teach them to be disciples of Jesus – to observe all the things that He has commanded us.  Tell them to believe and live.   

 

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Proverbs 29:20 (NKJV)
20  Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Today’s verse is the second of two passages of scripture that fall under the sixth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

6.     Listen before you speak.

Today’s verse warns us to not be hasty in our words.  Something said quickly often proves to be foolish. So we recommend a pause where you can think before you speak before blurring out the first thing that comes to mind.

As Christians, we don’t want to “react” to life in our flesh. We want to respond with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. When we craft our responses to consider the truth of God’s word and the wisdom we can draw from it rather than our opinions or reactions, we will represent God’s kingdom and give Him glory.

So don’t be so hasty in your speech. Remember when you are an ambassador of God’s kingdom, every word you say is important because it represents our faith, and we shouldn’t be hasty in delivering the news that could save someone’s life.  

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

MORNING READING: MATTHEW 23

“Hypocrites!” – Matthew 23:23

To those whose comprehension of God is one of love alone, what a chapter is this! Woe! Woe! Woe! Eight times, like the toll of the death bell! Who could possibly deny that God is a God of righteous judgment after reading a chapter such as this?

“But why such strong language?” the soul asks. The answer is because of the existence of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is the greatest of all abominations before the Lord. Men who were outright sinners, the Lord called sinners and dealt with them in grace (Mark 2, John 8; 15:2, etc.). But when it came to hypocrites, the Lord scathingly denounced them. Notice in Acts 5, that even among His own people in the early Church, the Lord did not tolerate hypocrisy.

O, that I might recognize any hypocrisy in my life
and deal with it swiftly and decisively![1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

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