Archive for the ‘Heaven’ category

The Question Is Not “Do You Believe In God?” But “What Kind of God Do You Believe In?”

October 21, 2016

I said to him: “I’m guessing you may be a Christian” He replied: “Well I believe in God, but wouldn’t call myself a Christian”.  I said that many profess a belief in God, but the issue was which God did they believe in, since we can all make Gods in our own heads that don’t truly exist. I may sincerely believe in a four-headed God living on the Moon, but if it’s not true it’s a waste of belief on my part. The Christian believes in God as revealed in Jesus Christ of the Bible. If you make up a belief in a God of your own making, from within your own mind, you’re on dangerous ground.christian cross in gold colour

He pointed out to me how all the different religions claim to be the way to God. I replied that they believe different things, so can’t all be right, which he agreed with. I highlighted to him a fundamental difference between Christianity and all other religions: all other religious leaders said to their followers, in effect: “I am showing you the path to the God/Gods/Nirvana (or whatever)”. Uniquely, Jesus Christ in the Bible said it otherwise: “I am the Way, the Truth and The Life”. He declared He alone was the Way to God, and also, exclusively, that “no-one comes to the Father except by Me”.

I said to the guy: “Suppose you were on a journey, came to a crossroads and didn’t know which way to go. There were two men by the roadside; one was dead, the other was alive. Which one would you ask for directions?” Obviously you’d choose the man who was alive. “This”, I explained, “illustrates another difference between Christianity and all other religions. The founders of all other religions are in their graves, as conceded by their followers. No-one disagrees that Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius are all dead in their graves. Jesus is the only religious founder who rose from the dead and is alive today, as claimed by his followers”.

He thought he might go to Heaven when he died, but when I asked him what the pass mark was for entry into Heaven he said he had no idea. I said to him that surely God would let us know how to get to Heaven, otherwise he wouldn’t be a very kind God? I explained how Jesus was our substitute, who died on a cross in our place and took the punishment our sins deserve. We receive our pass mark from Jesus who got 100% due to his sinless life. When we become Christians his 100% is conferred on us as “born-again” believers. Theologians call this “imputed righteousness”.

We discussed repentance, which he seemed to understand, but by the end of our conversation I concluded that he was happy to sit on the fence and take his chance on Heaven. He agreed that was pretty accurate.

We shook hands, I wished him well and said I hoped we might meet up again in another environment.

 

Is There Anything Wrong With Tarot Card Reading?

August 19, 2016

tarot card reader illuminated sign    I got an e-mail today from a professional Tarot Card reader who took exception to a personal article from a friend I published on this web page  http://www.newchristian.org.uk/tinastory.html

He said:” I am a  professional Tarot Reader and Life guide , and I do not  recognise any of the problems that you seem to indicate that go with the trade and the art ? – please could you refrain from non-informed talk about other people’s beliefs. That is why there is so much trouble in the world. There is room for all beliefs. Peace”.

As requests go, it was indeed very courteous. I shall reply accordingly. There is indeed room for all beliefs. Having beliefs in your heart harms no-one, except possibly yourself, but that is of your own free will choice. But if, in practicing my beliefs, I influence others it may for good or ill. If the latter, I will have to account for practising deception upon others when I face God at the Judgment.

So, is there anything wrong with Tarot Card reading? According to Wikipedia, “divinatory meanings” have been associated with Tarot cards since 1783″. So what is divination? It is defined on Google as: “the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means”. Supernatural means may arise from kindly or evil forces. How can we know the origin of these forces?

From the Christian perspective, the Bible holds the key to what God approves or disapproves of: “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the holy bibledetestable things of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead” (Bible, Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 18 verses 9 to 11).

Using divination puts one in the realm of deceptive spirits.  The Apostle Paul predicted: “But the (Holy) Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons ” (The Bible, Book of I Timothy 4: 1).

So if God does not approve of divination we must conclude it is harmful to man, since God seeks to encourage purity and righteousness in our lives.

The Bible, Psalm 24 verse 3 says:

“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.”

If the God of the Bible forbids divination by those he has made then we risk the wrath of God if we indulge in such a practice. The ultimate outworking of God’s wrath is exclusion from his presence and a resultant banishment to hell, where Satan and his followers end up in eternal torment and suffering. If you disobey God’s warnings you cannot expect him to welcome you into Heaven, where he lives.

He Bought a Nylon Rope To Hang Himself

August 14, 2016

rope in a noose for hanging   He told me he is an ex-soldier and 3rd Dan martial arts practitioner. A very serious accident some years back had left him in constant pain, with little money and nothing to live for. I offered to pray “hands-on” for his healing from the pain but he wasn’t keen on this at all.

Life was so bad he decided one day to buy a length of nylon rope and set it up to hang himself, but his plan failed when the rope came loose.

He has an ability to see things that will happen to people and told me of many examples where prophecies he had given people had come true, exactly as he foretold. He didn’t like to use this gift unless he was pressurised to do so. I had no intention of asking him.

I told him I had something to tell to him about HIS future. The Bible says he will stand before God one day and be judged: “It is appointed for man once to die and after that the Judgment”. He wouldn’t accept this. He maintained he would be reincarnated and come back as a “helper” to assist others to find the way. He reckoned he seen seen a future for him surrounded by angels and meeting those he loved and having a happy time. One question I asked him he refused to answer, namely:”what is the pass mark for Heaven?”

He told me that he some debt counselling from a Christian man, who had then prayed for him.

Before he left he promised me that he would not try to end his life again. I told him God loved him, and that there is always hope in God. He needed to turn to God to mend his relationship with Him before it was too late. I gave him a card which quoted the words of Jesus:”wide is the road that leads to destruction and many travel on it. Narrow is the way that leads to life and there are few that find it”.

“Why Should I Become a Christian?”

June 17, 2016

After the man had received some practical help from us, I said with a smile:”don’t forget to thank God in your prayers tonight!”

He responded in a positive way so we chatted further about God and Jesus. He actually raised the question of repentance and we discussed what repentance and faith in God meant.

I gave him a booklet called “What Is  a Real Christian?” and he read a couple of pages. He then said:”the question should be “WHY should I become a Christian?”

I gave him God’s view of sin: all sin – even theft of something from a friend – is primarily a sin against God. So God is the one you need to repent towards. Without repentance (a turning away from all known sin in your life) you will have to give an account of your sin on Judgment Day – and Jesus is the Judge. Becoming a Christian wipes the slate clean because your trust in Jesus and his ability to forgive your sin makes you a new person, hence “born again”. He had heard of “born again Christian” so I explained why we need to become born again, using the illustration of the TWO BUSES.

bus going to hell   In this illustration all of life happens on the two buses. Bus #1 is the one we are all born on. Its destination is Hell and Satan or the Devil is the driver. The Bible tells us Hell was made for the Devil and his angels (actually demons). However, if we remain on Bus#1 we are headed for Satan’s destination, whether we realise it or not. We therefore need to get off Bus #1 and on to Bus #2. Bus#2 is driven by Jesus and His destination is Heaven. All mankind is under the power of sin and only Jesus can change our sin nature. This process is known as being “born again”. When we are born again (recognise our need of the Saviour Jesus as the only one who can forgive our sin and set us free from it) we are transferred onto Bus #2 whose destination is Heaven.

He took the booklet away and said he’d read it.

 

 

 

Will You Come to Jesus Christ?

April 11, 2016

In my last post I quoted my conversation with the homeless man where I explained to him that the pass mark for Heaven is 100%.

This 10 minute Youtube video explains why we need the 100% and how to get it:

See also this FAQ on Heaven  http://www.newchristian.org.uk/faqheaven.html

 

Not Thy Will, But My Will Be Done!

February 13, 2016

Illustrated bible verse    I had a long chat with a guy who came in for food. He had been to church in Wales as a youngster, but had drifted away as he grew up. He had lost some family members in the last few years and had felt their nearness on their passing away. We discussed God and belief, and he thought there was “something there”, but he was not really interested in pursuing the question in his life. I gave him the gospel basics, and tried to encourage him to reach out to God, but didn’t get very far. Later that day I was thinking over of the phrase: “Not THY will, but MY will be done”. It’s really on that basis that we end up either in Heaven or in Hell – our eternal destination is what we ourselves choose in this life.

I also thought how many are happy to say “I believe in God”, but go no further than a mental assent. It reminds me of the evangelist’s use of the parachute as an illustration of what faith involves. I can say I believe in parachutes, but that belief means nothing until the day I’m in an out of control aircraft, reach for a parachute and put it on. It’s only when I put it on, jump and full the ripcord that I really do believe in parachutes!!  It’s the application of faith that determines whether your faith in “x”means anything at all.

A younger woman came in and I recognised her as “J”, a street drinker I used to see regularly when I did mission work on the streets. At that time she was a vulnerable girl, very self-willed, who wouldn’t listen to our requests to go back home to her Mum, whom she lived with. When she walked in I could see she was intoxicated, so nothing had really changed. As we at down to chat, she told me that she’d had “a 5 month old dead baby” and started to cry. I really felt for her, poor woman. Clearly someone had taken advantage of her, and even that had had a tragic outcome. Eventually the supervisor called a local unit where she was staying for transport, as she needed to get across to the other side of town and clearly couldn’t get there under her own steam.

A young guy turned up later. He told me he had mental health issues and suffered from a type of psychosis. I asked if he’d done drugs in the past. He admitted a long use of cannabis, then latterly a serious heroin habit. He was now on a prescription for Subbutex, a heroin substitute designed to wean you off the drug. He’d been given accommodation by a local charity and was hoping to get back on his feet.

 

 

Out On The Streets again Today

December 5, 2015

Million Pound note image   A group of us from Church went into town sharing the good news today. I took some Million Pound notes with me as a conversation opener. In fact, while waiting for the bus to town I was chatting to a woman at the bus stop and gave her one. I said: “When you get home, give it to your husband and tell him you got this out of his bank account!” Some of the team also took one.

We also had envelopes with a (real) £5 note inside to give out with a little “This one’s on us!” leaflet inside. We gave them out outside coffee shops to those about to go in. Some people were a little suspicious about being blessed with a free gift, but they gladly accepted the money when they opened up! We told them we were from Clearspring Church, as it makes a surprising change for a church to give YOU money. As we all know, Churches usually WANT your money!

We also came across a homeless guy so we got him some food and drink from a nearby cafe. He knew the places around town that did free food, so we headed off. I had a long conversation with an 18 year old guy who is sitting A Level exams this year. He attended a local Catholic Church. He’d heard of “born again Christians” but didn’t really understand it. I took him through what Jesus said to Nicodemus in John’s Gospel Chapter 3. He said he was more scientifically minded, and found some things in the Bible hard to believe. I asked if he knew the pass mark for Heaven and he didn’t. He was amazed when I said “100%”, but when I explained how the imputed righteousness of Christ becomes ours as disciples, he began to see what I meant. The righteousness of Jesus becomes ours when we are born again of God’s spirit. “No-one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again” – the words of Jesus in the Bible, John’s gospel Chapter 3 verse 3. I gave him my card as we left, and invited him to get in touch.

All in all, a good morning in town sharing Jesus and His love.

reverse of Million Pound note

Million Pound note reverse