FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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HEAVEN BOUND?

19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:)


Chances are, if you have gone any distance beyond merely listening to what someone has told you about getting to Heaven, you are confused.

If you listen to one Preacher (or read a book), you will be told that all you have to do is say the Sinner's Prayer and you are Heaven Bound. You might have heard this referred to as "Saved By Grace" or/and the "Love of Jesus."

Then you read another book, or attend another church, and you hear that you have to add something to that Grace, like attend church, don't swear, and pay tithes.

Yet another church will tell you that you are not saved by Grace at all, but rather it's your own doing that gets you through the Pearly Gates.

Then if you read the fine print, or listen to the Preacher long enough, you are bound to hear the Grace Alone preacher tell you a few things you have to do to get to Heaven; and hear the Works preacher tell you that it is Jesus' work on the cross that has Saved you.


And to think; they are all quoting the same Book, from which they have extracted their Doctrine!


Do you have "Heaven Security?" My thought is; how can you?


With the Bible riddled with such Words as "Overcomer," and "Narrow Gate," and "Righteousness," and "Grace;" it's hard to feel comfortable with any stance.

Then you add to this your own awareness that God is only going to take in the "Cream of the Crop" (the best of His creation), you know that it is unlikely that He will be calling you, regardless of what any famous Preacher says.

And if you don't have that insecurity, you haven't given the matter much thought.


But you are one who has given the matter thought, or else you wouldn't be reading this study in the first place. You would have just run off with the simple verse of assurance that some Preacher gave you and hung your Hope of Salvation on that and not looked any farther.


So, let's see if there isn't some way to break this down so it makes some sense, and we will know which direction to go.

First, draw a box and write over the top of it: DO'S & DON'TS OF THE BIBLE.

Make the box huge, because the Bible is almost nothing but do's and don'ts. The easiest way to do this first step is to take a piece of paper, draw a line around the outside edge, and place your Bible in that box. That way you will be sure you got all the Do's and Don'ts.


Now make a box and write all the verses in it that seems to indicate that we are Saved by Grace Alone. (Hint: use a 4x5 card, it's easier.)


Now weigh the difference. Which appears to be the most persuasive in your opinion?

Did you say the "Works" box? That would make the most sense, would it not?

Of course we run into a few problems with this conclusion. For instance; if it is Works Alone that Saves us and gives us our ticket to Heaven, then the Jews with all their sacrifices and rituals would have it all over us Christians. Besides, how about all the other religions that require their disciples to dedicate their life to serving the God that created them, regardless of what Name they give Him. Our best Works wouldn't hold a candle to their Worst.

On top of this we would have to consider such verses as these;


Matt 11:25-30; John 1:12-13; 3:3; 16; 5:25,29; 6:37-40; 63-65; 11:25,26; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:2-3;:20;

Acts 2:39; 3:16; 13:48; 15:11; 16:30-34; Rom 2:4; 3:19-31; 5:15; 8:28-32; 11:5-6; 9:9-33; 10:9-13

1 Cor 4:7; 15:10; Gal 5:1-6; Eph 1:3-11; 2:4-9; Phil 1:29; Col 2:12; 1Thes 5:9; 2 Thes 2:13-14

2 Tim 2:12; Heb 11:1-3; Rev 21:6; 22:17


Works Alone just doesn't seem to make it. Jesus and the Apostles made that very clear. And since Works Alone can't get you to Heaven, those religions and denominations and cults that only have Works to offer, that is they discount Jesus and therefore Grace, can only be considered to as insufficient to get us to Heaven.

We need to add something to the formula. And, of course, since we are Christians, we add Christ, which is Jesus.

Jesus said that He is the Door and that no one can get to the Father (therefore Heaven) except by Him. Jesus called that procedure "Grace" (through the Apostles) in that Jesus did the dying that we deserve, and in order to obtain the mercy that He affords us, we must enter in through His Grace. (John 10:7-18; Rom 1:1-6)

And that Grace is a gift, that is, it cannot be bought for any price. His Grace can only be accepted - and must be accepted if we are to make it to Heaven and be saved from the Pit. (Rom 5:11-21)

Accepting the Grace that Jesus offers is much like what a slave did if he wished to be bound forever to his master once he was set free. He would stand against the doorpost of his master's house where his ear would be drilled with an awl, and a gold ring placed in his ear, indicating that he would only listen to his master (like Jesus' sheep only hear His voice). He was now no longer a slave out of duty or law, but a bondservant out of love and grace.

Jesus died in order that we may be free from sin and Death. We are no longer a servant of Death, unless we choose to remain with that old and cruel master, which, along with Satan and his angels, will be cast into the pit. (Rom 8:1-2; Rev 20:13-14)

But those who have chosen to remain with their new Master (Jesus "Redeemed," that is purchased us from Death with His blood, and gave us freedom) must become His Bondservant -- not merely reluctant or disobedient slaves or guests -- if we are to live Eternally with Him. (John 8:34-36; Mat 25:14-31)

"Grace covers it all" we are told. Ok, take your 4x5 card and place it on your Bible. Does it cover it all? Unless you used a full sheet of paper, it doesn't.

Something is missing. But if Grace and Works together won't get us to Heaven, what else is there? Nothing to fill the gap is even mentioned in most of the churches, unless in passing, and then very obscurely at that. Does this mean there is a gulf we have to jump in order to make it from what Jesus has to offer, and Heaven?

Not exactly. Jesus told us that there is one more thing we must have to enter Heaven - or even to understand the Bible and to walk in His commandments. One more thing is needed to make us complete; that is, like Him. (Phil 3:20-21)

Jesus said He would send a "Comforter" and Instructor to walk along side of us. He also said that the Comforter would Infill those of us who receive Him, and allow Him to cleans our heart so that He may enter. (John 14:15-17, 25-26; 16:7-11)

The Holy Spirit serves as our Guide throughout our stay on earth, if we will allow Him. He will point out those things (dead works - branches) that must be removed in order for Him to enter us (The Seed planted on fertile ground) and purify us and make us into the Image of Christ. And if we are not willing to offer up those dead works (and many of them will be our finest works and our favorite, ego boosting endeavors) so that they can be pruned from our soul, they will remain, and keep us from entering the Pearly Gates. (Isa 64:6)

Think of Heaven as an Airport with a Security Scanner. Any object that might be dangerous is excluded from entering the plane. If the owner of that object is unwilling to leave it behind, then that person is excluded from entering as well.

No sin whatever may enter into Heaven. God can not look upon sin (or disobedience which is sin) of any kind. Examples of this are Adam and Eve who disobeyed God. And even Moses, after all He did for God and His people, was not allowed to enter in to the Promised Land because of one apparently simple act of disobedience. Or consider Saul and the punishment he endured because of disobedience, even though he disobeyed in effort to sacrifice more to God than what He even asked for. (Rev 21:27)

So all our works are nothing to God. There is nothing we can do, even those things that God Himself commands us to do, that will get us into Heaven. (John 15:1-8)

It takes the Holy Spirit to get us in, and then only if we do the Works that we are commanded to do, and be led by Him.

And to acquire the Holy Ghost we must first accept the Grace that Jesus offers.

Now take the Holy Spirit and cover the Bible and the 4x5 card, and you now have the formula that will get you to Heaven. But try to leave one element out, and you are left with the same destination as everyone else in the world.


If we keep in mind that we are created to walk with God; and to be like Him; and for His purposes and not our own - then the Bible will make sense and we will know just what to do. But as long as we hang on to our own desires, and are reluctant to follow God, then we will try to force God and the Bible into our own mold - and remain lost.




REFERENCES



6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6)


7Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:)


15John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:)


1Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: (Rom 1:)


11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 5:11-21)


1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom 8:)


13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Rev 20:)


34Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:)


14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 25:)


20For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Phil 3:)


15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:15-17)


25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:25-26)


7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (John 16:)


27And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.(Rev 21:)


1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15;1-8)


 

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