There are three portions of scripture that I believe should be forever linked together in our minds, forming a complete and powerful thought. Some readers will have already seen them together. The scriptures are: Hebrews 4:12, Second Timothy 3:16-17 and Second Timothy 2:15. Here they are spliced together:
‘For the word of God is quick (alive), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (critic) of the thoughts and intents of the heart. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’
These scriptures clearly detail the fact that there is power in God’s word and that it should be used to ensure the correctness of our behavior and our decisions. They also tell us that it is our responsibility to study it and make it a part of our lives so we need not be ashamed. God’s word is also described as being ‘alive’ because it is also one of His ways of communicating with us in a real-time manner.
There are many, including entire denominations of people however, who call themselves Christians, yet they ignore the fact that they have been instructed by the Lord Himself, in the scriptures above, to study His word. Not knowing the word, they are unable to incorporate it into their lives. Hosea 4:6 states ‘My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests. Because you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your children.’
As a part of Satan’s successful endeavor to establish ‘Religion’ in place of Christianity, many have been misled into thinking that it’s someone else’s responsibility or position to read God’s word. They have been conditioned or intimidated into accepting some other person’s opinion about what God says, being spoon-fed to them. Since one of the Father’s often-used methods of communicating directly to the masses is through His written word, those who avoid reading it have severely diminished their ability to establish a personal relationship with Him. Isolation from the word of truth often results in confusion or a lack of understanding of the basic requirements for salvation, the necessity to be baptized and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Typically, established religions glorify and dwell on the Old Testament law while ignoring the New Testament’s new covenant. Those who allow themselves to be isolated from God’s word may also be preoccupied with the Old Testament law given to Moses. They have no knowledge of the commandments given by Jesus Himself as stated in Matthew 22:35-40: ‘Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ This verse tells us that, if we follow these two new commandments, every other Old Testament commandment is satisfied.
Think about this for a moment. Isn’t it Satan’s wish to have everyone preoccupied with the law rather than the new covenant and Jesus Christ? If he can keep people mired in religious tradition and the law, then he has succeeded by taking the focus away from Jesus Christ and the new covenant. I’m sure that Satan loves churches that encourage people to dwell on God the Father but exclude Jesus and the New Testament from their beliefs. God’s chosen people, the Hebrew nation, couldn’t keep His law. What makes us think we can?
Sadly, these people have no idea that God’s children, who have been redeemed through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, have direct access to Him. Instead, they rely on man-made tradition and ritual in an attempt to establish a relationship with God. In many ways, they behave as though they are part of the nation of Israel. They rely on their leaders to act as intermediate agents between themselves and God, just as the Israelites relied on the Levitical Priests. And, as stated in Hosea, because of a lack of knowledge of the Father’s will, they too are destroyed!
When read, God’s word is explicit. Heaven and hell both exist and life is eternal for every man, woman and child that has ever been born. Although there are many methods and religions taught by man that claim they can provide passage to heaven and eternal life, God’s word says otherwise. It is not through any religious process, ritual, or training program. Heaven and eternal life are attained through a single, simple, decision that we MUST MAKE OURSELVES! No other person can make that decision for us – not our religious leader, our parents, our brother or sister, our friends or our spouse. Being baptized or ‘Christened’ as an infant is a ritual that has no power to save anyone. If it did, we could simply bless the oceans and then pump their water on the population of the world. Because I have a burden for the lost, I wish it was so – but it is not. God’s word tells us the way. John 14:6 says: ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ Jesus is the only way to get to heaven.
While reading this, you may feel as though you have reached a moment of truth in your life. If so, the most important decision you will ever make is now yours, and yours alone. It is the decision to accept Jesus Christ’s grace as payment for your sin and to submit your life to Him. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that they are guilty of some sin in God’s eyes. And we all know that ANY sin, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, will keep us out of heaven. God’s word says so. In Revelation 21:27, speaking of heaven, we read ‘Nothing impure will ever enter into it.’ If we read Romans 6:23, we will see ‘For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ When we agree to change, and accept Christ’s grace and Lordship, we are born-again and instantly become one of God’s children.
Please pray with me right now.
Jesus, I know that I have sinned and I’m sorry. I believe that you died on the cross to pay for my sin and that, three days later, you were resurrected and now sit at the Father’s right hand. I accept your gift of salvation. I ask you to change me and make me a new creature. I give you my life and I thank you for what you did for me. In your precious and holy name I pray. Amen.