Controversy Over the Sinner’s Prayer

Just recently, my family and I were discussing salvation and what makes you saved. My brother brought up a video in which the Reverend Paul Washer states that those who once prayed the sinners prayer may not be saved if they were living like devils. This spurred a conversation through texting back and forth which has been going on for two days. It inspired me to write about it in this forum and discuss what the Bible says about salvation. 

Paul Washer’s video is called “The Sinners Prayer Does Not Save.”  Listening to his explanation, one would start to believe that this is true. He goes on to say that there is no place in the Bible that says we are to ask Jesus into our hearts. I have searched the Scriptures and have found this statement to be true.

My response to Washer’s proclamation is that although it doesn’t say that, in man’s way to communicate the Good News of Jesus, when we share the Gospel, and lead others to Christ, my take on the person praying and asking forgiveness is one of the first prayers a convert will make. 

Jesus taught His Disciples to pray. He taught them the Lord’s Prayer (cf. Matthew 6:9-13). I find nothing wrong with a new convert who prays and asks Jesus into his heart and into his life. But the prayer in itself does not save. That part, I agree with Washer. 

So what saves you? The Bible says that we must believe and repent. See Romans 10:9-10, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Therefore, if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, you will be saved. This means you have to really mean it. True conversion only comes from having a genuine heart. See Acts 3:19, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” One must repent from their evil ways. 

These two things alone will save you. You must have a repentant heart and you must believe that Jesus is the Son of God. When you pray that prayer, you must mean it. 

Many times, people will pray “The Sinner’s Prayer,” but then they slide back into their old ways. A true conversion means that one will turn from their old ways and follow Jesus and His teachings. To just pray a prayer but there is no true change in one’s life, I would question if they were truly saved.

Were you aware that Satan believes that Jesus is the Son of God? He knows He is, but Satan does not follow Christ Jesus. Belief in itself does not make one saved unless there is repentance. To continue in an adulterous affair does not show repentance. Continuing to have sex out of marriage, rob, steal, curse, willfully sin, does not show repentance. True repentance means that one stops doing what they were doing prior to salvation, turning away from wickedness, and following Jesus and His teachings.

Look in Matthew 16:24-26, “24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” This shows “true” repentance.

What saves you is the work of God on your heart, who calls you to Him. It is only by God first regenerating us that we will repent and believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and that we will repent and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ, which is the Gospel. Praying a prayer without “true” repentance and “true” faith in Christ Jesus will not save you! I pray that if you truly do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, that you will come to Him today by believing in Him and repenting from your sin. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Copyright July 29,2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Are You Singing Lies?

Were you aware that singing worship songs is making promises to God and His Holy Spirit? Are you singing lies in worship?

A couple of Sundays ago, we sang the song “Oceans” by Hillsong United. I will admit, it’s a great worship song that makes a commitment to follow Christ Jesus to wherever He leads. There is another song that isn’t as popular anymore called “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go” written by B.B. McKinney. This used to be a Baptist favorite.

These two songs are very similar in that they encourage Christians to follow Christ to wherever He leads us, even if it is across oceans to third world countries to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we were singing Oceans, I wondered if those who were singing actually understood their proclamation to God?

In the Bridge of Oceans, the lyrics are:

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour.”

The fact is that when we sing worship songs like this, and you are talking to the Holy Spirit, you are making a promise to God that you will open yourself up to whatever and wherever God will lead you and take you. Are you willing to go wherever the Lord sends you? God will use you and He will open up divine appointments and opportunities for you to serve Him. Are you willing to purely trust God to take you to places in our world that you have never thought you would go?

Christians, God wants you and needs you to carry the gospel to others, even to the utmost parts of the world. Will you take a stand for Christ Jesus? Will you go to wherever He calls you? Will your trust be without borders? If we are to make a difference for the gospel of Christ, we must get off the pew and take the gospel out into our communities and into the world in which we live. We must open our mouths and testify to what Jesus has done for us and will do for others, through His love, grace, and mercy. The harvest is ripe. Won’t you trust without borders? Wherever He leads, will you go? He needs you!

Here are the lyrics for Oceans and Wherever He Leads. 

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail): Words and Music by Matt Crocker, Joel Houston & Salomon Lightelm

Verse 1
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep my faith will stand

Chorus
I will call upon Your Name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Verse 2
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Bridge
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour

Last Chorus
I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Wherever He Leads I’ll Go

Written by B.B.McKinney

Verse 1

Take up thy cross and follow Me
I heard my Master say
I gave My life to ransom thee
Surrender your all today

Chorus

Wherever He leads I’ll go
Wherever He leads I’ll go
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Verse 2

He drew me closer to His side
I sought His will to know
And in that will I now abide
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Verse 3

It may be through the shadows dim
Or o’er the stormy sea
I take my cross and follow Him
Wherever He leadeth me

Verse 4

My heart my life my all I bring
To Christ who loves me so
He is my Master Lord and King
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Will you truly go? Is your faith truly without borders? The harvest is ripe and people’s hearts are searching for the “Truth” which is only found in Jesus, the begotten Son of God. You have sung these words for probably years and yet you have not made any attempt to go and serve the Lord. What is stopping you? When will you go? Will you truly follow Christ to wherever He leads? I pray that you will and that you get off the pew and get engaged in the telling others about the Good News of Jesus Christ!

Copyright July 26, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.  

I See Spiritually Dead People Everywhere!

As I am walking around town, I see dead people everywhere. They are in the
stores and on the streets. They are everywhere! Many times, other people do not
realize they are seeing them as well, but they are there. The people themselves
may not realize that they are dead, but they are. They are like the walking
dead. This scene sounds like the script of the movie “The Sixth
Sense,” or “The Walking Dead,” but there are people that truly are dead men walking in their sin.

We discussed last week in the post, “But God.” Let us look at this even closer. If you have your Bible, turn to Ephesians 2:1-10,
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in
which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the
prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons
of disobedience— among whom we all once lived
in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the
body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like
the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in
mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when
we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by
grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him
and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so
that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by
grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own
doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so
that no one may boast. 10 For we are his
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God
prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

As a Christian, before we came to Christ Jesus, we were dead in our sins and
trespasses. What this means is that when we were not following Christ Jesus, we
were headed to Hell. We were living in a world that is controlled by the prince
of this world, Satan himself. This old world is Satan’s domain and we were
previously part of it, but those who have rejected Christ Jesus, they are
currently a “Dead Man Walking” headed for an eternal hell. These
people are everywhere, and they are lost without Jesus.

The people who are dead in their sin and trespasses means that they are
spiritually dead and lost. According to the concordance of the New King James
Study Bible, “Paul refers to a believers old walk. Whether it was a path
of moral carelessness or the dark alley of evil, believers should no longer
walk according to their past evil ways. Believers are saved so that they can
now have a lifestyle characterized by good works. They are to walk worthy of
their calling, which means to walk in love, in light, and in wisdom. Paul
pointed out to the Ephesians that they formally walked according to the world’s
ways and after the prince of the power of the air, namely, the adversarial
spirit Satan. Sons of is a Hebrew way of saying ‘those characterized by.’ Thus
the sons of disobedience are people who disobey, whether Christians or
non-Christians.”

“Walking is a Biblical expression that pictures a believer’s steady,
normal progress with God (Cf. Psalm 1:1).” Walking with Christ Jesus means
that one has been born again into a new creation. If one has asked Jesus into
their heart and life, then they are born again in Christ Jesus. They were once
dead in their sins and trespasses, but now they are alive in Christ Jesus. The
promise of salvation through Christ Jesus is eternal life.

The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23). For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal
life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). Unless someone is born again, he
cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Jesus said, I am the way, the truth,
and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). If you
confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God
raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes,
resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in
salvation (Romans 10:9-10). And He died for all so that those who live should
no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised
(2 Corinthians 5:15). Listen, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My
voice and opens the door, I will come into him and have dinner with him and he
with Me (Revelation 3:20).

To be made alive in Christ, please pray this prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, I have sinned against You. I want forgiveness for my
sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose again. Father, I
give you my life to do with as you wish. I want Jesus Christ to come into my
life and into my heart. This I ask in Jesus Name. Amen.

I pray that you will come to Christ Jesus today! I pray that you will be
made alive in Christ Jesus today!

References:

New King James Version Study Bible, 3rd Edition, Earl D. Radmacher, Th.D.
General Editor, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1982) 1767-1768.

Copyright © July 25, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights
Reserved.

Are You Putting God First? Do You Have Confidence When You Pray?

By Joseph T Lee & Pastor John Baldwin

Over the last two years, we have been dealing with a global pandemic. Our ministry started a prayer group mainly among my sisters and wife. Then we expanded it to others. We have seen prayers answered over the last two years. Many of these answered prayers were truly miracles of people coming to Christ, financial blessings, and healings. Living a Christian walk is not easy, but to have a close and meaningful walk with Christ Jesus, you need to learn to put God first and pray.

The glue that holds our relationship together with our Heavenly Father is His Son Jesus. Jesus taught us how to pray when He taught us the Lord’s Prayer.

Are you praying in your walk with Christ Jesus? If you are not, then something is wrong with your relationship with the Father. You must learn to pray and take all of your petitions to our Heavenly Father.

Pastor John Baldwin preached on this today. I will be giving you a recap on this important topic. The following is an outline of how to pray with confidence.

1. You must pray to your Heavenly Father. Let’s look at Matthew 7:11, “If you then who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him.”

2. Pray in the Name of Jesus. Look at John 14:13-14, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” Also, Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

3. Pray with a forgiving spirit. Look at Mark 11:25, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

4. Do you believe God will do it? Look at James 1:5-8, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

5. Pray according to God’s will.  When we pray, we should be praying for others or our needs and not our wants. Sometimes our wants are not to God’s will. See 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”

If you want to see answers to prayer, you need to get serious and stay serious. We have many important decisions to make in our nation as well in our communities. Praying ALL Petitions to God, our Heavenly Father, is what we should be doing daily. And praying takes dedication. It takes a time commitment. Don’t allow your business, activities, or anything else to come before praying together and taking our petitions to our Heavenly Father.

Reference:Pastor John Baldwin, Message “Confident Prayer,” Berea Baptist Church; July 3, 2022.

Copyright July 22, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

But God …

As we were praying the other night and the Lord brought this Scripture to my mind. It is taken from Ephesians 2:1-10, “2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Prior to Christ Jesus, we were dead in our trespasses and sin. We followed the prince of this world and were headed for a devil’s hell.But God….  You found it in your mercy to save us through your Son Christ Jesus because of your love. Although we were dead in our trespasses and sin, you saved us through your great love through your Son Jesus. You made us alive through Christ Jesus. You saved us through grace through faith. This was not of our own doing but was by a gift of God, not a result of our works, so that no one can boast. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which God prepared before hand, so that we can walk with You!

What about you? Are you walking with Him daily? Are you in a relationship with Christ Jesus? If not, I pray that you will come to Him quickly. Time is short and there may not be a tomorrow for some people. I just read that a local woman was killed while sitting in her disabled car on the shoulder of the interstate. Another vehicle ran off the road and hit her from behind. She died instantly. There are no more tomorrows for her, but if you are reading this post, you have another chance to come to Jesus. I pray that you will choose wisely. I pray that you will ask Him into your heart and into your life today!

For those who have already chosen the way of our Lord and Savior, Praise the Lord! You are a brother and sister in Christ. I am thankful for your decision to follow Jesus! May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you peace (Cf. Numbers 6:24-26)!

Copyright July 21, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Who Do You Say That I AM?

This morning, we are going to discuss who Jesus is. Look in Matthew 16 starting in verse 13, “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus went on to tell Peter how He was going to build His Church. Look at verse 17, “And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock  I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.”

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. So here is my question to you. Who is Jesus to you? Is He your Lord and Savior? Is He your everything? Is He in charge of your life? Do you pray to Him and talk with Him? Do you pray to Him about everything that is happening in you life? Do you truly have a “real” relationship with Him? If you proclaim that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, why are you not shouting it from the housetops? Why keep it secret?

I once knew of a young couple who said that their faith was a private matter. Jesus does not want us to keep our Salvation private. The Bible clearly states in Romans 10:9-10, “If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in Salvation.” These two verses says that you have to open your mouth and confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. You must verbally acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Why not share your faith with others so they will come to Christ Jesus?

I will tell you, without a shadow of any doubt, Jesus is Lord of my life. He is everything to me. I cannot imagine living life without Him in my life. I speak to Him daily in prayer and He speaks to me through His Scriptures. His Holy Spirit dwells in me and teaches me and guides me through life. I love the laws of our Heavenly Father. I love His ways. For me, I no longer desire the worldly life that I used to live. I desire all that Christ Jesus has to offer me. He is my Lord and Savior. When I go to sleep, I am thinking about Him. When I wake in the morning, I am thinking about Him. It’s a relationship that I do not want to live without. How about you?

Copyright July 19, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You Cannot Get into Heaven on Your Grandparent’s Coattails!

The Reverend John Baldwin has been an inspiration to me in my writing. Just yesterday, he preached on a sermon called “Absolute Truth” which was taken from 1 John 5:18-21. I wrote a piece on that sermon, but today I want to expound on it a little more.

Reverend Baldwin said, The “Truth about True Salvation is Knowing Jesus.” This is very true and yet people come to church, sit in a pew, listen, and then go out back into the world. They may have loved ones who are lost without a Savior and yet people tend to not open their mouths and share the Gospel with the one’s they say they love. They want the pastor’s to do what they have been called to do themselves once they accepted Jesus as their own Savior. If one has received this free gift of eternal life, why is it that few are shouting it from the housetops?

There are many people who have been attending church for years and yet they have never confessed that Jesus is Lord . They have never made a commitment to Christ Jesus, never prayed and asked for forgiveness, or never have ever had a true relationship with Jesus. Attending church is what their grandparent’s, parent’s, and themselves have done for years.

My wife, Diane, has been saying this for years, “You cannot go to Heaven on your grandparents coattails.” I agree and there is one thing that I surely know for sure and that is one cannot get into heaven on their grandparents or parents coattails! We all have to stand before the Lord on Judgement Day and answer to our Heavenly Father as to what we did in life. We will be judged for all of our actions and the way we lived our life. If one is a “True Follower” of Christ, our sins and wrong doings will be forgiven, but those who have never made a commitment or have rejected salvation through Christ Jesus, they will be sentenced to hell for eternity.

The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation (Romans 10:9-10). And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised (2 Corinthians 5:15). Listen, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him and he with Me Revelation 3:20).

As I mentioned before, you cannot get into heaven on your parents or grandparents coattails. You cannot get into heaven because of their relationship with Christ Jesus. You have to do it yourself by praying this simple prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I have sinned against You. I want forgiveness for my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose again. Father, I give you my life to do with as you wish. I want Jesus Christ to come into my life and into my heart. This I ask in Jesus Name. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then your next step is to get into a Bible believing church. Buy a Bible and start to read it starting with the Gospel of John. Start praying to our Heavenly Father, like you would talk to your Mom or Dad. After all, He is our Abba Father. I pray that if you do not truly know Him, that you will come to “Really” know Him today. May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

Copyright © July 18, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Do you “REALLY” know Jesus or are you an acquaintance?

This morning, the Reverend John Baldwin preached on “Absolute Truth” taken from 1 John 5:18-21. There are five things that a Christian must believe in to be a “true” Follower of Christ.

  1. The Inerrancy of Scripture.
  2. Believe in the Virgin Birth.
  3. The substitutionary atonement of Jesus.
  4. The bodily resurrection of Jesus.
  5. The literal return of Jesus.

There are three absolute truths about Christianity.

  1. The truth about sin. Children of God want to sin less.
  2. Truth about Satan. He rules over a falling world.
  3. The truth about salvation. True salvation is knowing Jesus.

Now let’s look at supporting Scripture for these three truths. The truth about sin is that Children of God want to sin less. Look at 1 John 1:8-9,  “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

When we do this, and really mean it, we will not want to continue sinning and staying in the sin we were once dead in. A person who has been through a true conversion will not desire the sin of the world anymore because through Christ Jesus, He has made us a new creature in Him.

The second truth is this, Satan rules a falling world. He is the prince of this world. See 1 John 5:19, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” Yes, Satan rules the world we live in. This is why evil seems to pervade every political office, from the local government to the federal government. Evil is saturated in politics today because the evil one is running the show as he has done since biblical times.

The third truth is the truth of salvation. True salvation is knowing Jesus. See 1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

Let me ask you some simple questions about your relationship with Christ Jesus? Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior? Do you really know Him? Do you have a “true” relationship with Him? Are you praying daily to Him? Are you reading your Bible consistently and building your relationship with the Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus? If not for the last two questions, then do you really believe you have a relationship with Him?

Having a relationship means that we are interested in His ways and His way of life for us. Do you truly have a relationship or are you an acquaintance? An acquaintance in the Faith walk is a person who picks up his Bible every once in a while, reads a few verses, and puts his Bible back on the shelf. Its the people who attend church once a year, definitely at Easter and maybe at Christmas, not because of a desire to know more about the living Savior, but because this is what their own parents did while they were growing up. The fact is that Jesus said that we are to be either hot or cold in our faith. See Revelation 3:15-16, “ I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

Jesus wants a “true” relationship with you. He will spew you out of His mouth if you are lukewarm. Lukewarm means that you are an acquaintance of God and of the Lord. You have no “true” relationship with Him. You pick God up when you need Him such as when you need prayer for an illness, or if you have a marital problem and you want God to fix your relationship. Often times when your prayers are answered then God is often forgotten until you need Him again. Then you come back to Him. This is not what the Lord wants. He wants your all, 100%, not just your left over time, when you have spare time from your worldly activities. He wants to hear from you daily in prayer. He wants to speak to your heart through His God breathed Scriptures, so that you CAN live a life of Christ, holy and pleasing to Him.

If you are “truly” an acquaintance, my recommendation is to get on your knees and ask Jesus to forgive you of being lukewarm. Ask forgiveness and get engaged in the Gospel of Christ Jesus through prayer and reading the Bible on a daily basis. Get engaged in a Bible believing church and get involved in the lives of others so that you can encourage one another in your faith walk with Christ Jesus (Cf. Hebrews 10:25). I pray that you will do this today.

Reference:

Rev. John Baldwin, “Absolute Truth,” Berea Baptist Church, July 17, 2022.

Copyright © July 17, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Traits to Look for in a US President

What traits should we look for in a man or woman running for President of the United States? This question should be the million-dollar question. In my opinion, very few measure up to what I would want in the most powerful position in the world.

I have been thinking about this for a very long time. None of our previous presidents met the criteria and have fallen short. There has been many a President with immoral character that would put their own mother to shame. Many have said that we are not electing a pastor or a minister, but what does that say about our culture or professing Christians who say that?

 The Biblical standard for a Pastor or Minister is stated in these prescribed instructions found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7.

1 Timothy 3:1-7, refers to qualifications of an Overseer. Isn’t the President of the United States an Overseer of our nation? Let’s look at what the Bible says about their qualifications.

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

Let’s break this down a bit more. The person running for President will be overseeing a nation. The characteristic of an overseer is what I believe we should be seeking.

We should be looking for a well-respected leader who has a high moral standard. The man or woman will be a lover of God and respect God’s laws. They must be a person above reproach, sober minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, they must know how to manage well, they must not be conceited, and they must be able to lead in the most respectable way. This man or woman must also be able to stand firm and take a stand for what is honorable even when faced with potential war or threat of war.

These are all traits of an overseer taken from God’s Word. These characteristics are what we should be seeking in men and women who aspire to lead our nation. Although these traits were meant for overseers of the Church, we all should subscribe to them in order to live out our lives in a manner pleasing to God.

When you go to the Ballot Box, will you vote your faith or will you vote for the better choice, the lessor of two evils?

I would like to challenge men and women of God to run for public office and fill the Congress, Senate, and the White House with people who love God with all their heart, soul, and mind, who will take a stand for God as well as those who cannot stand for themselves.

I pray that God will raise up men and women who will run for public office and take a stand for the Lord’s laws. I believe that God can change our nation by having leaders who respect His ways and His laws.

I will leave you with this passage from 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I pray that the people of our nation will do exactly that, from the top leaders down to the common laborer.

Copyright June 14, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

We Are to Forgive Seventy-Seven Times

Many times, Christians forget what Jesus told us in Matthew 18:21-22. “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Seventy-seven times meant indefinitely. We are to forgive. The Bible says that we are to forgive, and it is referenced in the Lord’s Prayer. See Matthew 6:9-13, “9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread,12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

See verse 12. We are to forgive debts and the sins people commit against us. If we forgive, we likewise will be forgiven. But if we do not forgive, let’s see what the Word says a little farther in Matthew 6. See verses 14 and 15. “14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

There it is!!!  If we do not forgive others, our Heavenly Father will not forgive us. That is powerful and it speaks volumes. If we profess to truly love our Heavenly Father, we will also love our neighbor. But if we hate our neighbor, then how can one love God? 

How many times have you offended someone and then you ask and seek forgiveness and they say they forgive you but alienate you? That doesn’t seem like they have forgiven. It appears they have put up a wall or a boundary to where they might be trying to protect themselves from you. But if you are a loved one, that does not reflect the love of Christ to forgive. Certainly, if there is an unhealthy pattern, then all parties should seek a Christian counselor or pastoral counselor. But alienation does not solve the problem, nor does it allow for the other party to seek forgiveness from you or make amends.

Relationships can be very messy, but Christ Jesus gave us guidelines to live out our Christian lives to follow. I pray that if there are people who have broken relationships, seek the Lord and pray that God will forgive you of your part, then ask forgiveness of the party you have become estranged from. Jesus wants us to have healthy relationships through Him. I pray that you will seek forgiveness and offer forgiveness so that our Heavenly Father will forgive you.

Copyright June 10, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.