Every once in a while we hear this warning on the news, and we hear the shocking news that counterfeit bills are circulating in our community. The authorities tell us what to look for, like how counterfeit bills are sometimes thicker, and the color isn’t right. We are told that counterfeit bills lack the red and blue fibers embedded in the paper of the bills themselves, since technically real bills are made with a type of linen paper, which is not like typing paper. If spotting counterfeit bills is important, spotting the counterfeit forms of Christianity that the devil circulates among us is even more important. We are told in 1Thes. 5:21 “Test everything, hold on to the good.” For centuries Satan has been trying to pass off a watered-down version of Christianity that just doesn’t feel right, and which doesn’t stand up to certain tests.
Here are just a few warning signs to look out for:
1. If someone promises you that following Jesus is easy, and that your life will be full of nothing but joy and victory, not to mention physical prosperity, it’s counterfeit. On more than one occasion Jesus told his disciples to take up their crosses and follow him. We don’t earn our salvation by doing that, but we do point people to the real Savior, Jesus, when we bear our crosses. If Christianity is all about an easy life, and never being sick, then Paul himself wouldn’t be a Christian, because he had an unidentified “thorn” in his flesh that you can read about in 2 Corinthians 12.He said God taught him through his suffering. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” 2 Cor.12:9.
2. If someone says you have to do your part to save yourself, it is a counterfeit form of Christianity. Ask yourself, “Which one of my sins did Jesus NOT pay for on the cross?” If you can think of one, let me know, and I will explain that “It is finished” really means, “It is paid for, in full.
John 3:5-8 King James Version (KJV) 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Grace is grace, and Paul famously said…“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law,” Rom. 3:28. Even faith is a gift, according to Eph. 2:8-9!!
There is a difference between professing Christians are truly believing Christians Wearing a cross, going to church… will not save you unless you are born again !! There are many people out there professing the name of Jesus Christ. They call themselves Christians because they were baptized as an infant!
There is a major difference between professing something and truly believing and putting your faith and trust in something! The Bible makes it crystal clear that we must be born again ( John 3:1-8). We are born into this world through our mother’s womb ( born of the flesh) and Jesus makes it very clear that we must be born again of the Spirit ( John 3:3)!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BORN AGAIN?
The phrase “born again” applies to people who have accepted Jesus as their Savior or Redeemer. The born again soul realizes that they are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that the penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). To rectify the circumstances, God sent His only Son to die in their place, to take the punishment for sin (Romans 5:8). After Jesus’ death, He arose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6) and He provides the blessing of salvation. Each person has the choice to receive or reject God’s gift through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and experience new birth (John 3:1-8).
There must be a conversion…and this conversion happens when you put your full faith and trust in the blood that Jesus shed for you on the cross at Calvary, and in his death, burial and ressurection! The Gospel of your Salvation is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Yes we are still going to make mistakes but when you are born again…you will want to run from sin…not towards sin!!
As God’s children we are His representatives in a world of darkness and as the body of Christ are called to be salt and light in a sick and sinful world.
WHAT IS BIBLICAL REPENTANCE? Biblical repentance is God centered repentance comes from the greek word ‘METANOIA’ which means change of one’s mind and heart which imparts a new direction to the whole life. Repent (To repent, in relation to salvation, is to change your mind from unbelief to belief in Jesus Christ. To being dead in your sins to a new creature in Christ) and believe in the Gospel.
Jesus left all his glory and came down from heaven to die on the cross of calvary just for you!! Jesus shed his precious blood for you!! Please accept Jesus!! Time is up!! We are purchased with a price…his blood!!!
If you have not yet placed your faith in Jesus, please, please do so before it is too late to avoid the terror that is coming upon our world. Allow God’s Spirit to open your heart to the truth of the Gospel found in the words of Scripture where we read that Christ died on the cross for our sins, was buried, rose from the dead on the third day, ascended to heaven, and is coming again for His church.
As a true born again Christian you are in this world BUT NOT OF THIS WORLD!
IF OUR SALVATION IS ETERNALLY SECURE, WHY DOES THE BIBLE WARN SO STRONGLY AGAINST APOSTASY? The Bible teaches that everyone who is born again by the power of the Holy Spirit is saved forever. We receive the gift of eternal life (John 10:28), not temporary life. Someone who is born again (John 3:3) cannot be “unborn.” After being adopted into God’s family (Romans 8:15), we will not be kicked out. When God starts a work, He finishes it (Philippians 1:6). So, the child of God—the believer in Jesus Christ—is eternally secure in his salvation.
However, the Bible also contains some strong warnings against apostasy. These warnings have led some to doubt the doctrine of eternal security. After all, if we cannot lose our salvation, why are we warned against falling away from the Lord? This is a good question. First, we must understand what is meant by “apostasy.”
An apostate is someone who abandons his religious faith. It is clear from the Bible that apostates are people who made professions of faith in Jesus Christ but never genuinely received Him as Savior. They were pretend believers. Those who turn away from Christ never really trusted Him to begin with, as 1 John 2:19 says, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” Those who apostatize are simply demonstrating that they are not true believers, and they never were.
The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24–30) provides a simple illustration of apostasy. In the same field were growing wheat and “false wheat” (tares or weeds). At first, the difference between the two types of plants was undetectable, but as time went on, the weeds were seen for what they were. In the same way, in any given church today, there may be true, born-again believers side by side with pretenders—those who enjoy the messages, the music, and the fellowship but have never repented of their sins and accepted Christ by faith. To any human observer, the true believer and the pretender look identical. Only God can see the heart. Matthew 13:1–9 (the Parable of the Sower) is another illustration of apostasy in action.
The Bible’s warnings against apostasy exist because there are two types of religious people: believers and unbelievers. In any church there are those who truly know Christ and those who are going through the motions. Wearing the label “Christian” does not guarantee a change of heart. It is possible to hear the Word, and even agree with its truth, without taking it to heart. It is possible to attend church, serve in a ministry, and call yourself a Christian—and still be unsaved (Matthew 7:21–23). As the prophet said, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Isaiah 29:13; cf. Mark 7:6).
God warns the pretender who sits in the pew and hears the Gospel Sunday after Sunday that he is playing with fire. Eventually, a pretender will apostatize—he will “fall away” from the faith he once professed—if he does not repent. Like the tares among the wheat, his true nature will be manifest.
The passages warning against apostasy serve two primary purposes. First, they exhort everyone to be sure of their salvation. One’s eternal destiny is not a trifling matter. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves to see whether we are “in the faith.”
One test of true faith is love for others (1 John 4:7–8). Another is good works. Anyone can claim to be a Christian, but those who are truly saved will bear “fruit.” A true Christian will show, through words, actions, and doctrine, that he follows the Lord. Christians bear fruit in varying degrees based on their level of obedience and their spiritual gifts, but all Christians bear fruit as the Spirit produces it in them (Galatians 5:22–23). Just as true followers of Jesus Christ will be able to see evidence of their salvation (see 1 John 4:13), apostates will eventually be made known by their fruit (Matthew 7:16–20) or lack thereof (John 15:2).
The second purpose for the Bible’s warnings against apostasy is to equip the church to identify apostates. They can be known by their rejection of Christ, acceptance of heresy, and carnal nature (2 Peter 2:1–3).
The biblical warnings against apostasy, therefore, are warnings to those who are under the umbrella of “faith” without ever having truly exercised faith. Scriptures such as Hebrews 6:4–6 and Hebrews 10:26–29 are warnings to “pretend” believers that they need to examine themselves before it’s too late. Matthew 7:22–23 indicates that “pretend believers” whom the Lord rejects on Judgment Day are rejected not because they “lost faith” but because the Lord never knew them. They never had a relationship with Him.
There are many people who love religion for religion’s sake and are willing to identify themselves with Jesus and the church. Who wouldn’t want eternal life and blessing? However, Jesus warns us to “count the cost” of discipleship (Luke 9:23–26; 14:25–33). True believers have counted the cost and made the commitment; apostates fail to do so. Apostates had a profession of faith at one time but not the possession of faith.
JESUS PAID IT ALL! DEAD TO SIN ALIVE IN CHRIST! • What does it mean to accept Jesus as your personal Savior? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? To properly understand this question, you must first understand the terms “Jesus Christ,” “personal,” and “Savior.”
Who is Jesus Christ? Many people will acknowledge Jesus Christ as a good man, a great teacher, or even a prophet of God. These things are definitely true of Jesus, but they do not fully define who He truly is. The Bible tells us that Jesus is God in the flesh, God in human form. John 1:11 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” God came to earth to teach us, heal us, correct us, forgive us—and die for us! Jesus Christ is God, the Creator, the sovereign Lord. Have you accepted this Jesus?
• What is a Savior, and why do we need a Savior? The Bible tells us that we have all sinned; we have all committed evil acts (Romans 3:10-18). As a result of our sin, we deserve God’s anger and judgment. The only just punishment for sins committed against an infinite and eternal God is an infinite punishment (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:11-15). That is why we need a Savior!
Jesus Christ came to earth and died in our place. Jesus’ death was an infinite payment for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:8). Jesus paid the price so that we would not have to. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proved that His death was sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins. That is why Jesus is the one and only Savior (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)! Are you trusting in Jesus as your Savior?
• Where in the Bible does it say to accept Jesus as your savior? In the Holy Bible , John 14:9 states that Jesus said : “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” So, “How should you accept Christ as your Savior “? — through accepting Jesus as your personal savior .
• Is Jesus your “personal” Savior? Many people view Christianity as attending church, performing rituals, and/or not committing certain sins. That is not Christianity. True Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Accepting Jesus as your personal Savior means placing your own personal faith and trust in Him. No one is saved by the faith of others. No one is forgiven by doing certain deeds. The only way to be saved is to personally accept Jesus as your Savior, trusting in His death as the payment for your sins and His resurrection (The Gospel 1 Corinthians 15 :1-4) as your guarantee of eternal life (John 3:16). Is Jesus personally your Savior?
If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, say the following words to God. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. Only believing in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for you can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. “God, I know that I have sinned against You and deserve punishment. But I believe Jesus Christ took the punishment I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I receive Your offer of forgiveness and place my trust in You for salvation. I accept Jesus as my personal Savior! Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness—the gift of eternal life! Amen!”
What happens when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Our soul is not reborn; “Only” our true self, our God-created spirit (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 2:7) is reborn at the moment when we accept Jesus as our Savior . And from there – if you “feed” your mind (Bible, read God’s living word) and cherish and nurture it – you begin your complete renewal.
Romans 6:1-14 – Paul emphasized God’s grace, but some suggested to get more of grace they should do more sinning. He strongly opposed this idea. He is saying that sin ended when we became Christians even though we still do wrong things. We should not let sin control our lives anymore. We were buried with Him in baptism so we too are raised like Christ to a new life. Paul says we died to sin and repeats it several times throughout the chapter, because he wants us to really get his message on living a godly life. We are rescued from sin’s power. We still sin, because we are not perfect, but sin doesn’t control us.(Rom. 6:1-4)
Christians are united to Christ by our faith. Our old nature died on the cross with Christ and now sin has no power over us. When Paul speaks of our old self, he is speaking of a life of evil desires, a life of self-indulgence, and a life controlled by our sin nature.
If we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know He was raised and cannot die again and death no longer has mastery over Him. He died to sin once for all and now He lives to God. (Rom. 6:8-10).
How can we win over sin since we have a sinful nature? If you have never trusted in Jesus, you are hopelessly and helplessly under the reign of sin. Christ died and rose again to free you from sin. Let Him be your new Master. Let Him have authority over your body, obey His Word, and remember He redeemed you. Look forward to a glorious eternal life free from sin in His presence. You won’t be sinless in this life, but you can grow in holiness and win over sin.