Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Truth and Likemindedness

Romans 15:5 "Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 19... I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel..."
The gospel (v. 19-20) is "the message concerning Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary), and as such "the accepted and infallible word of God". It is often called the gospel truth, but that phrase is redundant!

Paul went all over the Asia Minor and Europe preaching the truth about Christ. He did it without any sort of payment, and then died for presenting the message. Why would he waste his time, his work, and even his life if what he spoke was not truth? What is truth? "Truth is the entirety of real things, facts, and events." (ibid). This means that the cross was real, Jesus died on it, and that he was resurrected. Since, Jesus died on the cross, he has the power to save. Indeed, only by the blood of Jesus can one be saved. (Romans 5:9).

We Christians must accept that as fact! Jesus demonstrated his power to the Jews whose skepticism always required miracles. As such, raising Lazarus from the dead, restoring the young girl to life, multiplying the bread and fishes, turning water into wine, and many others are indeed truth! Questioning truth is doubt:
Luke 24:38 "...Why do doubts arise in your hearts?"
Jesus asked that of the apostles. What is the answer to that troubling question? Satan's method is to raise doubts. He does that through deception.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 and for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie..."
The lawless one is the Antichrist who will also be able to work miracles.  For instance, Simon the Magician -  Simon Magus, was even able to levitate according to history, just as the court magicians in Moses time could do certain things. Magic is from demons, and can be real. Magic (outside entertainment) is always to elevate the magician and to denigrate God. Miracles are for the opposite!

Miracles are events out of the ordinary which demonstrate God's intervention in the affairs of mankind. Magic is the use of supernatural powers to deceive. The former is to reveal divine truth, and the latter is to deceive people for a purpose.

Since the Gospels are full of miracles, for them to be the gospel truth, then they must be accepted as real. Magic, on the other hand, can be real or faked because deception is their motive. Miracles were done by Jesus as a demonstration of his -  God's power. For instance, if Jesus could not raise people from the dead, the power of God is not sufficient to resurrect. One must believe in miracles to believe in the resurrection.

Paul went all over the known world teaching Jesus and the resurrection. (Acts 17:10). What was it that Paul taught about Jesus? That he was resurrected. That was a miracle. If we don't believe in miracles, how can we believe that we will be raised from the dead? Disbelief in the miracles causes doubt in the resurrection.

Shall be saved means that we will be saved from something! From what are Christians saved? Eternal death by obtaining eternal life through the miracle of Jesus's saving blood. To be blunt, it is foolish to not believe in miracles, then expect the miracle of being raised from the dead, and then living forever!

This miracle-working Jesus is in whom we must believe. Any lesser Jesus is an antichrist. Simon Magus was, and he fooled many by his magic. Today, science is the deceiver because they do not accept miracles. Yesterday I wrote on the total eclipse. At Jesus's crucifixion, a total eclipse is described very clearly. However, since science doesn't include what is intangible, scientists fail to consider what they cannot prove. As such, according the them, there was no total eclipse at the time of the crucifixion in or about Jerusalem. Of course, unlike God who created science, scientists make mistakes. One mistake is to exclude miracles.

Thomas Jefferson wrote his own bible: the Jefferson Bible. He removed all references to miracles. I haven't read it, but I suppose that he must have left in the miracle of the resurrection or he wrote his bible for no reason. His mind was not in accord with God nor orthodoxy - accepted and authorized doctrine. In other words, Jefferson was a heretic since he failed to believe divine truth.

Paul said that Christians are to be likeminded toward one another, according to Jesus Christ.(Romans 15:5 above), and indicated we are to glorify God with one mind and one mouth. (Romans 15:6). Jefferson didn't. His doctrine was not according to Jesus. His invented Jesus was a liar. His was the doctrine of an antichrist!

Many Christians have a little Jefferson in them. Oftentimes, it's because we understand the same scriptures differently, and as such have different doctrines. There are some doctrines which are immutable. We cannot deny the miracles, and be believing Christians. We cannot deny the efficacious blood of Jesus and be Christians. We cannot deny that Holy Scripture is the divine Word of God and be Christians. We cannot deny heaven and hell and be Christians - or what is it we're saved from, and to where would we be saved?

We're all to have the same beliefs in essential doctrine - those which support divine promises: namely faith in Jesus Christ and the resurrection because Jesus must still live for us to live! That essential doctrine must be accepted as divine truth, and Christians are to be of one mind in believing that.

Those likeminded about Jesus Christ are the Church. Some mainline denominations, and all cults, reject the gospel truth. They are not part of the true Church. They are lukewarm, and are the apostate church described in Revelation, as was the church at Laodicia.

That's why denominations are not of one accord. We have different doctrines. Some fail to believe in miracles, some deny inspired scripture, and others deny the godhood of Jesus Christ. Others are social gospel churches, and the doctrines they teach are liberation theology. Although he denies it, Pope Francis's actions suggest that he is a proponent to some degree of liberation theology.
Other denominations teach the social gospel at the expense of the salvation gospel. Jesus made it pretty clear that he didn't come to save the world from poverty but from eternal death.

Remember, to be likeminded and in unity with Christ, we must believe and teach the gospel truth. Anything less contradicts Jesus. That will be scary for some someday!

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