I have been studying and teaching Bible doctrine for over 48 years and the shepherding teacher for home based Churches. Sola Scriptura
The Fateful Message of the 10 Lepers.
Why Only One Came Back.
Leprosy is a terrible and fatal disease. It is the perfect picture of the unregenerate human condition, a disease that destroys both the body and the hope found within mankind's psyche. They stood far off, for it was an immediate death penalty if they should approach a non-leper; but the all cried unto Jesus for mercy. Here is where this account takes a drastic turn and is so relevant to today's prevailing religious thinking.
- Jesus instructed them to go show themselves unto the priests, for Levitical law decrees that a priest must declare them clean before they enter back into normal societal relations.
- As they set out for the temple they were not healed, but along the way they found themselves cleansed and free of the leprosy which held them in bondage.
- We do know that only one returned to give the Lord of Glory thanks and glorified God with a loud voice. He could not be constrained. Wherein, Jesus asked the obvious question, "where are the nine?" When one encounters the real Jesus, their life changes in an instant. The nine were healed but not changed.
- The biblical passage is ominously quiet concerning the other nine.
- We do know that the one that returned was an outcast of Israel; a Samaritan. As the Word states, we were once outcasts but now have been made one with the Son and our future secure.
- Truly many are called, but few are chosen. The chosen know the final words of Jesus to the one; "Arise, go thy way: thy faith has made thee whole."
What has become of the nine? They all cried out of their affliction, all received mercy but only one had a change of heart. Herein lies a terrible Truth: not all who have received mercy from their evil ways by turning to religion, have been made whole spiritually. Addicts of every shape, size and type have been freed by turning to religion, families have the breath of new life breathed into their relationships, as well as murders, thieves, liars and the like have turned over a new leaf. Religion has a powerful effect upon people, for by nature we are in a way, spiritual beings looking for that something else. As Shakespeare would have stated, here lies the rub. Matthew 12:43-45:
"When the unclean spirit is gone out from a man, he (the unclean spirit) walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."
Religion may have appeared to have healed many; but sadly their doomed future will make their past terrors seem as trivial, even to the point of desiring the good old days. This begs the question: are you saved or are you a religionist?
Religionists vs Believers
How Does One Know If They Are Saved?
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:13
I am surmising that a majority of those who identify with a particular church or denomination are not overly confident or secretly terrified of their relationship to Jesus. As John stated, the Word is written only to them that believe on the name of the Son of God, to encourage His own in their eternal security because the Son of God is trustworthy (believable). The question becomes: from where does our assurance come? The simple answer; from God coupled with our own personal growing pains; known as trials, tribulations and victories. What defines the changed life in Christ.
- A growing hatred of sin; your own and that which besieges our senses on a daily basis.
- A growing love and hunger for the Word and not just on Sundays.
- A growing love of genuine Christ centered fellowship with like-minded believers.
- Finding a peace in the midst of the storms of life that others cannot comprehend.
- Finding thankfulness in your heart for everything in life, whatever may come.
- Finding you can give a reason for the Hope that dwells within you to any and all who ask.
- Looking for that blessed Hope of our Saviors return.
- Looking forward to that day when we shall be rejoined to loved ones having gone on before.
- Looking forward to an eternity of serving our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our future is beyond comprehension … Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
What Then Defines a Religionist?
A myriad of church goers world-wide have no real assurance. Satan has beguiled the many and has given them a false hope; that to appear religious, faithful to one’s denomination or assembly along with the practice of good works, leads to an upstanding and healthy lifestyle. That in itself is not bad … but when coupled without a true personal relationship to the Savior, the end is death eternal. What marks the person of the religionist?
- One who tolerates or encourages even the “smallest” of sins in theirs and others lives.
- One whose Bible is for Sundays, unless their church uses an overhead, now it is optional.
- One who eschews personal fellowship with those who are a little too intense when it comes to biblical living.
- One who is easily shaken by the trials of life whether personally or due to the politics of the age.
- One who is quick to complain, bemoan their lot in life and clings to their past as a security blanket.
- One who cites their denominational creed as opposed to having a testimony of a life-changing encounter with Jesus.
- One who lives as if Jesus is never coming back.
- One who has no confidence in either theirs or their loved one’s futures.
- One whose only hope is in the here and now.
Would You Know the Devil If You Met Him? Probably Not!
Do You Hearing the Devil Laughing?
Everywhere you go, the father of lies precede you, for his ministers are faithful and in every corner of the globe. How many times have you heard from the pulpit, seen on social media or read in the overabundance of so-called Christian literature; the Devil’s super-six lies which are the foundation of the modern church.
- God loves everybody and Jesus died for everyone’s sins. IF Jesus died for everyone's sins, past, present and future; would that not include the sin of unbelief? Are you one to pick and choose which of your sins have been forgiven and have a special knowledge of a sin that was not covered by Christ on the cross? Have you secretly hidden a sin from Christ, that may come back to haunt you in the future? This leads to the next great lie.
- One needs to be careful for you could lose your salvation. That would mean you have the power to pluck yourself out the Savior's hand. That would also mean that you have the power to separate yourself from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). What one is saying is that you are more powerful than God, but in reality, you have no knowledge of His saving grace but wholly rely on the outward appearances, such as:
- You, yes I said you must accept Christ, it is a personal decision, the burden of which lies solely upon your shoulders. God is standing on the sidelines, rooting for you to make the choice between life or death. Funny thing though, Romans 3 teaches us that no one would ever make that decision on their own. That would mean that someone would have to make the decision for us; that someone being God. Oh, that dreaded doctrine of election found throughout the Old and New Testaments. The Hebrew 972 and Greek1588 equivalents for election / chosen are found 35 times; 13 times in the O.T. and 22 times in the N.T. The Septuagint (Greek O.T.) confirms that the Hebrew972 is translated as the Greek1588 thus having the very same definition. Interestingly not one usage of either word is inclusive of everyone but a select few. Still not convinced, maybe an outward demonstration is more to your liking, such as:
- Water baptism saves. Water cannot wash away anyone’s sins, that is the work of God alone. 1 Peter 3:21 “The like figure (vs 20 was a type, a picture) whereunto even baptism doth also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh – your old nature of wickedness and sins, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ;”. Water baptism is an act of obedience only which results in a good conscience towards our Lord. Noah was spiritually saved prior to the flood and his obedience to God in building the ark resulted in his good conscience towards God. Noah never got wet but was obedient because of grace and his God given faith. But you like what your bible has to say concerning this doctrine, because:
- Modern versions of the Bible are better. An exercise to begin with: find Acts 8:37 in your non-KJV Bible. Notice how the other "translations?" just conveniently go from verse 36, omit 37 and pick it up again with verse 38; it magically disappeared. Some of these versions may insert verse 37 in italics and lie, I mean give a reason why it should not be included. In verse 37, Phillip would not baptize the Ethiopian eunuch before his confession of saving grace. How about that; Phillip deemed salvation as a necessary requirement before water baptism; in other words, without salvation it is meaningless. When you actually analyze the major changes (hundreds), you have to realize the new versions are created by groups or individuals with an agenda of throwing out the old and in with the new, as in:
- The Old Testament is no longer relevant. I wonder what scriptures the apostles used in the early days of the founding the Church of Christ? One of the ploys of the Devil is to keep as many church goers out of the Old Testament as possible, for the fulfillment of the O.T. is the power behind the New. There are 7,967 verses in the New Testament and 2,615 of them cite, fulfill prophecy or find their basis in the Old. That is 33+% of the entire New Testament based directly upon the Old. Revelation alone has 404 verses that quote and fulfill 605 Old Testament passages.
I will ask the question again. Do you hear the Devil laughing?