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Why Most Christians Won’t Be Raptured (& How To Make Sure You Are)

The rapture is the hope of hundreds of millions of Christians. Unfortunately, according to Bible prophecy, most will be "left behind" weeping and gnashing their teeth because Jesus said "depart from me; I never knew you." This will happen if we trust in what men have taught and not what Jesus actually said about belonging to him at his coming (1Co 15:23). Find out what most Christians are missing about the true requirements for the rapture so that you can be sure not to be left behind.

Automatic Rapture?

2 Peter 1:10-11 — Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.

Among Christians, the rapture is the most focused on event in Bible prophecy. Without a doubt, the most discussed question about the rapture is when it will happen, in both absolute and relative terms. Absolute timing would be all the date speculation and date setting constantly made (that constantly fails). Then there is the endless debate over the rapture's timing relative to the Great Tribulation. It would be an understatement to say Christians do not agree on whether the rapture will come before (“pretrib”), during (“mid-trib”) or after the tribulation (“post-trib” or “pre-wrath”). This debate will probably not die out until it actually happens.

But having that answer wrong is not a problem. Millions of saints (including Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David, etc.) have already secured their position in the Kingdom of God without ever knowing a single thing about the rapture—including the correct timing of it relative to the Great Tribulation.

The real problem with all this debate over the questions of timing is that it causes the truly important rapture issue to be overlooked:

Who will be in the rapture and how do they qualify for it?

Of course, Christians think that question is already settled. They think that simply by believing in Christ they are "rapture-ready" (as one prominent pretrib rapture site is named). In other words, the prevailing notion is that all believers will make it. But is this theory really grounded in Scripture? My study of Bible prophecy over the last decade has convinced me otherwise. I'm quite convinced that not all believers will be in the rapture.

Consider My Friend, Harold – Rapture Material?

Take my friend Harold, for example. He lives within walking distance of me so we see each other frequently and as a result, I know him well. He is a believer, however, few Christians would recognize him as such. He does not talk a lot about Jesus. If you asked him what church he goes to, he would answer, "None." He does not keep Christmas or Easter, either. He has no pastor and therefore also does not tithe anywhere. He is mostly busy getting things done on Sundays since he sleeps in late with his wife on Saturday after a long hard work week at their jobs.

Based on this brief profile of him, would you expect to see Harold in the rapture? I bet most Christians would have their doubts. They would not be wrong in principle to wonder, but not for the reasons they think. For the Bible does teach that there will be believers left behind for other reasons (as we shall see).

"Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth" By Left Behind Believers

There is an abundance of passages in the New Testament teaching that some believers in Jesus are going to have the ultimate disappointment when Jesus comes back to rapture people up into the Kingdom of God:

Matthew 7:21-23 (HCSB) — 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ⌊only⌋ the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?' 23 Then I will announce to them, 'I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!'

People are described as calling Jesus their Lord and even busy doing works in his name. These are clearly sincere, genuine Christians. Even above average if you compare them to typical do-nothing pew-warmers. Yet they are still rejected by Jesus. Although they clearly believe, they have some flaw that Jesus calls "lawbreaking" or ''lawlessness" that makes them unacceptable to inherit the Kingdom of God.

Next let's look at the the Letter to the Church of Laodicea. Of course, the Church of Laodicea is not made up of unbelievers. It's made up of believers, like all seven of the churches of Revelation. Yet what do we find:

Revelation 3:15-18 (HCSB) — 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. ...you don't know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see.

The letter tells the lukewarm believers there that they are naked and need to buy “white clothes.” Their works have been examined and found to be flawed. Their central fault is called nakedness or a lack of white clothing. For this and other faults they are going to be vomited out of Jesus' mouth. Obviously, vomit will not be going up in the rapture (although it might be found going down from the dizzying heights).

We see the same cause for rejection from the Kingdom in the Parable of the Wedding Banquet:

Matthew 22:12 (HCSB) — But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. 12 So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

These wedding garments are clearly a key requirement for the rapture, but what are they meant to represent? We will see that they are equivalent to the works related to the law that some believers are accused of breaking in the verse above.

Not All Believers Created Equal

The heart of the problem is a misunderstanding about what the Bible means by "believe." To believe in Jesus is not simply to accept as fact the truth of his existence or deserved role as Lord and Savior. It's not a purely mental acknowledgement. If you define it at that level, then even Satan and the demons can claim to be believers in God and Jesus by the following principle:

The End In 2026? It's Now Possible

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James 2:14 (HCSB) — 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder.

The belief in Jesus as Lord that the Bible talks about is a strong conviction that leads you to action based on that position he has over you. Jesus shed light on the lawlessness of those who call him Lord in Luke:

Luke 6:46 (HCSB) — Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things I say?

Now we're getting somewhere. To Jesus, if you believe he is your lord, then you better do what he says, otherwise you really don't “believe” he is Lord. What does this Lord say to do? He said:

John 14:15 (HCSB) — If you love Me, you will keep My commands.

What are the commandments? He told us this, too:

John 15:10 (HCSB) — If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commands and remain in His love.

Matthew 22:36-40 (HCSB) — 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

The commandment is to love God and neighbor. (To answer, “who is my neighbor?” read the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37.)

Given all this, we can say there are two classes of people that Jesus considered believers or addressed in the “churches” (Rev 2-3).

  1. There are those believers who belief in Jesus as Savior and this does not result in fundamentally different actions. They don't repent, or turn to God's ways.
  2. There are those who believe Jesus is Savior to those who make him Lord also and focus on doing the things their Lord said to do (faith/love towards God and neighbor). They do repent and give up their own ways for God's way of love.

Your Fruits When You Really “Believe On”Jesus

Of course, love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself is just the starting point. Knowing how to do this in practice takes further information.

Thankfully, Jesus spent much of his time fleshing exactly this out. You can find most of the specifics of what to do listed in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7). Other parts of the Gospels repeat and flesh out areas of change further. Jesus describes them as “good fruit” you should have and bad fruit you shouldn't have. Here are many examples of values and attributes of believers who love God and love neighbor that Jesus and the apostles gave:

  • Loving (John 13:35)
  • Compassionate (Mt 25:35-40; Lk 10:33)
  • Service-oriented (Mt 23:11)
  • Sacrificing (Mt 19:21; Jas 2:14)
  • Giving, Generous (Mt 5:42; Lk 3:11; Jas 2:15-16)
  • Merciful (Mt 5:7; 18:33)
  • Long-suffering (Mt 5:41)
  • Patient (Lk 8:15; Jas 1:3; 2Pe 1:6; Rev 2:2-3; 19)
  • Peacemaking (Mt 5:9)
  • Forgiving (Mt 18:21, 35; )
  • Fidelity in marriage (Mt 5:27-32)
  • Taking action on Jesus words (Mt 7:24-27)
  • Meek, Gentle (Mt 5:5, 22)
  • Humble (Mt 18:1-4; 23:12)
  • Trusting, Faithful (Mt 6:25-34; Lk 12:21-24)
  • Moral (Mt 15:19-20)
  • Honorable, Having integrity (Mt 5:33-37)
  • Prays (Mt 6:5)
  • Fasts (Mt 6:16-18; 9:15)
  • Value the Word of God (Lk 8:21; Mt 10:40-42)
  • Not Materialistic (Mt 6:19-21; Rev 3:17; Lk 12:15)
  • Not Judgmental (Mt 7:1-5)
  • Not Self-righteous nor Hypocritical (Mt 24:51; 6:2, 5, 16; 23:13-29)

Unfortunately, these attributes are not exactly the words that roll off the tongue when you ask someone to characterize Christians (and I don't just mean asking nonbelievers). Based on their dealings with Christians, even Christians themselves instead popularly characterize Christians as judgmental, hypocritical and self-righteous—labels you never see directed at Jesus or his true disciples in the Gospels. Instead, Jesus directed these very labels at the religious leaders of his day: the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees. (Because Jesus was so upright and loving, those leaders in turn were left with only the option of inventing charges against Jesus; calling him a glutton, drunkard, and a associate of sinners).

Christians have decidedly too much bad fruit in common with the Pharisees. Of course, the last group Christians ever would compare themselves to are the Pharisees. They think the main flaw of the Pharisees is being “legalistic.” Consequently they avoid legalism or “salvation by works” like the plague (as they should). But this focus on legalism misses the real problem with the Pharisees: they were self-righteous, judgmental, hypocritical. Christians have the same reputation today even though the disciples of Jesus and the apostles had a great reputation (John 13:35; Act 2:47).

Now, if the good qualities above relate to you then it means you have the fruits of belief in Jesus that should follow that belief. According to Jesus' brother James, these actions prove or are evidence of your saving belief (Jas 2:18, 19-26). The actions don't save you or guarantee you a place in the rapture, it's still your trusting faith in Jesus that does (Ge 15:6). But if actions don't follow your belief, then your belief or faith is not focused on the right thing. You think Jesus is only savior without being Lord who requires obedience to be your Savior. This puts you on “shaky ground” as Jesus himself described it:

Matthew 7:24-27 (HCSB) — 24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”

In case you're worried because you don't have all the attributes listed above or manifest them perfectly, don't be. Again, this is not about doing works or being “good enough” to save us, or perfection or even where you are at in learning "perfect love." You can and will "love badly" at first. That's OK as long as you have a belief that leads to loving action, even if your action is most noteworthy for being well-intentioned at first. We practice loving and get better with it over time just like with everything else (2Pe 3:18). Yet even by practicing them, more people than not will notice your intent of love and see that it is genuine, not just lip-service. They will see your good works and glorify God (Mt 5:16). Contrast this with those who practice religion and looking religious. They get praise from each other but people who see them usually want to avoid them (and God) because of the bad experience they too often have with them.

Do Your Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth Early

If this is the first time it has ever occurred to you that you might not qualify for the rapture, then this article has presented you with some shocking information. The classical first stage of response to traumatic information like this is denial. Since this new information implies that you may not make the rapture if you don't make some changes, it's natural to want to deny it. Thankfully, it's not easy to deny what all the verses above so clearly say. Jesus constantly talked on these good works.

You may however, be tempted instead to simply ignore these verses. Not reading the Bible or ignoring what it says is something that following the tenets of Christianity often requires us to do. For example, I cannot believe in a pretrib rapture like most Christians do unless I ignore what Jesus and Paul taught on the timing of it in several verses (Mt 24:29-31; 2Th 2:1-4; 1Co 15:52). So I simply have to “obey God rather than man,” be a rebel in this area, and take the flack that will surely come with it. I recommend that approach of ignoring men rather than ignoring the Word of God.

Another stage of grief response is anger. To find out you have been deceived all these years on what Jesus really required of you would make anyone very angry. Or it might cause sadness or depression. What you have right there then is the weeping and gnashing of teeth that Jesus talked about people doing after they learn the rapture has passed and they missed it, only earlier. Regardless of when it comes, it's still very hard to deal with this disappointing realization. The main encouragement I can give you is at least you are getting your weeping and teeth gnashing over with early before the rapture comes. You at least have time to get over the fact you were deceived and change what you are doing so that you don't miss out.

My Friend Harold – Reconsidered

With this new understanding on proper belief in Jesus, let's reassess my friend Harold. On the first evaluation above it would seem like there are many reasons to doubt his rapture-worthiness. He did not fit the criteria that Christians commonly understand for being a good Christian and therefore rapture-ready. But now that we have replaced the common Christian consensus on belief in Jesus with the actual criteria that Jesus gave, let me tell you the rest of the story about Harold...

Although Harold does not go to church, he does study the Bible at home and whenever we met we discussed Bible questions together. He clearly wanted to understand God's Word better and to do it (Lk 8:21). In fact, one of the projects Harold did in his spare time was translating my book, Know the Future, into Spanish. He started doing this simply because he is excited at how the information makes Bible prophecy plain. Also it motivated him that by getting it into Spanish he can share it with more of his Costa Rican friends and family.

Many times we discussed these subjects when he was helping me. Since I didn't have a car, Harold was always willing to help me out with things I can't do by bike, such as shopping at PriceSmart. He also helped me move and to bring my bike to the bike mechanic. Yet he never let me pay for gas when I offer.

One time I asked him why he is willing to help so much like this without compensation. He told me that he tells his wife that they should not turn people down when they ask for help because you never know when you will be in need and he believes that if you help others, God will make sure you get help. (I hope everyone has friends like this.)

Given everything you know about what Jesus commanded, now what do you think Harold's chances are if the rapture were to come today? None of us are the judge, of course, but I can say I have no doubts about him qualifying despite him not doing the typical Christian things. When you think about it, how does going to church on Sunday, celebrating Christmas and Easter, paying 10% of your income to a your church and maybe getting others to join your church fulfill the two great commandments, anyway? If Jesus commanded them, then yes they would fulfill them. However, you won't find anywhere in the Bible that Jesus ever told anyone to do any of these things. Christians do them because that's what the majority are doing who they assume are saved. Following men's religious instructions like that does not save you or get you into the Kingdom.

Conclusion

To be included in the rapture is not as easy or as simple as just knowing and accepting a simple fact about Jesus' role as savior or Lord. Jesus taught of the need to make major changes of attitude, character, and habits with love of God and fellows as the goal.

After understanding the real requirements for the rapture, to some Christians they might sound like too much to ask. Some of you might be thinking that you didn't sign up for such an all-encompassing sacrificial life-changing commitment. Indeed, Jesus was not kidding when called believing in and following him the narrow path that few find:

Matthew 7:13-14 (HCSB) 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.

Nevertheless, be encouraged because beyond any doubt the hard work and sacrifice it takes to be glorified in the rapture is worth it. Paul said it well:

Romans 8:18 (HCSB) — For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.

Update: Q. "Do you mean only 'true Christians' will be raptured?"

I was emailed the following question about the article above which I think helps clarify a major point:

I read your article entitled "Why Most Christians Won't be Raptured" and found it an interesting read. Am I correct in saying that when you use the term 'Christian' in the title you are really referring to people who profess belief in Christ (which as you rightly point out is very different from actually being a Christian).

To sum up what I took from your article, only true Christians will be raptured and many people who claim belief in Christ but are not truly saved will be 'left behind'.

If this is correct, would your article be more correctly titled, "Why Most Believers Won't be Raptured"?

My response is as follows:

No, the article title is exactly as intended. "A Christian is someone who adheres to the religion of Christianity," rather than someone who merely believes in Christ. Although many Christians object to this definition, it is proper when you realize that not all believers in Christ follow the religion of Christianity(!).

Unfortunately, following Christianity does not automatically make you saved. Instead, people have been saved by acting on the word/will of God directly (Gen 15:6; Lk 8:21) since the beginning of time—before the religion of Christianity was organized (Mt 8:11; Lk 13:28). Christians tend to miss all of this and assume that they are saved just for "accepting Christ" but this is not what Christ himself taught:

Matthew 7:21-24 (HCSB) — 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’

That's why I used the term Christian in the title of the article, to underline that truth. Therefore, as to your point about true vs. false Christians, maybe now you can see that it does not matter. "Truly" following any religion does not save you! What saves you is doing the will of God (Mt 12:50; Mk 3:35), something that is often lost or missed in the mix of commandments of God and man that religions teach.

I might further add that the whole "true vs. false Christian/believer" line of thinking is inherently flawed anyway. You might find the No True Scotsman fallacy helpful to understand that.

In the end, Christians are just a subset of all believers and believers come in all forms, good and bad; serious and lukewarm. They still qualify as believers, even if not all are saved. Obviously, being a mere believer or Christian should not be our goal, but something beyond that. The prophetic description of our end time church age of Laodicean is dirty, blind and naked (Rev 3:17)...and yet it's still addressed as "the church" (Rev 3:14). The Laodiceans who do not repent but remain naked or without the proper garment or righteousness of the saints (Mt 25:36=Rev 19:8) will be spit out (Rev 3:16) and told, "I never knew you" (Mt 7:23) and left weeping or gnashing their teeth (Mt 8:12; 25:30). Yet they again are still "the church"/ek-klesia = the "called out ones." Don't forget many are "called, few are chosen, few are faithful." (Mt 22:14; Rev 17:14). We must all keep on our new direction and not give up in order to be fit for the kingdom (Lk 9:62). Doing this does not make us "true believers" but rather faithful servants of God.

Is this all just "semantics," as many Christians claim in response to hearing this viewpoint? It's understandable that no Christian wants to accept the dictionary definition of a Christian given above because it would mean they have chosen to be something less than what Jesus was talking about for his followers. Being a believer is not so great or special. The demons believe and tremble. Being a faithful, obedient servant of God is the real goal. Belonging to a church does not necessarily teach you this, because of all the traditions they teach instead.

Instead of admitting this hard truth, most Christians want to redefine the term Christian or the semantics so that all the Christians who only meet the low bar definition above "don't count." But they do count because all Christianity requires for people to be counted is to belong to a church and to profess orthodox Christian beliefs. Jesus himself required something different to be among those raptured which simply is not taught by Christianity. This is the reason for the problem with the fruits of Christianity and the desire among zealous, serving Christians to distinguish between "true Christians" like themselves and "false" ones.

To see a logical, step by step explanation of "depart from me I never knew you" (Mt 7:21-23) proving why the type of belief taught in the Christian religion does not qualify you for the kingdom according to Jesus, see this supporter study.

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Tim McHyde

Tim is the author of this site (since 1999) and the book Know the Future that explains Revelation literally at last--including the key event of Wormwood (Rev 6-8). To read more from Tim and not miss a single new article, sign up for his free newsletter above.

61 comments
raymond Miles - November 7, 2016

You are right on everything. This needs to be preached to the church the church needs to repent of their sin

Reply
    Tim McHyde - November 7, 2016

    LOL, not on everything yet, but on the rapture yes the church is not preaching the truth.

    Reply
    Jessica J. - October 8, 2017

    ST. John 3:5- 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. John 4:24- GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ***Make sure you are baptized in the name of Jesus, fully emerged, and baptized with the Holy Spirit(it is the quickening power that will catch you up in the rapture.) Read the book of Acts. Jesus told the disciples to go to Jerusalem to wait for the promise which is of the father. Even Jesus mother and brothers were in the upper room with them when they received the Holy Spirit (just to show the importance of receiving it). Acts 2:4- And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance(the power or style of speaking). That is the proof that ye received the Holy Spirit. You can either visit a pentecostal, and asked them to help you receive the Holy Spirit, or at home ask God to fill you with his promise which is the Holy Spirit. Continue to call on the name Jesus until your tongue feels thick and controlled by God and you began to speak in tongues as the Spirit gives you utterance(the power or style of speaking.)

    Reply
      Tim McHyde - October 8, 2017

      Jessica, being born again is not a separate requirement. When the rapture happens, if you qualify (law of love adopter!) you will be born from above by spirit = glorified = new body = new birth.

      Reply
zolang - November 29, 2016

Thanks a lot Tim.

I found your writing very inspiring even though I am a chinese from Hong Kong and English is not my native language. :).

I would like to know your opinion on the book “Petrus Romanus” by Tom Horn Cris Putnam. The reason is that although I’ve been baptised since 1998, I have been extremly interested in Endtime Phophecy only since 2012 when I reached the book. But when I refer the book to my Baptised Churce in HK, almost no one(Preachers, Pastors etc…) in church know the Book let alone interested in it. And even the teacher of the Bible study group told me to be aware of the heresy of the stuff from internet and stick to the Bible. However, that teacher often recomand us other christian reference books such as Rick Warran’s(problematic pastor) “Purpose driven Life”…generally, I found very few chinese believers talk about endtime and prophecy.

Thanks in advance 🙂

Zola

Reply
    Tim McHyde - November 29, 2016

    Zola, glad to meet another person who finds value in my writing.

    Sorry, I don’t read books by those authors. Like most of my peers, they rely heavily on speculation to create their theories and book subjects. Speculation of course is historically predictively unreliable which is why I prefer to stick to literal interpretation of prophecy as with the rest of the Bible.

    Reply
Talon Torres - January 14, 2017

At this point, I am unfortunately too lukewarm. I am not fit for the rapture and will not make it into Heaven… *sigh*

Reply
    Tim McHyde - January 14, 2017

    Talon, lukewarmness is characteristic of this Laodicean church age (Rev 3:16) so you’re not alone. We all have to pray against it (Rev 3:18). But don’t count yourself out yet as you have not encountered the prophet Elijah and his unprecedented powerful message of repentance, coming soon: http://escapeallthesethings.com/true-false-prophet

    Reply
    Shane - February 24, 2017

    Don’t let the devil make you feel you aren’t worthy because you are! Ask for forgiveness when you pray every morning. Put on the armour of God. Proclaim with your mouth Jesus died and rose again so your sins are washed away. When you here ANY negativity in your sub conscience speak out loud and tell the devil to leave! You can do it! Take my advice and move forward.

    Reply
Rickey Young - January 18, 2017

See Linda Rika youtube.com, heaven and hell. She spent eight hours in hell. Most people in the world will miss heaven. Please pray and ask God. He says he did not change one word of the entire bible. It means exactly what it says. Look at Matthew 22:11-13. A man kicked into outer darkness for clothing, only. Women wearing pants, perfume, makeup, and jewelry will not make heaven. Isaiah 3:16-24, and Deuteronomy 22:5. The Lord calls this the clothing of Jezebel. All preacher lie unless they speak/preach the entire bible word for word, only. Please pray and ask God. They pray five to ten hours in a church service in Korea. Who does this in America?
Thanks.

Reply
    Tim McHyde - January 18, 2017

    Rickey, the Bible is not changed, but if you don’t read the Bible in context understanding what it meant to the audience delivered to, then you will end up with incorrect conclusions. The passages you are quoting have to do with ancient Israel, not Westerners 3500 years later. What was very common back then addressed in those passages was pagan idol worship, not what you think based on your Western cultural perspective.

    Reply
Anonymous - March 16, 2017

I like your comparisons of your friend Harold.

Reply
j campbell - March 23, 2017

Jesus payed it all.

Reply
Pat - April 7, 2017

This is the best article I have seen on this subject matter. I am a Baptist and must admit I am not yet thoroughly learned in all Scripture yet. I would hope that I am fairly mature, though, after it being many, many years since I was born again.

My search terms to find your article were “Will bad servants be raptured?” I have been looking for answers to the hard-to-understand verses that mention “unfaithful servant” and “gnashing of teeth,” etc.

I saw the response, in the comments section, to the person suggesting you re-label the article. It made me realize there can be much disagreement over terminology concerning this subject matter. You may choose to call what I am about to present as “semantics.” We’ll see.

When I became a “Christian,” I made a complete “heart” commitment to my Heavenly Father and to Jesus Christ as my Savior. As we all are not “perfect,” I find I need to “maintain” daily/hourly my relationship with my Lord. When I distance myself from Him, I experience the tug of the Holy Spirit to “remind” me to return to His side.

My understanding of what it is to be a Christian is not one of “religion” at all. My understanding of being a Christian is that it is a Way of life and not a religion. And that Jesus Christ was firmly opposed to “religion” – Pharasee-type behavior (obeying the law) without a Christ-like motivation behind it. This is why I loved the article bringing out the matter of our salvation as one of our motivation in life being our love for Christ. If we miss the mark in some matters, there is always resolution with our Lord. At the same time there is the balance of serving God through “obedience” to His commands which safeguard us from missing any marks. And yes, there are some rules that are only manmade and not God-instructed. The point is, God is the One who truly knows our hearts.

The terminology as I understand it:

  • Christian – A follower of Christ (very simple)
  • Believer – Anyone who believes any religion, or anything
  • Servant – One who is under the authority of another to obey their commands
  • Good servant – A servant who obeys their master with their whole heart even though they may not perform perfectly
  • Bad servant – A servant who disobeys their master because their heart is not toward their master
  • Religion – An institution or way of practicing outward rules, laws, principles and beliefs – this does not require inward devotion of the heart, only belief in the head (brain – thinking) – Baptist, Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, etc.

Therefore, in my understanding, a Christian is a Christian, a term that has been corrupted in our modern society and carries negative connotations with it. In other words, when most people use the term “Christianity” nowadays, they think it is a religion when it is not!

I thought you may have labeled the article the way you did to attract the attention of people who “think” they are Christians but are not.

This article helps me to understand that being a Christian is not only a matter of trust; it’s also a matter of obedience to make proof or testify to that trust. In other words, our life will exemplify Christ-like qualities that exude from our love for Him and for one another.

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

Could the article be titled Why Most “Christians” Won’t Be Raptured, with the word “Christians” in quotes?

Thank you for this article. It sorts out a lot for my Christian growth.

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    Tim McHyde - April 7, 2017

    Pat,

    Thanks for your excellent comment. Actually, the article is titled exactly right as intended. Of course, I have radically different definitions from you and most anyone else for the terms you listed that it corresponds to. Yours are close to what Christianity promotes and therefore most Christians and non-Christians accept. The reality is quite different, however. If you go to Wikipedia you will find the most objective definition to start from:

    • Christianity: “a religion focused on Christ and based on his teachings and life.” — Yes a religion, always been a religion since inception. The problems is, like all religions, it teaches and passes on traditions of the elders rather than walking you through every word of Christ and teaching you how to do it. Where do you think going to church on Sunday with a steeple on top while wearing your Sunday best, etc. came from? Not the Bible. Tradition. As does a Friday crucifixion and 3.5 year ministry of Christ. (Neither of which fit Scripture.)
    • Christian: “a person who follows Christianity” — No, not someone who “follows Christ” as is claimed. Christ is not around to follow anymore, only his words are. To follow his words, you don’t need a religion, meetings, inspirational sermons or a local church. You just study his words and pray to God to help guide you to do them around everyone you meet 24×7. For sure, joining a religion tends to distract you from the study of his words and lead you to believe you’re doing enough with the rituals and customs the church is teaching you. Christ gave no such rituals or customs. He told people to repent and begin loving each other, something you need God’s help with, therefore prayer, fasting, self-reflection all come into play. Things Christianity has failed to train people in because it has other goals.
    • The Faithful/Servant of God: Someone who, like Jesus, Abraham, Moses, etc. “hears the Word/will of God and does it” (Lk 8:21=Mt 12:50). “Without faith it’s impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6) and without faith it’s impossible to get yourself to love others because an invisible God you have never seen says so, trusting him to reward you for doing so (Heb 11:6). The thief on the cross was saved without any works yet because he repented at Christ’s example and was moved to faith enough to defend Christ and ask him to remember him when he enters his Kingdom, a place he took on faith (Lk 23:42-43).

    If you want to explore this all in depth and find out what Jesus actually taught on salvation and in the Sermon the Mount, check out my support team studies.

    Tim

    Reply
      Tammy - September 25, 2017

      Actually the word Christian is in the Bible once, twice in the plural. It’s not a religion

      Reply
        Tim McHyde - September 25, 2017

        Tammy, no, you’re confusing the Greek word christianos with the English word “Christian.” A Christian follows Christianity but the the first century followers of Christ were labeled “christianos.” Remember that there was no Christianity back then to deceive believers and divert them from Christ’s teaching, not until was formulated 200 years later starting with the councils under Constantine. Christians just go to church and act religious and holy; they have not been trained in the teachings of Christ like the “christianos” were to be loving just like Jesus (John 13:35). This is why the christianos had a great reputation (Ac 2:47) and Christians, well, not so much.

        Reply
      Suzie Queue - December 11, 2017

      Yes, the definition on the good and faithful servant is as you said, the one who Does what he is told. (it does not need a certain heart condition to do what one is told). The parable of the two servants who were told to do something for his master and one complained about it and didn’t want to do it, but thought about it later and did what he was told. The other said (basically) Sir,Yes,Sir! (as in the our military, lol) and never did do it. Then Jesus asked, Who was the faithful servant?

      So just do what Jesus tells you and if you don’t understand it or like it, tough. It’s all about Obedience. (like if Adam and Eve had OBEYED God, even though they couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t eat what was obviously to them looked like perfectly good and edible fruit, WE WOULD BE IN THIS MESS!!!

      Reply
Todd - April 10, 2017

If you are a true believer, (“believe” in the bible implies devotion, not just an academic statement) you are ok. Many who “prophesied in Jesus’ name” didn’t really believe. I think I saw one once, or rather, my sister did…a psychic with a picture of Jesus above the table of Tarot cards. Now, I could be wrong and she might have just been very, very confused, but I think she used Jesus’ name to get more customers. Kind of like the Simon who wanted to buy the power of giving the holy spirit; suddenly his faith was not all that certain to Peter.

If you believe in Jesus, that he is your lord, the lord, and rose from the dead, you will not face the wrath of god in the end times.

As for Harold, we can only guess—it depends on what is really in his heart.

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Albie Heigers - July 13, 2017

Just before the Conclusion of your article you say re “… paying 10% of your income”: “However, you won’t find anywhere in the Bible that Jesus ever told anyone to do any of these things. ”

But in Matthew 23:23 Jesus says: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

I.e. He refers them to the “more important matters” such as “justice, mercy and faithfulness”, yet also to do so “without neglecting the former” – i.e. “give a tenth.”

Kindly advise as I interpret this to confirm both Tithing and the importance of justice, mercy and faithfulness.

Thank you

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    Tim McHyde - July 13, 2017

    Albie, The tithing command was given to ancient Israel to support the Levites/priests serving at the temple. When Yeshua spoke what you quoted, the Old Covenant was over, but there was still a temple standing. The priests and Levites lived off the tithed animals and crops still. It was right to support them with tithes as Yeshua said.

    However, the temple is gone now and the tithe only applied to that economy and is no longer applicable. Yeshua never extended the Mosaic tithe to people today, let alone believers as I stated. Tithing was food anyway, not money as Christianity teaches.

    Reply
Abe Davis - July 28, 2017

This is by far the best sermon I have heard….I mean, read,… in a very long time! We must obey His commandments (as best as we are able) if we truly love him. Keep up the good work sir!
abe

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George Larkin - July 29, 2017

One of the two criminals dying on crosses next to Jesus believed that he was the Son of God. He had not lived any kind of life the likes of which are described in this article. Yet, Jesus told him that, because of his faith, “Truly I say to you. today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

In Luke 23: 42 “And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

We are also told in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Whoever believes. Faith. That’s it.

Doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that you must be SUPERCHRISTIAN! in order to be saved.

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    Tim McHyde - July 29, 2017

    George, The point is when you have faith in the right thing, the fruits follow…unless you’re on dying on a cross. But his words defending Jesus showed a difference from the other thief didn’t they? If he lived his actions would have, too.

    Reply
Reuben Pillay - July 29, 2017

Dear Tim,

Your friend Harold is right in what He does (i haven’t read the whole article, just the intro and conclusions about Harold)…

He rests on Saturday, which is the real Sabbath day – the 7th day as instituted by God, and not on Sunday which was an institution of the precursors of the Catholic church back in the whereabouts of 360 AD… in the council of laodicea, where the ‘jewish’ sabbath was outlawed…

Of course, it’s not wrong in itself to attend church on Sunday – but it serves no real purpose, and as you say is not a requirement to Salvation… Observing the Real Sabbath from Sunset on Friday to Saturday Sunset however, could very well be…

As for Christmas and…. well I’m not going to mention the name you give to the Resurrection of Christ, these both originate in paganism, and Harold is very right in abstaining from those celebrations …

Christmas as it is, has nothing to do with Christ, the 25th december is the birth of a pagan false deity… Jesus was not born on that date… History has it that the date was chosen so Christ could be preached and the pagans could keep on celebrating their stuff as they used to without creating an uproar…

And well as for that name you use to refer to Jesus’s Resurrection, well that name is the name of the the pagan so called goddess of fertility – hence the practice of offering eggs (an embryo – symbol of fertility) or a rabbit (fertile animal) or chocolate (thought to be an aphrodisiac) … and they even use her name to celebrate the Resurrection day… Things couldn’t get worse than that in the churches prostitution with paganism…

So yeah, i don’t know what his reasons are, But I’m seeing that Harold is doing the right thing…

And I do understand that your purpose is to show church going people that they are judging by the wrong gauges, because they are themselves ‘lost’ … but I just wanted to highlight these two major reasons as to why Harold would be even more right to do what he does…

Cheers,

Reuben

PS: I’m not an adventist… I grew up in an Anglican Church – was born again in the middle of the church and received love… and the interest to read and undertand the bible… and while doing so, I started seeing so many things being done wrong in the church and being 22 years old, older people didn’t appreciate me voicing out biblical principles to them…. Finally met a man who asked me why i didn’t observe the Sabbath… I told him I would answer him… I searched, and found neither I, not the Church had a valid reason not to…

SO i went to see the Archbishop of the Indian Ocean… asked him for a biblical reason as to why the church wasn’t preaching the observance of the 4th commandment… (he had said in a meeting that the Anglicans are better than the catholics because we observe teh 2nd commandment – that we don’t have statues)… but now in the face of that question, and failing to respond… he suddenly let out that we were no longer bound by the 10 commandments…

And got angry when I insisted he proved that to me in the bible which he obviously had no idea how to, and he cast me out of the church… gave orders, and back at church some doors were literally closed to me… and people’s attitudes towards my mom and me changed…

So like Harold, I don’t go to church anymore…

And btw, the Sabbath was just the first step of a whole flight of stairs, each step adding a bit of truth from the bible outlining the ways the church is failing today… but don’t tell that to church folks… they’re gonna be angry… a lady even yelled at me at church “WE DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH” … sadly…

Not giving up on them yet though ????

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    April Lopez - July 31, 2017

    Reuben,

    You should have read the entire article before posting a comment, Tim was pretty much pulling our leg. I was going to leave a comment of disapproval and leave the site as well but I thought this does not sound like Tim at all, it even occurred to me that he let someone else fill in for him for a day or something LOL!!.

    That said, I appreciated reading your argument! 🙂

    Reply
MrSpock - July 29, 2017

Tim,
Whether one agrees with your interpretation or conclusions or not, it still is an excellent article. It makes you think and search the scriptures……both can’t hurt you. Thank you.

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Pearl Rojas - July 29, 2017

HI Tim,
I emailed this article to all my brothers and sisters in Christ!
Truly eye opening ,I have never read anything on the ‘Rapture’ quite like this Thank you!

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John Stacey-Hibbert - July 29, 2017

Hi Tim,

A good article with some good points, BUT if, as a ‘Christian’ you believe in the church doctrine of the Trinity, then if the ‘Rapture’ (an invention of Paul – nothing like it appears in the Tanack, by the way) will never be for you.

God makes it abundantly clear in His Word that there is only one God – YaHWeH, and he kept repeating this fact and that any believer in Him must NEVER worship any other god, NOT EVER. Here are some of them – but please, please, please – your readers must look them up for themselves– don’t take my word for it:

Deuteronomy 4:35. Having brought His people out of Egypt in a miraculous way, which every Israelite actually witnessed, Moses reminded them of this, saying “Yahweh has shown you this to prove to you that He alone is God and that there is no other”.
Deuteronomy 4:39. Four verses later Moses reminded them: “… so remember today and never forget: Yahweh is God in heaven and on earth. There is no other God (singular noun) …”
Deuteronomy 5:6-7. “I (singular) am Yahweh (an individual proper noun) your God … Worship no god but Me (singular)”
Deuteronomy 6:14. “You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you!”
Deuteronomy 10:12-14. “… listen to what Yahweh your God (singular) demands of you: Worship Yahweh (singular) and do all that He (singular) commands, Love Him (singular), serve Him (singular) with all your heart and obey all His (singular) laws …”
Deuteronomy 32:39. “I, (singular) and I alone, ( ani, ve-ani levadi …”) am God. No other god is real …” The word ‘alone’ here, is an adjective modifying the pronoun ‘I’ – meaning that no other person is with God.
I Samuel 2:2. “There is none holy as the Lord. There is none beside Thee; neither is there any Rock like our God.”
1 Kings 8: 60. “And so all the generations of the world shall know that Yahweh alone is God – no other exists…Be whole-hearted with the Lord our God, following His laws and keeping His commandments …”
2 Kings 19:19. “Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that You alone, O Lord, are God”
1 Chronicles 17:20. “O Lord, there is none like You, neither is there any God beside You, according to all that we have heard with our ears!”
1 Chronicles 29: 10-13. “ …Lord, the God of our Father Israel … Yours is the greatness, the power, the splendour, the glory and the majesty, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours … We proclaim Your name, our King, our God who alone is the life of all existence …”
Nehemiah 9:6. “… You Yahweh, You (singular) alone (emphasised singular) are God…”
Nehemiah 9: 5-6. “… You are the Lord alone. You made the sky, the reaches of space and its countless lights, the earth and everything on it, the seas and everything in them; the heavenly powers bow down to You …”
Psalm 81: 8-9. “Whom have I in heaven but You (singular)? The earth has nothing I desire besides You”.
Psalm 113: 4&5. “The Lord (Yahweh) rules over all nations … there is none like the Lord (Yahweh) our God …”
Isaiah 40:18. “To whom then will you liken God? To what likeness will you compare Him?”
Isaiah 40: 25. “To whom then will you liken Me, that I should be his equal?” says the Holy One.
Isaiah 42: 5 – 8. “Thus says God, Yahweh, He who created the heavens and spread them out, who gave shape to the earth and what comes from it, who gave breath to its people and life to creatures that move in it … I alone (i.e. all by Myself) am Yahweh, your God, no other god may share my glory …”
Isaiah 43: 10-11. “… Before Me no other God was formed, nor will there be one after Me. (i.e. there never was and there never will be) I, even I, am God and beside Me there is no saviour.
Isaiah 44: 6-8. “Yahweh says, ‘You (plural pronoun) are My (singular pronoun) witnesses’ …. I am the first and the last, the only God, there is no other God but me. Who then is like Me (i.e. is there any other God?) If so, let him stand up and speak and argue it out before me …” (Biblically, no one ever did – not even Jesus! Jesus never stood up and argued that he was God, neither did Paul.). Is there some other God? Is there some powerful god I never heard of?”
Isaiah 44: 24 Thus said the Lord, your Redeemer, the One who formed you from the womb, “I am the Lord Who makes everything, Who stretched forth the heavens alone, Who spread out the earth by Myself.” Note: It is Yahweh God who is your redeemer – no one else!
Isaiah 45: 5-6. “I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God . . . . I will strengthen you . . . in order that they know from the shining of the sun and from the west that there is no one besides Me; I am the Lord and there is no other!”
Isaiah 45: 18: Yahweh created the heavens – He is the one who is God! He formed and made the earth … It is He who says, “I am Yahweh and there is no other God”.
Isaiah 45: 21-22. “. . . Who announced this from before, who declared it from the distant past? Is it not I, the Lord, and there is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and your Saviour; there is none but Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other!” Note: God spoke through Isaiah the Prophet that He, Yahweh, is your saviour – no one else! (See also Isaiah 43: 3)
Isaiah 46: 5. “To whom shall you liken Me and make Me equal and compare Me that we may be alike?” (Consider this in the light of John’s first Chapter!)
Isaiah 46: 9. “Remember the first things of old, that I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me.” (Again, consider this in the light of the first Chapter of John – “Remember the first things of old (i.e. remember Genesis) – I am the God of creation, no one else”.)
Isaiah 48: 11. “. . . and My honour I will not give to another”.
Isaiah 48:12. “Listen to Me … “I am God, the first, the last, the only God”
Hosea 13:4. “…You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Saviour but me …” (Again – God is saying that there is no other saviour but Him – if you acknowledge any other god, God cannot exercise His grace to save you (give you eternal life).
Joel: 2: 27. “… I am the Lord your God, there is no other; and My people shall never be ashamed.”
Zechariah 14:9. “… the LORD shall be King over all the earth and in that day it shall be – The LORD is one and His name one” i.e. that there will be no other gods in all the earth – only the ONE named Yahweh.
Malachi 2: 10. “Has not one God created us? Why should we betray, each one his brother, to profane the covenant of our forefathers?” This just what the Christian Church is doing – they are profaning the covenant entered into with GOD and are betraying each one of us into following false teachings..

It is not only found in the Old Testament but we also come across it in the NT:

Matthew 6:9-13: The Lord’s Prayer. “Our Father … hallowed be Your name (singular pronoun).. Your Kingdom come … Your will be done …Yours is the Kingdom, power and glory…” All four ‘yours’ are in the singular.
John 17:3: Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Singular, singular, singular … none of the nouns or pronouns quoted above are plural or composite – Not one! None! Not any! Zilch! Zero! Ninguno!, Kanenos! Acun! Keine! Nikto! Nessuno!

If you have a concordance, there will be others. There are so many references in the Old Testament that there is only one God; NOWHERE however is there any indication that God exists in three separate and distinct ‘persons’. NOWHERE does God indicate that Jesus is God. Tell me – what else could God have said to make it any clearer, that He alone is God? He caused to be written a complete Instruction Book (the Tanack – the Jewish Old Testament); how could He have made it any clearer in what He caused to be written? If Yahweh God was part of a triune God, a God consisting of three individual ‘persons’, then He could have made this perfectly clear by stating it!! Why didn’t He? – This is a serious question for the Trinitarians. God nowhere said: ‘We are Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, your God who collectively bought you out of the land of Egypt … you shall have no God except us collectively but in unification”. Compare the few meagre ambiguous statements that Christians have to ‘prove’ the trinity with the number of concise Biblical quotations (like those above) in which God Himself specifically states that there is only ONE God – where he specifically states that there is no triune god. God hammers in home, through His word, that NO ONE shares His glory. Of course God is all embracing, of course God is everywhere and at the same time, of course God is the beginning and the end and everything in between, of course God exists in every circumstance imaginable, but that is the nature of GOD – that is what God is, they are the attributes of an infinite God. What He isn’t, however, is three ‘persons/entities’ rolled up in one. Why three? Why not ten, or a hundred, or a thousand or a million or a trillion or a zillion – why try and limit Him? How many times must God tell us that He is One and that no other exists or can be compared to Him. Why do Christians ignore what God himself says? Scripture alone is the final, infallible authority and if any other source is placed on par with or above the Tanack, then the Word of God is no better than the fallible words of man, and the Tanack is mocked.

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Samual Yoder - July 29, 2017

He is coming to get those who will rule and reign with him in the Kingdom. Overcomers! The letters to the churches in Revelation 2 & 3 gives us an idea of what we are to overcome by looking at the points Jesus brings up with those churches that he had a problem with, things they were not doing, things they were doing they should not be doing.

In any governmental system, there has to be rulers and there has to be subjects to rule over. That is why it is stated, “Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6

This idea that believers are whisked to heaven and live happy ever after in heaven is so not scriptural. The Kingdom on earth is what we are promised NOT heaven, we were never promised heaven as our final home only earth. The meek shall inherit the earth, guess the meek will be bummed out when they see everyone else gets to go to heaven and they are stuck on earth, they probably will wail and gnash their teeth and wonder why they were meek and missed heaven where everyone else is!

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Mark - July 29, 2017

Tim,
Good article! I have found, from personal experience, that whenever I found myself getting ‘low’ or moody is also been the times that I have forgotten to pray. Sometimes I feel such an accomplishment in doing things I forget how sinful and unworthy I really am and desperately need God’s grace . I read somewhere that ‘falling away’ is not entirely related to sin, as much as it is to our ‘human need’ to ‘fix it’ ourselves. Jesus reserved His anger primarily for the Pharisees and then next were His own followers. Doing it all on our own is ‘falling away’ from grace. I guess some people doing things ‘all on their own’ in Jesus’ name, having great success yet failing to give all the credit to the Lord is an example of ‘falling away’ and being in the group that Christ tells, ‘I never knew you’ I think Timothy says that in the last days men will have an appearance of godliness but deny the power of God. That sure seems to fit our world today. So many people in religion, the media, Hollywood and politics who are ‘pure’ in their own eyes, rather than seeing the very desperate sinners that we all are and truly incapable, without Christ, of anything more.

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Teresa - July 30, 2017

Tim, as usual. sharing your research with everyone is a true inspiration and an eye-opener. When I looked at that list, I could clearly see the areas where I’ve strayed off the path, probably due to not talking to Yehovah enough.

Long ago, I told you I stopped attending Christian churches for the very reasons you stated. Thank you so much for your guidance about Jesus’ clear definition of perfect “love.” I have some work to do.

May Our Lord bless you richly for your works.

Teresa

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Gunk - July 31, 2017

I respectfully disagree with your overall assessment of what a Christian actually is. Just because a person goes to church, doesn’t mean they are a genuine Christian as you insinuate with the letters to Revelation. Just because someone calls Jesus Lord, doesn’t make them an actual Christian, in reference to Matthew 7.

The idea that a person can be Christian but not have a change in behavior or a change in their decision making processes is unbiblical. To be Christian is to be born again, born of the Spirit. Being Christian is all about the supernatural encounter a person has with God when they believe the Gospel and repent (turn from their sinful life to a life of fellowship with God). People in Matthew 7 don’t get a second chance to get it right with God, they are commanded to depart from His presence because they love their sin (lawlessness). The message people need to hear now is not, you will get a second chance to be saved if you aren’t ‘rapture ready’. The message is the same as Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, and Paul proclaimed… Repent! Turn from your life of sin to enjoy fellowship with Christ now through faith in His work at Calvary. Christ will give you a new heart and mind to stop loving lawlessness and rather one to love righteousness. He will live through you and empower you to live a Godly life because He is making you a new creation and old things have passed away. There is no fellowship between light and darkness. There is no such thing as a Christian who is continually living a life of sin (rebellion to God known as lawlessness).

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    Tim McHyde - July 31, 2017

    Gunk, of course you disagree; you’re obviously a Christian. Most Christians have been deceived into believing that Christianity is the “faith once delivered” or that “Christians follow Christ.” The truth is that Christianity is a religion first organized under Constantine at the Council of Nicea in 325. It’s easy to be a Christian; just follow Christianity (go to church, tithe, believe XYZ). It’s hard to be a saint; you have to actually study and follow the Word/Will of God (Lk 8:21/Mt 7:21).

    Reply
      Gunk - August 1, 2017

      Well, the meaning of words is often at the heart of disagreements. One party interprets a word to mean something different than someone else. I don’t see Scripture teaching that a person can be a Christian and not be a saint. A saint is simply a holy person, a person set aside from the way of this world to follow Christ.

      I am not a Christian because of my affiliation with a religious organization. I am Christian because the Spirit of Christ is living within me and I am following Christ. I am called a Christian, not because the council of Niacea, but because disciples (followers of Jesus) were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26).

      My point is mainly that just because people are affiliated with Christian churches and or Christian practices and profess to be Christian or even called Christian by their pastors… these don’t make a person a Biblical Christian. Being Christian is all about the new creation God works in a person. That’s why Biblical Christianity is so unique to the rest of the religions of the world. Unlike other religions, you can’t become a Christian by simply going somewhere or being born into it or by doing certain activities. You must be born from above.

      John 1:13 …children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

      Reply
        Tim McHyde - August 1, 2017

        Gunk, Well said! Yes of course differences in definitions lead to false disagreements.

        Therefore, until you realize that there is no such thing as a “Biblical Christian” because Christians did not appear until Constantine defined the religion that Christians follow, then we will continue to disagree. “Biblical Christianity” is, as they say, an oxymoron. It’s a self-contradiction that does not exist.

        If you do what God’s word says, you are not a Christian because you are not following human traditions like Christians do. You are Jesus’ brother (Lk 8:21) something that does not happen automatically by calling yourself a Christian, or “follower of Christ.” You have to do the repentance.

        As for “born again/from above,” that’s a whole other subject that is also mistaught and misunderstood in the religion of Christianity

        Reply
Harriet - August 3, 2017

Tim: If you are not a born-again saved by the blood of Jesus Christian, what are you?

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    Tim McHyde - August 3, 2017

    Harriet, you’re a mere human servant/saint of God until the rapture when you are born again/from above with a new spirit body. You’ll be a glorified human when you’re born again and like Jesus told Nicodemus, you’ll move like the wind, unseen, if you desire (John 3:8).

    Reply
      Harriet - August 3, 2017

      “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2

      Is shall be glorious!

      Reply
      Terri - September 25, 2017

      ‘We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the power of the excellency may be of God and not of us.’ We are ‘sealed’ by the Holy Spirit ‘unto that day albeit, the redemption of our bodies’. ‘And we shall be like Him (Christ) for we shall see him as he is.’ ‘We are born, not of flesh, but of the Spirit’. ‘That they all may be ONE, Father, as we are ONE.’ (My sister recently pointed out that the word, ‘trinity’ is NOT in scriptures. The Father, the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit, are ONE, just like you have said. It is basically the Roman Catholic church which deferred to the Trinity. Jesus ALWAYS obeyed the commandments of the Father, He HAD TO, in order to be the PERFECT, UNDEFILED, UNBLEMESHISED, SPOTLESS, LAMB OF GOD, full of mercy and truth. When he rose from the dead, he said ‘This commandment I have from the Father, that I can lay my life down, and take it up again.’ Christ tasted DEATH for every man, woman, and child, yet it could not KEEP HIM IN THE GRAVE! ‘Thou wilt not leave thy Holy One, in hell.’ And yes, I have not celebrated Christmas nor Easter for a long time, I cannot go back to that mixture of worldly religious mindset, even though I do know that God’s Word does not come back to him VOID, not matter how the truth is innertwined with the false guises of Santa Clause, and the Easter Bunny, myths told to children. When God’s salvation message filters through those holidays, some are still convicted in their hearts to accept and repent, becoming true believers in Christ, yet Christendom does not direct them in order for them to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. They still want to hang on to those holidays. As one Christian lady put it ‘Christmas is such a warm, cozy, ‘feeling’, and I do agree with her, as I did use to celebrate it. I am not going to put down those who have not seen the truth on that subject. I have no clue what the nations will be doing when Christ reigns for his 1,000 year reign, as people will still be observing their own religions, still dying, yet it will be different, because no one will have to say ‘Know the Lord!’ As he will be reigning in Jerusalem, yet those who were ‘left behind’ will still have to make a heart’s commitment to Jesus for the saving of their soul. People will still be being saved during the 1,000 year reign. It will be like no other time upon the earth. Yet, we will all be accountable for our own repentance and acceptance of the greatest and most profound unselfish gift a human could possibly give to another and that is ‘the laying down of HIS life for HIS friends’ is what Jesus did for all mankind.
      It is an instant unity of the Spirit when one repents and accepts Jesus as their Savior. It is like no other human experience upon the earth as it is a spiritual connection to our God, which was severed in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve sinned. Jesus made that sacrificial laying down of his life when he was crucified, and his blood was spilt, from the beating, from the crown of thrones that bled down his face, his beard was plucked from his face, he was scourged and beaten bloody, they spat upon him, and then they nailed him to the cross his hands and feet, oozing with his life’s flow, the life giving blood of the Lamb of God was shed. Then a soldier thrust a sword in Jesus side, gushing forth blood and water. There is Power in the Blood, the Life Giving power, which Christ shed every drop of his blood for your sins and mine. Repent! Accept Jesus as your Savior. The times will only get more evil. Where evil now is being called ‘good’ and anything ‘good’ is being called ‘evil’. True Christians, are being beheaded in other countries, we have not yet seen the persecution here in the United States, but that could change. And glory to God in the highest if that happens, as it will show who the true Christians are! And by no good within our own selves, but through the one who bled and died for us on Calvary! Bless the Lord, Oh my soul! And all that is within me! Bless his Holy NAME! Jesus.

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Blaze Veljovski - August 5, 2017

Do you know of instances where “faith” in the Bible is translated but could have been actually been translated as trust?

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John Wunderlick - August 6, 2017

Brother Tim…
As usual, another fine explanation of God’s Truth, without the rabbit trails and false doctrines of men. I often speak to friends of the horrific blow that Constantine dealt to God’s plan for the called. His influence will be felt all the way to the time of Jesus’ return to earth, because most men would rather follow comfortable traditions than to ask what God commands.

Also, it is true when you said that (paraphrasing) “Many people who are doing the right Christian thing will be shocked that they will not be included in the First Resurrection before the Bowls of Wrath”. The Word of God led me to the same conclusion several years ago. It has been a blessing of understanding which answers a lot of questions.

Another comment you made that hit home was something I, fortunately, sensed early on in my studies. Many people ask me if I have read a particular end time book or something written by a particular notable author. I tell them that, with very few exceptions,” I only read a book which was written by the finest author in the universe and beyond”. Popular christian books, including the Left Behind series, will be very misleading to many, as end time events unfold. If people were seeking wisdom in a Great Tribulation crisis situation, they should know what the Holy Bible says, rather than trying to remember what the main character did in a fictional novel.

Thank you for putting pure Biblical Truth into a form that so many can understand.

God’s Peace… John Wunderlick

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Cloudbound - September 15, 2017

Salvation is and always will be,faith plus NOTHING .

Jesus paid it all,all to him I owe.Repentance is NOT turning from sin, but a change of mind/heart towards God. No human who ever lived,can stop sinning,even a Christian.Refer to Paul’s struggle with sin in his life, the greatest of all the apostles.

If all you have written is true, please explain the thief on the cross, who had no time to stop sinning, turning his life around e.t.c, he merely BELIEVED,and that day he was saved. The cross is a lesson for all, two thieves, one believed, one did not, its that simple. Don,t make things complicated, be like a child, the Gospel is that simple.

The fruit will follow,because he has changed you by his spirit,once you believe,who walk in the spirit by his power.

Thank you Jesus for this simple, and wonderful free gift that passes all human understanding,your Amazing grace.

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    Tim McHyde - September 15, 2017

    Cloudbound, yes, salvation is free by faith alone, agreed, but faith in what, exactly, saves? Ahh, I bet you never asked yourself that and just accepted what Christianity says there instead of understanding Jesus’ answer on this (like we all have been guilty of).

    Repentance starts with faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. If you really believe he is Lord who will save you, then you make Jesus Lord by firing yourself from that role you currently have like all humans do. You will learn and practice the law of the new Lord, what he said to do, the law of Christ (Gal 6:2). This is the outcome of saving faith. (“Stop sinning” are your words, not a phrase I used to describe this as it’s not very accurate or realistic or helpful of a focus.)

    The thief on the cross had that faith and you missed that he did act on it in repentance even for the short time he had left. He defended Christ (Lk 23:41) when the other thief was taunting him (Lk 23:39). That took guts and faith. His changed actions proved his faith in his new Lord! He did not justify the old Lord, himself, like the other thief seemed to.

    Faith in a savior who saves you without you repenting (like you expressed) is not saving faith. It’s belief in a lie and it results in the disappointment of hearing the words, “I never knew you. Depart from me you worker of lawlessness.” (Mt 7:23). If you don’t care about following the law of Christ, you are lawless and not saved by faith in your Savior because you don’t truly believe he is Lord, now do you? Why do you call him Lord and say it’s not important to change your actions to do what he says (Lk 6:46)? Because you don’t believe, at least not by the biblical usage of “belief in Christ” (John 3:16).

    Why must it be this way? God’s not letting people into the Kingdom for eternal life who have not made Jesus Lord and his law their law. It would result in chaos and conflict. However, with everyone on the same page of doing the law of love and submitting to the authority of Christ, there will be peace and harmony. That’s the real faith/belief in Jesus the NT talks about. Therefore, people who only admire Jesus as Savior are not yet “fit for the Kingdom” until they make Jesus Lord, which is why Jesus will shock them with rejection.

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Amanda - September 15, 2017

So, you basically don’t believe in “once saved, always saved?”
This article creates a lot of fear… how can we know we are doing enough? This feels like more “works” based salvation.

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    Tim McHyde - September 15, 2017

    Amanda, Jesus created the fear first by saying he will tell many believers, “depart from me I never knew you” That’s a scary warning in love because he does not want us to miss the rapture/salvation.

    And yes, it’s not “once saved always saved.” That’s a lie from religion. Read and trust only Jesus’ words where he says he can “blot your name from the book of life” (Rev 3:5) or anyone “putting their hand to the plow and looking back is not fit for the kingdom of God” (Lk 9:62).

    Reread the article again and notice that I caution staying out of works based/perfection based/performance based mentality and focus on the faith in Jesus as lord who will save you for making him that which leads to you doing his law, not your own. It’s about that faith choice, not about the performance that follows, got it?

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Larry Jones - September 23, 2017

This subject has been debated ever since it was written. It boils down to this:

There are “Ain’ts” found in Romans 4:4…who trust in their own works of righteousness to get them through the pearly gates…they brag of all that they have done to get themselves into the Kingdom of God. They do not live by faith in Christ’s shed blood. Instead they think they can make God a debtor to themselves. They heap up fleshly, religious works that make them think they can get right with God: “You owe me eternal life because of the righteous things that I’ve done (prophesying: etc.) They are ignorant of the fact that Christ does not and cannot accept anyone on that basis.

There is no end to the things that the devil gets Ain’ts doing or not doing to get themselves saved. Notice that the one referred to by Jesus in the text under consideration is boasting about what he thinks will get him saved. The truth is, there is nothing that will get anyone saved but believing in the shed blood of the Lamb that sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven. The Pharisee in Luke 18 below thought he was a Saint because of the good things he had done:

9 ¶ And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

Then there was the other man that became a saint by simply asking the Lord to save him…

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house JUSTIFIED rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.

Others asked Jesus what the works of God are:

Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Matthew 7:21-23 (HCSB) — 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ⌊only⌋ the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!”

Now, to get another Scriptural peek at what an “Ain’t” looks like, read Ephesians 2:8,9. IN SHORT, HE IS FILLED WITH PRIDE ABOUT HOW GREAT HE IS. HE EVEN HAS THE AUDACITY TO THINK THAT HE CAN SAVE HIMSELF!

8 For by grace are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST.

Read the book of Galatians to get the full picture of an Ain’t.

SAINT’S (Romans 4:5), on the other hand, have no confidence in themselves that they can do anything to get themselves through the pearly gates. They know that the blood of the Lamb saves them or they will spend eternity in hell. God justifies on that basis and that basis alone! Furthermore, God will only open the eyes of your understanding if you have that posture before him. Do you? I mean really, do you?

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Logan - September 24, 2017

I am not going to lie. This TERRIFIES me. If I follow Jesus how will I ever know it’s for the right reasons. I’m sure you have read of Charles Wesley. He vowed to follow Christ exactly as he said. To live a pure life strictly following Jesus’s example. It was only later that he realized he was wrong. While reading Martin Luther did he realize this. I don’t want to be like him before his conversion. I want to be saved by grace. I was in the past but I guess my name was blotted out, as Revelation 3:5 says. Luke 9:62 scares me. How can I not look back. I don’t understand. If that verse is a criteria I miss it. I’m so confused I don’t know what to believe. This has been going on for 2 months and I feel damned now. I used to Love Jesus more than anything. I used to follow Him because of my love for Him. I slowly over the past three years fell away from Him. I don’t know how to go back. If Luke 9:62 is true how can anyone be saved? I’ve been asking Jesus to save me over and over lately and it’s become apparent that I don’t have the faith to believe that He will. And I don’t know how to change that. If I don’t have that faith, how can I have faith that I won’t look back? I’m afraid I’m just not worthy of the Kingdom of God. I feel damned already. I know this is a mess but please make an effort to answer me. Nobody has answered any of my posts anywhere

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    Tim McHyde - September 24, 2017

    Logan, Luke 9:62 does not turn “looking back” such as having questions or doubts about how you’re doing into a sin. Those thoughts are normal. It uses plowing as a metaphor for seeking the kingdom. To take plowing seriously and do it correctly you must keep your eyes forward for proper steering. If you look back, you will not plow in a straight line or stay in your field even. That’s like someone who is lukewarm saying they are all for God and the kingdom but not really doing it. As for you, the fact that you are worried about disappointing God is all the evidence you should need that you are right with him! =) The atheists have no such thoughts.

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      Calybo - October 3, 2017

      Thanks for clarifying Logan’s concerns as I also go through those concerns. I often think it’s the sinful side of me doubting my worthiness to be called a child of God. I pray then read the bible to truly understand God’s promises.

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Terri - September 25, 2017

Oh, and I too, had to delve into the scriptures for myself, to get away from the pre-trib doctrine I was taught. It just began not to make sense anymore. Things just didn’t fit, as the typical Christian mindset was to snatch one verse from one area of the new testament, then adding that to another verse, not even rightly dividing the Word. And the old testament scriptures especially in Isaiah, and Ezekiel 38, Wow! Just a lot of amazing scriptures which are just around the corner from being fulfilled. For sure, Christendom has been led astray, and the preachers are so vehement in their teachings, yet, when their so-called rapture theories don’t hold any water, and the predicted dates, (such as the star-gazers for Sept. 23rd, 2017, it has come and gone. I was fortunate to have seen a Youtube preacher debunk that so-called rapture theory about six months ago, as he went to the NASA site, and carefully followed the stars, the moon, the sun, the planets, and those celestial bodies were not lining up, and it was not some rare event. It just goes to show ‘put not your trust in man’.
Thank you for sharing these truths, as you are ‘right on’.
I have someone who is near, and dear, to my heart, they know how to pray the right prayers, at the right time, yet their life does not speak of Christ. They do good deeds for people, yet inside that person I have seen a ravaging wolf, and that does not bepeak of the new creature we become in our hearts once we have repented and committed with JOY unspeakable and full of Glory! I try to engage with this person, and they can ‘talk’ scripture, but has not transformed that person. They think they are a Christian, and were raised in a very dysfunctional ‘so-called’ Christian home, so they don’t know any difference. A true Christian can walk and move and breather in Christ, yet the other person has no clue who you truly are. Because, the natural, human heart, cannot know the things of God, until they become transformed by the renewing of their mind when the Holy Spirit speaks peace and comfort, unlike what the world has to offer. Thank you for your site. I am unable to donate online. Do you have a P.O. box to donate to? Please post it for other too!

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Terri - September 25, 2017

And then the scriptures say: ‘O! Wretched man that I am, for I do the things I don’t want to do, and don’t do the things I should be doing!’ BUT the next verse says ‘But I thank God through our Lord Jesus Christ..’ ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives us the victory,’ which victory is over our self. ‘We are NEWLY created in Christ, old things have passed away, all things have become NEW.’ This is a verse my own dad did calligraphy scripture verse and set it up on our home’s mantel piece to remind him and those of his house, that Christ was more than conquerors to those who loved Him. And also, ‘His seed remaineth in us.’ Our redemption draws near, the redemption of our bodies to be transformed into his glorious likeness!
THIS is the Blessed hope! ‘For this mortal MUST put on immortality’ and that goes especially for the true, repentant Christian. For the ungodly they will not be raised immortal, but will be cast into everlasting darkness, with the devil and his angels, yes where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, where their ‘worm’ or decayed body does not die. The choice is our own.

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Jacob - September 29, 2017

I agree with your article, however missing on your list is the preaching of the gospel and making disciples.

Predominantly is the winning of Souls for the Kingdom.

ultimately Luke 18:26-27

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    Tim McHyde - September 29, 2017

    Jacob, preaching the gospel is not missing. It’s the domain of apostle/evangelists, not every day normal believers, and certainly not a rapture requirement for anyone. Christianity has hijacked the apostles’ commission to invent a “Great Commission” for all Christians. Yet, it’s unrealistic that every believer can “go into all nations an make disciples baptising them..” as the apostles were commissioned to do after they were trained for this by Jesus himself. Christians do not even have the basic training of a first century believer in love (John 13:35)…

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Ronald Colwell - October 30, 2017

Did Yeshua say: come follow me & become a Christian?

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Dawn - November 8, 2017

In my opinion, this teaching is coming from a spirit whose duty is to instill fear in disciples of Christ.
The thought of a pre-trib rapture should cause disciples to live a godly life, in repentance daily, since the Lord could return at any time.
People who rely heavily on grace and ignore their sin are wrong. People who live by the letter of the law are also wrong because they rely on their own works to be saved.
Christ died for the sinner and He rose again to bring life to His followers. He sent Holy Spirit to give His people power to live the Christ-like life.
Through the blood of Jesus, a person is redeemed. The Father sees His child, through His Son. I don’t have to have all my Ts crossed and my Is dotted. God doesn’t want anyone to perish and He is not the hardened task master that is waiting for His creation to fail. He is looking for those with a pure heart who have a relationship with Him. When we do, we do things to please Him, though we aren’t perfect…Christ is, and His disciples are IN Him.

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    Tim McHyde - November 8, 2017

    Dawn, was it the same spirit of with a duty to instill fear behind Jesus saying, “I will tell…many who do works in my name…depart from me I never knew you, you who work lawlessness…” (Mt 7:21-23)? The problem is that the pre-trib rapture and the related Christian teaching on salvation do not lead people to a godly life. It leads them to apathy and false confidence and false hope.

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Jan Hardison - November 27, 2017

We are warned in the Bible not to add to, nor take away from God’s word. No works save you, only redemption through accepting Jesus as your Savior, having atoned for your sins through His death on the cross. That is the only condition.

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    Tim McHyde - November 27, 2017

    Jan, no addition to the Bible is necessary as it repeatedly says we must have good fruit (Lk 3:8) or works (Mt 5:16) or our faith is dead (James 2:12-26). Jesus himself said, “why do you call me Lord and don’t do what I say?” (Lk 6:46). So many Christians believe what you espoused as the only requirement for salvation are going to hear, “Depart from me I never knew you, workers of lawlessness” (Mt 7:23). That’s because if you believe in Jesus but don’t what he said as Lord by following the law of Christ, then you’re lawless and not saved and certainly not fit for eternal life where your innate selfishness will create disharmony and chaos. Sorry to break this to you.

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    Chris - November 28, 2017

    Jan you’re right that works don’t save people without accepting by faith Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross at Calvary.

    The works or fruits as the Bible calls it is proof that you have faith in Jesus and that is by following Jesus’s commands of loving your neighbour and the Lord as much as yourself.

    Thing is the demons believe in Jesus yet their destination is the lake of fire (James 2:19). That in itself indicates that accepting Jesus isn’t enough no?

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Paula - December 12, 2017

I’m a simple believer in the Lord. 🙂 When I stumbled upon your article it clarified MANY questions that I had/have and decided to use your article for one of my pod casts in hopes of making people (who call themselves Christians) “think” and repent and hopefully become rapture ready. Thank you 🙂

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