Sunday Sermon 2/5/2017
“I believe in God, but not religion.” ~ Gil Grissom
When I was single, I used to date women that would say: “I’m not religious but I’m spiritual”. It’s not the same. We are all spiritual. As Teilhard De Chardin wrote: “We are not humans having a spiritual experience; rather Spirits having a human experience”. Religion is a belief in an afterlife based on stories passed down through history. Spirituality is the energy force that powers your physical vessel it occupies while existing in this dimension.
Yeah, heavy, I know!
2017 years ago the Messiah said, upon this rock I shall build “My Church”. I believe He did. To quote Agent Mulder: “The Truth is out there”. During the first Century A.D. the teachings of Christ were already being distorted. The 12 Apostles were spreading the teachings as they understood them, but the people in the assemblies were making their own rules. It’s Ironic because the Pharisees loved rules and felt that all they needed to do was “follow the rules” and they were in the heavenly Que.
The Church of Californians
In Corinth, the church became divided amongst the apostles, as one contingency would say I am of Paul and another would say I am of Peter.
The division had begun. People were of Christ through someone else. That’s sort of how the Catholic Church works today. Catholics are of the Pope.
Some are of Martin Luther. (Lutherans). Some are of John the Baptists. (Ad prefix + Baptist Church).
Some are of John Smith. Some are of Space Aliens.
As I study the Bible, neither Peter, Paul, Martin Luther, the Pope, John the Baptist or John Smith died for your sins.
Somewhere on this planet, Satan was able to divide and attempt to conquer. He used Sal Alinski’s rules for radicals. Turn Christians against one another. Hang suspected witches. Yet Christ said: “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone”. I don’t blame the decline of culture and mores for the lack of attendance in the Church. I blame the lack of Truth being taught in the church to accommodate today’s moral decay. Why is the Rock Band more important than Holy Communion? Why do those who are invited to come forward for Baptism, done so in the presence of a Hammond B3 Organ playing major 7th chords? Does this make the commitment seem more righteous? I love God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But what were once secret living rooms, are now concert halls/503Cs. Baptism is now an inconvenience rather than a public show of faith. So most churches avoid the numerous verses in the Bible about being baptized. I call that Burger King Christianity. “Have it Your Way”. It doesn’t work like that.
In the end; your salvation is between you and The Creator. None of us are perfect. It’s getting harder and harder to worship in a church that interprets the Bible as it was taught in the first century. IF you are not a Christian or a self-proclaimed Christian and read the New Testament in search of the requirements of salvation; you’ll find 5 basic indicators throughout the New Testament and finally, a wink and a nod in the book of Matthew.
- Hear the Gospel
- Believe that Christ is The Messiah (Sent down as the Son of God to die for your soul)
- Confess that you are a sinner
- Repent or try to stop sinning. The trying is the important part.
- Be Baptized. If you want to have fun, take a Bible program and look up how times Baptism is mentioned and how many times it is directly associated with salvation.If you are not a member of a Christian Church, find 3 believers and one who knows how to baptize. Ask them to explain the Gospel to you (Hear) Tell them with open mouth that you believe Jesus died for your sins. Admit that you are an imperfect human that sins. Say that you will repent from your earthly sinful direction. Then find a hot tube, swimming pool and if needed, get down to the “River” and have one of the believers proclaim that they are baptizing you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Then submerge you in water. If you do this. (Including the full submersion part) you will begin your relationship with Christ. He will know you. You will not hear Matthew 7:21. You won’t be perfect which is why when we pray; we ask for forgiveness of our sins. Remember in Driver’s Education they say you break the law every 7 seconds while behind the wheel without knowing it? (Hyperbole I’m sure), Your life as a new Christian will be somewhat of the same nature. So when you pray, always ask for forgiveness AND never hesitate to forgive those you have put one over on you.If you are on life support in an ICU ward; remember that God can save whom ever He wants. Don’t wait until you’re on a respirator in intensive care.
The Wink and the Nod: Matthew 7:21
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
The key is the part in BOLD. “I never knew you”. This goes back to my statement about your salvation being between you and The Creator. Sitting in the back pew every Sunday for 52 weeks a year will not save you. You have to exercise trust and faith and reach out for something that is not directly visible. By doing this, you are making an appeal to Christ for a relationship.
You have no proof of what lays ahead of you after this life. So you need to decide if this story that’s been around for over 2000 years is as real as the miracles written about; or if you want to go on living in a point and shoot existence. We already accept that there are forces that exist which are not in the visual field of the human eye. We have discovered that everything in this consciousness is energy. Finally we’ve been given an example of two humans who died and came back to life. Christ brought Lazarus back from death after 3 days. Then Christ Himself was risen from the dead after 3 days of death. He did this to prove that there was life in another place. Another dimension not visible to us. We need to use faith and love as our ticket to this dimension.
In closing let me just add this. You can not lose your salvation. But The Creator will not force you to love Him. He respects your free will enough to let you walk away from your salvation.