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What if?

Have you ever looked back at some decision you made and wondered what would have happened if you had decided differently?  During the summer of 1957, when I was sixteen years old, I made the most important decision of my life.  I put my faith in Jesus Christ so that my sins could be forgiven.  Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I had not done that. Read the rest of this entry

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Golden calves

Exodus 32 describes the creation of the first golden calf mentioned in the Bible.  Moses had gone up Mt. Sinai to get God’s commands for the people.  When he was gone longer than expected the people asked Aaron to make a god to lead them.  They had just come out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt where there were images of all the Egyptian gods.  The idea of following a god they couldn’t see was foreign to them.  While Moses was with them they could follow him but in his absence they needed a visible representation of God.

He received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.  (Exodus 32:4,5)

When Aaron proclaimed a feast in honor of the calf he proclaimed it in the name of the LORD, the true God.  In making the calf the people weren’t breaking the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me.”  They were breaking the second, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” Read the rest of this entry

Are you a Satanist?

Are you a Satanist?  The answer most people would give to this question is “No!”  The popular conception of a Satanist is someone who meets at midnight with other Satanists to perform Black Masses and other Satanic rituals.  There are probably some Satanists like this but the vast majority of Satanists are unaware of the fact that they are serving Satan and many of them even believe they are serving God.

In his letter to the Ephesians Paul describes the condition of Christians before we were saved.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Ephesians 2:1-3

Before our salvation we were dead in our sins and followed Satan, the prince of the power of the air.  God and Satan are moral opposites so there are different requirements for worshiping them. Read the rest of this entry

Back to the Bible

As long as I can remember I have believed that the Bible is the word of God but in the early part of my life I didn’t understand it because I wasn’t taught about it at home and I attended a church that wasn’t always Biblical in its teachings.  When I was 14 I believed that the way to be saved was to be baptized and then live a good enough life so that I would deserve to go to Heaven, so I got baptized and set about trying to finish earning my salvation.

A little more than two years later I had a Sunday school teacher who was saved and who listened regularly to a radio program called Back to the Bible.  She recommended it to the class and I began listening to it.  As a result I realized that I was on the wrong path in trying to earn my salvation.  I finally understood that salvation is gift of God and I received that gift by putting my faith in Christ.

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Salvation from God’s point of view

When we think or talk about salvation we usually mean the process of having our sins forgiven by repenting of them and putting our faith in Jesus Christ. From the human point of view this is what salvation is but from God’s viewpoint this is only one of several steps. The complete process is described in Romans 8:29,30:

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