Protecting Your Faith

Armor_of_God_by_darkninja83

One of the scariest things to me as I look around today, and something that I talk about with fellow believers is how frequently children turn away from God when they’re exposed to views, morals, and beliefs different from their Christian beliefs. Putting a “once saved, always saved” theological debate aside for this discussion, it’s a reality that this is a problem. Children and young adults, and even older adults are turning their back on God in favor of Science, Humanism, Atheism, Agnosticism, Islam, and many other false and destructive religions.

Do you know any kids that grew up in your church, where you watched them pray with the other kids, you saw them reading their Bibles, you witnessed their baptism, you watched them grow in their faith, but they went off to college and changed? You may hear about them changing from their parents. You may hear about it from their friends. You may even get exposed to their anti-God venom on a social website. They’ve become deceived by the same Satan that deceived Eve into believing she could be like God knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5). They begin to buy into the lies that science has proven there is no God. They start to believe that they can live their life however they please and there is no eternal God to answer to for their sins. They believe that they simply live until death and once they close their eyes, that’s the end or some say that since they lived a “good” life, they’ll get into heaven. They’re going to be in for a rude awakening in that moment because it’s very contradictory to what The Bible says!

New religious viewpoints say that you can be “spiritual” and still get an eternal life in heaven. They say you can just pick and choose what fits your personality and views best because all religions worship the same God and lead a good life and you’ll gain entry into heaven. There’s a range of beliefs out there that are disturbing.  They detest the thought of an Almighty God who’d be so unkind as to say “Obey me, or suffer the consequences” (paraphrased). Why? Because we’ve toned down the scriptures. In my opinion, it’s because we’ve watered down the Scriptures by not telling the whole story. It’s kinda like our mother telling us that not telling the whole truth is still telling a lie. Today, parenting is about letting your children do as they please so that they may express themselves without hindrance. Church is about not offending anyone and getting them to return love to a loving God. They’re not teaching to fear God. They’re not teaching the very real reality.

Not all pastors are watering down Scripture. Some pastors are preaching the Scriptures as they are leaving the “bad” (ie. consequences) things in.  Some of you may want to stop reading here, because I’m about to offend some folks.

Hell is real. Hell is a dark place filled with all the souls who were disobedient toward Gods laws and commands. YOU don’t get to tell God what He can and cannot do. He made you. He made the world we live in and the universe that this world is in. You didn’t create Him. Who do you think you are to tell the Almighty creator of this earth what’s possible or impossible or what he can or cannot do? He nor some man created Hell to scare you into submission like many would like you to believe. God created hell as an eternal time-out for disobedience and defiance of his laws/commandments and He gives YOU the choice to of obedience or disobedience.

Scientist can break down the planet all that they want to, but even they can’t tell anyone how it was done besides a laughable “big bang” into existence. Some “intelligent” folks find that easier to believe there was a big explosion and everything magically appeared than an intelligent designer. All of the explosions I’ve seen are destructive and not creative. Carbon dating? Earth layers? A God that can make our planet and several others rotate around a big star called the sun in perfect timing, with perfect angles, and perfect resistance can’t put something in the earth and make it whatever age he wants? Of course He can. He can create something that carbon dates millions of years old and put it in a 2011 Honda steering wheel if He wants.

Where does the hatred (also known as indifference, pretending He doesn’t exist, etc.) toward God come from? Right from our nature. We’re all about ourselves. We want to selfishly serve ourselves. God doesn’t condemn us to hell. He bridged the great divide between heaven and earth with his son Jesus Christ so that we can be with Him for all eternity. But, he has rules/laws just like we have. Here on earth, if you murder, you go to jail. If you steal, you go to jail. Some of our laws condemn us to life behind bars until death. We don’t seem to have a problem with these laws. But, when God says that you can’t disobey his laws, or you don’t get freedom from pain and suffering, we suddenly start saying that’s not very loving. We don’t want to spend eternity with a God who’d make rules that we have to obey. We’re like little rebellious children. And God loves us forever, but still laid out a plan of Salvation from an eternity away from Him.

We need to protect our own faith and the faith of our children. Fathers and Mothers, it is your responsibility to love your children and put God’s word on their hearts. I don’t have to explain what happens when they leave the cozy protected nest you’ve created for them. The real world is a deceitful place. Here’s what the Bible says:

Ephesians 4:14: “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

And it’s repeated again here:

2 Peter 3:17: “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,

Sounds like a warning about the world we live in right? We live in different times than these guys, but we live in the same world. I’ve had conversations with people challenging my faith. Some people really provide some good points that are anti-God. That’s the first and most important sign that they’re trying to trick/deceive/pull me away from the truth. These deceivers come in the form of friends, co-workers, acquaintances, family, teachers, websites, books, and many other places I’m sure. I’m an intelligent human being by many standards. I’ve had my questions, and I have some questions for God, but I’m not going to completely ignore God and pretend He doesn’t exist over a few minor details. I feel God. I talk to God. I have prayers answered.

God didn’t leave us without information to defeat the deceit. Let’s read a little more in Ephesians 4 and 2 Peter 3:

Ephesians 4:15-16but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

2 Peter 3:18 “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

How Can We Grow In Christ?

We’ll continue to talk about this point throughout my blog entries, but for now, let’s talk about protecting what we have already. If you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I’d like to encourage you to stop everything you’re doing. Stop reading this. Close your eyes for a moment and talk to God. He’s listening. Repent from your sin. Ask Jesus to come into your life and make you new. He will. He can. He doesn’t care what you’ve done, where you’ve been. He can save the worst of mankind because he created you!  Once you’ve accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you’ve got to get to know Him. Build a relationship through prayer and reading the Bible.

Having faith and not protecting it would be like having a huge treasure, but keeping it in the back of a truck where anyone can pluck away at it. God gave us something special to protect our own faith. I believe we can help our children, and our fellow believers using the same protection. God didn’t leave us hanging, it’s talked about just a little further in the book of Ephesians:

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

Put on the full armor of God and protect yourself in this world. Don’t fear the world, fear the One who can give you life or death. Get out there and spread the Gospel. This cold world needs the message you were given freely.

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