Walls

In the figurative sense, everyone is building walls in their lives. They are also pulling down some of them. To live as a Christian, we need to make sure that we are building the right walls and that we destroying the walls that are supposed to be destroyed. If you have no idea what you are doing in your life, chances are, you are destroying your own fortresses while giving a helping hand to your enemy’s territory. That’s one of the worst things you can do to yourself.

In Joshua 6, the Israelites had to conquer Jericho. In doing so, they had to march around the city a total of 13 times! 

20 So when the rams’ horns sounded, the people shouted. When they heard the blast of the horn, the people gave a great shout, and the wall collapsed.

In this scripture, we find that you can’t really destroy the walls of sin and bondage by yourself. You have to leave at God’s feet. Good works can’t help you and neither will your own strength. You have to trust God. You can’t save yourself. Religious people tend to make their beliefs all about themselves, but its not. It’s about Jesus! He saved everyone, not you. You haven’t saved yourself by living a righteous life. You are obeying God for the sake of your own salvation and livelihood. Living holy doesn’t do God a favour, it draws you closer to your life source. Living Holy helps you. So trust in God to be holy, your own actions won’t help. Your actions don’t make you Holy. God’s Holiness in you gives you the desire to make the right decisions. Strange enough, after they conquered Jericho, Joshua pronounced a curse over it.

26 At that time Joshua invoked this solemn oath:

“Cursed before the LORD is the man who rises up

and rebuilds this city, Jericho;

at the cost of his firstborn

he will lay its foundations;

at the cost of his youngest

he will set up its gates.”

 

Are you rebuilding the walls that God destroyed for you? Are you involved in the things that Jesus set you free from? Are you involved in the dark when God has brought you into the light? 

Are you not practically calling a curse over yourself?

1 Kings 16:34

In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.

Hiel decided to rebuild Jericho which must have been a ridiculous move to make. He lost two of his sons because of the curse. How many of us are trying to throw a curse over our lives? Jesus broke the chains and broke the curse but we still want to play with it. Don’t go back to your sin. Don’t go back to the past that God set you free from. It doesn’t mean that you will lose your children. It means that whatever you were planning might be destroyed or delayed. In ancient times, sons represented prosperity and wealth. It was the pride of every man. You could not only lose your purpose but lose track of it. So you have to be careful about what you do. We will speak more about the consequences of building the wrong walls further on.

If you fast track through time, you will come across the time of Solomon. He had to build the temple of the Lord. It took him 7 years to build it. That tells us something. It is far easier to destroy a wall than to build one. So be careful what you use your time for. It could cause you to lose more time. Time is precious. When you could be accomplishing something great for Jesus, sin might take that time for recovery from the damage it causes. Watch out!

The temple had a great design. It was made out of the best materials and had the most expensive labour. That is the walls of righteousness. The best of everything. It is truly expensive. It’s worth the time because it is for God. If you build for people, you are probably building a pillar of salt. Look towards Jesus, don’t look back.

However, after Solomon died and other kings came around, they started to worship other gods. Abandoning God caused other nations to lay siege to Jerusalem. When the Glory of God departed from the temple, other nations came and destroyed the temple. They set it on fire and stole all of the articles.

Ezra and Nehemiah were two radical Israelites who decided to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The walls had holes and were practically in pieces. It was much more difficult to build the walls now than it was back then because of the conditions and circumstances that surrounded them. When you are building the walls of righteousness and you abandon it, to get back to it is much more difficult. Nevertheless, Ezra and Nehemiah managed to complete the walls. 

Ezra 3:12

But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.

As much as the walls were completed, the Levite priest who had seen the temple at its original condition mourned. It just wasn’t the same. There were many differences. If you abandon your calling for worldly things, getting back to it just won’t be the same again. It’s like marriage, after an affair there may be reconciliation but the marriage just won’t be the same again. Trust will always be lacking. It is sad to see that even in the church today, many are no longer focused on the walls of marriage anymore. They are too busy being distracted by the bulldozer of lust. 

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With this in mind, sin distracts you from doing what you called to do. It wastes your time as you chasing that which is unnecessary. And if you get back to what you were supposed to be doing, yo find that you have lost valuable time and that things are not the same as it was before. Trust is lost. Most people will be living with shame and guilt. Hating themselves for making those mistakes. The bottom line is that no one is without sin. Everyone makes mistakes. Even David did. He wrote Psalms 51 when he cheated on Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,

according to Your loving devotion;

according to Your great compassion,

blot out my transgressions.

2Wash me clean of my iniquity

and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is always before me.

4 Against You, You only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in Your sight

so that You may be proved right when You speak

and blameless when You judge.

5 Surely I was brought forth in iniquity;

I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

6 Surely You desire truth in the inmost being;

You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones You have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide Your face from my sins

and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from Your presence;

take not Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,

and sustain me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,

and sinners will return to You.

14 Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God,

the God of my salvation,

and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness.

15 O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare Your praise.

16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

You take no pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and a contrite heart,

O God, You will not despise.

18 In Your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper;

build up the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,

in whole burnt offerings;

then bulls will be offered on Your altar.

 

Did you notice that David asked God to build up the walls of Jerusalem?

Calvinism #2

In the previous article of Calvinism, I literally tore it apart with logic and scripture. It set some people free but some stubborn Calvinists still don’t get the picture. They are worshipping manmade doctrine. Some of these Calvinists worship their leaders. John Macarthur stated that John Calvin is his hero. Really? These Calvinists are so blinded that they will believe any preacher who is a Calvinist. They don’t read the Bible for themselves. Their interpretation is what others think and not the truth that the Holy Spirit reveals. Oh wait! They don’t believe that Holy Spirit works today because they are cessationist! No healing can take place, no prophecy, not speaking in tongues, nothing! You must just look at what they have said.

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If you are predestined to be saved before the creation of the world, how can you lose your salvation? Makes sense doesn’t it?

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So the blood of Jesus is symbolic? Hmm… so his death wasn’t real? That explains the limited atonement?

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I never knew that all Christians were perfect! No one sins? If they did, they are not saved. If they don’t they a liar!

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Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! You just contradicted yourself pal!

The most logical explanation when it comes to God’s sovereignty and human freedom is Molinism. Luis Molina (1535-1600) stated that God has complete sovereignty and man has complete freedom. God is always in control and humans has free will to a certain degree. For example, you don’t have free will to whether you will die or not. Or whether you will be sick or not. That happens inevitably. But God has extensive knowledge. He knows the future and all the possibilities of it. If X happens then Y will happen…

God made man in His own image. John Calvin decided to return the favour.

So God wills some things for His purpose and plan and other things He allows for it to happen. His purpose and plans will happen but a man has a choice of where he wants to spend eternity.

Let’s look at TULIP.

Total Depravity – This is correct. Man is a slave to sin.

Unconditional Election – Nope. it’s unconditional Love. God loves everyone. John 3:16

Limited Atonement – Utter blasphemy! They say that Jesus’ blood was not enough. Not powerful. Sorry folks, I chose my favourites and the rest goes to hell.

Irresistible Grace – Grace is given to everyone but people can reject it. You can trample it. Hebrew 10:29

Perseverance of the Saints – Why do they need to persevere if they are predestined to heaven? Doesn’t make sense, does it?

 

God is only going to save some? Let’s look at 1 Timothy 4:10

That is why we labour and strive because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL people, and especially of those who believe.

Scripture states that God is the saviour of all men. Potentially speaking. Not some! Christ came to die for everyone so that they can be saved. Judas may have betrayed Jesus but he could have repented after. the Jews that killed Jesus could have repented too.

Now here’s something you should think about. If you are dead in your sins and cannot choose God because you are dead, then sin is the cause of death right? A Calvinist believes that God chose them to be saved and then raised them to life spiritually. Okay cool. But you still sin right? That means you would be dead again and still a sinner! Sorry, but the theory of Calvinism is wrong. You may be dead in your sins but you still got a choice.

The Trampled Gospel

Hebrews 10:26-29 

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

A few weeks ago I came across a video of a man stating that when a Christian accepts Jesus into his life, there is no need to repent of his sins. He can continue drinking or smoking, he can sin as much as he desires because Jesus paid for all the sins from the beginning of time to the very end. Is this Christianity? Is this the truth? Heck no!

Acts 2:38, Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins can be forgiven.

Can sins be forgiven without repentance? Just saying a salvation prayer ain’t saving you. Romans 10:9 tells us how to be saved – That if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

You are saved by confession and by belief. And of course, if we believe, that belief should change our actions. You cannot say you love God but dwell in sin. If God hates the sin, we too must hate it and avoid it at all costs. Sin is the separation between man and God. Jesus came to reconcile us back to the Father. Every act of sin just drives a wedge between you and God. If we walk in holiness, we walk closer to God. It is not good works! The work of sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit within us. We just allow Him to change us. It is a decision, a choice we must make. If America and Russia are at war, an American cannot be involved in Russian business because that would be treachery. Same with Christianity. It is the kingdom of light versus the kingdom of darkness. As children of the light, can we play in the dark? No, we will only fall, stumble and get hurt.

Grace is not freedom to sin, it’s freedom from sin.

Sin causes hurt, pain and death. Why would we want anything to do with it? Don’t we want to avoid it all? The same sin you enjoy is the same sin Christ suffered for! Repent! 

Repent means to turn away from sin and walk in the opposite direction. Many ‘repent’ but just go back to doing it. They say ‘sorry’ with the full intention to go back to their gratification. This is wrong. We can’t have the excuse that we have a problem or weakness. Christ has given us the victory. Sometimes we need to check our hearts. The only reason why we have that urge is that we still want the pleasure that sin still gives. If your heart is not in line with God’s will, sin will show you the way. 

Mark 9:42-48 – If your hand, foot or eye causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven maimed than to be thrown into hell, where the worm never dies nor is fire quenched. (Paraphrased) Why does Jesus give us such a warning? That’s something to think about…

Sin is the problem, that is why He died. He died to rescue us from sin, so how can we back to it? That doesn’t make any sense.

He suffered so that we don’t have to face hell eternally, so can we not live entirely for Him? He gave His life for us, can we not give ours to Him? And how are we going to live a life for Jesus if there’s sin in it? If there’s guilt in it? How are you going to respond to God’s calling if you are busy running from the consequences of your regretful actions? Or recovering from the foolish decisions? That’s how people become stagnant in their walk with God. Redundant in their purpose. They are just people filled with shame, they feel unworthy to carry out God’s work when in fact they have unlimited potential to do things that could impact the world.

Sin stops you in your tracks and keeps you there, just there.

Another problem with abused grace is that we have grey areas. Like, can we get a tattoo? Can I drink as long as I don’t get drunk? Can I smoke? The Bible doesn’t say anything about that right? Can I go to the club? Can I swear? Can I kiss my girlfriend?

All these meaningless questions are so ridiculous and they don’t even see how meaningless they are! We have come to a point where we are actually asking: God, how far from you can I go without crossing the line?

So it’s no longer about how close we can get to God but how far we away we can go and still be safe. And that is the tragedy of Christianity, the Gospel is trampled underfoot by Christians who have no respect for what was done on the Cross…