Who is, and who is not, a Christian?

In recent days I have been assaulted with various claims by people who believe themselves to be Christians, who…I might add…are in error in that belief.

“Those are strong words, Dave.”

Yes, they are, because the Scriptures are very black and white…there’s none of this practicing homosexuals can be Christians nonsense in the Scriptures. There’s none of this I can say “f**k” and still be a Christian nonsense. There’s more, but let’s not jump off the top of the building, we need to work our way to the top from the bottom.

Let me start out by reflectively saying that I do not hate anyone, but I do hate. What I hate is what God hates – that means, first and foremost, I hate lies in the form of false ideologies and, in particular, false teachings and false doctrines – whether they be of a religious nature (for example: “once saved, always saved” nonsense doctrine) or of a worldly nature (for example: “evolutionary theory has been demonstrated as a fact” nonsense when the facts to not support the theory like evolutionist’s portray it).

This is why, false ideologies lead to false teachings, and false teachings lead to false doctrines – and false doctrines take people to hell. We are going to examine numerous false ideologies – myths – within people’s minds concerning Christianity and what it means to be a Christian (if you think that I miss something, let me know and we will add it)…because false doctrines have only one purpose, born of demonic origins within the minds of people – to separate people from God. My motivation is two-fold; Scriptural truth for the sake of truth itself, and making the effort to give people that truth so that they can, as Paul says, “examine yourselves to see whether or not you are really in the Faith” (II Cor. 13:5).

Simply because, if you claim to be a Christian, but don’t pass the test of examination, then you are deceiving yourself into thinking that you are OK with God when you really are outside the ark of safety. How do people deceive themselves? James says it quite nicely…

 

James 1:22
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

 

We shall observe just how true his words are as we continue. We need to begin from the beginning, from the foundation, as Paul puts it, there is no “foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Notice that he didn’t say the gospel, which some erroneous interpret his words here to mean. No, he said that the foundation that was laid was “Jesus Christ” Himself, and there is a reason for this – because we are told in Scripture that Jesus is the “truth” and the “light” and that if we are in Him, we walk in the Light… but if we do not walk in Him, then we walk in darkness, “and the darkness has blinded their eyes” (I John 2:11), meaning that they can’t even see or understand the truth.

Therefore, in order to understand who is and who is not a Christian according to the Scriptures, we first must look at how a person can become a Christian. What do the Scriptures tell us about what a Christian is? We will go by the numbers:

A Christian is someone who has received salvation from the sins of their past sinful lifestyle by receiving Christ as their Savior.

How does one “get saved?” This is perhaps one of the most important questions, and one that satan has fought to twist through false teachings since the Reformation. It is falsely taught all over this country today that one gets saved the moment they come to faith in Christ – but this is not taught anywhere in the Scriptures, it is wholly part of the false doctrines of Calvinism. In order to get saved according to the Scriptures, one must first come to faith in Christ, that is the first “step” if you will…

 

John 3:15-16
15 that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

 

Those versions of the Scriptures that read John 3:16 as “shall not perish” violate numerous grammatical points, and is a gross mistranslation of the Greek text (which you can find detailed in my other posts so I will not detail it here). Jesus says clearly and plainly, that believing does NOT save anyone, it is only one step in the process of decision-making to come to God on His terms. Anyone who tries to come to God on his own terms will wake up one day in eternal flames. God is the sovereign, He makes the rules and we either come to Him on His terms, or we choose the alternative. That is black and white, if that offends you, then so be it.

Jesus says, “may have eternal life” and “should not perish” because faith is only one prerequisite to coming to God…

 

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.

 

After one comes to saving faith in Christ, he must then count the cost of walking with Christ and choose to repent from his past sinful lifestyle (“saving faith” does not mean that they are saved because they have chosen to believe, it means that there is a difference between living faith, and dead faith, which James explains in his letter – faith that is not made living by walking in obedience to what one claims to believe, is dead faith; and dead faith can’t save anyone – Jam. 2:14-26). God will not forgive and save someone if they do not first repent (choose to turn away) from practicing the sinful things that they used to practice – because there’s no reason to…

 

Matthew 4:17
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Luke 13:3
No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Acts 3:19
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,

 

Now, the false doctrines of Calvinism and others, tells people that you don’t have to do anything in order to get saved but believe in Jesus – yet we can clearly see in the above passages that repentance is another prerequisite to receiving God’s forgiveness. Peter, under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Acts 3:19, clearly gives the indication that unless one repents, even though he may believe in Jesus, he cannot have his sins blotted out. This is also his intended meaning here…

 

Acts 2:38
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

Peter states explicitly that unless one repents, as one of the prerequisites, then he will not be forgiven of his sins – as well as introducing here another prerequisite to receiving salvation, being water baptized into Christ. This point Calvinists and others also chide against because they give ear to doctrines of demons and seducing spirits, as Paul tells us people would do in the last days (I Tim. 4:1). I will assume the reader has never read this before, so I will detail it here because of its great importance. We see that water baptism into Christ is how the Scriptures teach us to be saved, which is in direct contradiction as to what the ignorant and unstable in the Scriptures teach…

 

Acts 18:24-26
24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures.
25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.
26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

 

Apollos was a man who thought of himself as a Christian…he believed in Christ, he was also competent in the Scriptures, the Spirit tells us. He taught in the synagogue the things concerning Jesus accurately – that is, that Jesus was the Messiah…BUT, there’s that key little phrase that the Spirit had Luke write into the paragraph that upon first glance really doesn’t make much sense. Luke writes that Apollos “knew only the baptism of John,” meaning that Apollos had not yet been baptized into Christ.

“So what?” you might ask. This is where cultural understanding cuts most Americans off from getting the full understanding and grasp of the NT Scriptures…every Redemptive Covenant has a God-given ceremonial rite of entry, EVERY Redemptive Covenant. The New Covenant is a Redemptive Covenant, and no one enters into that covenant unless they enter it by the way that God has decreed. The way of entry into the Old Covenant was circumcision, and the way of entry into the New Covenant, by God’s decree, is water baptism. Period. That is what the Scriptures teach, therefore that is the truth on the matter.

“Where does the Scriptures teach that water baptism is how we enter into Christ? And what does entering into Christ have to do with salvation?” Good questions, I’m glad you asked…

 

Isaiah 42:6
I am the LORD; I have called You in righteousness; I will take You by the hand and keep You; I will give You as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,

Isaiah 49:8
Thus says the LORD: “In a time of favor I have answered You; in a day of salvation I have helped You; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages,”

 

Both of these passages are part of Messianic Prophecies (I’ll let you read the whole prophesies on your own if you so wish) where God the Father is speaking to God the Son as the coming Messiah, and is telling Him that He will make Him a living covenant. God is speaking concerning the New Covenant, and He is telling you and I that He has made Jesus Christ the Living embodiment of the New Covenant – Jesus IS the Living New Covenant.

This has dramatic impact upon how we are to read and interpret the NT Scriptures, because as I have stated many times before, the New Testament is NOT a testament at all, it is a covenant – to be precise, it is an Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) Covenant, fashioned after ANE covenants and under the authoritative legal standing of ANE covenant principles of operation. As the living New Covenant, pretty much every word that Jesus ever spoke was covenant stipulation. This also has a direct impact upon our current discussion…

 

Romans 6:3
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Galatians 3:27
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have entered into Christ.

 

No one comes to be “in Christ” simply because they believe in Him, there is only one way to enter into Christ according to the Scriptures, and that is through the God-ordained ceremonial rite of entry of water baptism. This is why Peter said in Acts 2:38 above that one must not only repent in order to have their sins forgiven, but that they must also be water baptized in the name of Jesus, because to be water baptized in Jesus’ name is to be water baptized into Jesus. Christ Himself tells us that water baptism is necessary in order to receive salvation from sin…

 

John 3:5
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

 

When Jesus uses the phrase, “born of water” he is not referencing physical birth as Calvinism and other false doctrines teach (in which they make the same ridiculous mistake that Nicodemus made and which Jesus chided him for), He was referencing water baptism. This can be clearly observed in light of the other passages on water baptism and entering into Christ when we apply the principles of Biblical interpretation to the study, taking clear passages to illuminate John 3:5 where Jesus speaks in a figurative manner. He says that unless one is baptized – thereby entering into Christ the Living New Covenant – a man cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Why?

Because the Kingdom of God is a covenant kingdom, and no one enters the kingdom of God unless they are in covenant with God. Therefore, no one can receive salvation from their sins and enter into the kingdom of God unless they enter into Christ through water baptism. This is how people get saved today under the auspices of the New Covenant, according to the Scriptures – and not according to the false teachings of men who wish to be teachers of God’s Word who neither know the Scriptures nor God Himself…

 

Jeremiah 2:8
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who handle the law did not know Me; the shepherds transgressed against Me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.

 

In this respect, little has changed since the days of Jeremiah.

In concluding this portion of the discussion, one gets saved by first coming to faith in Christ (because if one does not believe in Christ, then one will not repent or get baptized), then counting the cost of following Christ, called being a disciple of Christ, and then receives water baptism into Christ where salvation is meted out to him (see the earlier post on Salvation and Eternal Life, where we address that salvation from sin is part of the six elements of the atonement in Christ). Salvation is found only “in Christ,” therefore, unless one is abiding in Christ, he does not have salvation – no matter what he believes…

 

2 Timothy 2:10
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

 

Next…

Some Myths about who and what a Christian is:

 

1.  Some people think that because they got saved 5, 10, 20 years ago, that they are still Christians today.

This plays into the false doctrine of “once saved, always saved” nonsense.

Nope, this is not what the Scriptures teach. The word “Christian” means “Christ-like” or “follower of Christ,” both terms employed in the understanding that a Christian is one who is a disciple of Christ. What is a disciple? The word means one who follows the teaching and lifestyle of another, a prominent teacher or Rabbi, for example. Therefore, a Christian is one who DOES, not one who DID something years ago.

A Christian is one who is following the teachings in their everyday lives which Christ taught, and which the apostles handed down to us in the NT Scriptures. It matters not if you “got saved” 30 years ago if you are not actively following after God today in obedience to Him and His Word…if you make a practice of lying, then you are not a Christian. If you make it a practice to close your heart off from your spouse, withholding your affections for no valid reason, then you are not a Christian. If you practice speeding down the road breaking the speed limit after understanding that the Scriptures tell us to obey the laws of the land, then you are not a Christian.

If you make it a daily practice to say cuss words, then you are not a Christian. If you don’t make it a practice to love on people, helping them when you have the opportunity to do so, then you are not a Christian. If you fail to practice daily putting your flesh upon the cross so that you can walk in the Spirit, then you are not a Christian. If you fail to engage God in personal relationship on an on-going lifestyle, then you are not a Christian. A person is not a Christian because they got saved in the past, a person is a Christian if, and only if, they are currently walking in obedience to God in Christ according to “the way of God” as we observed in Acts 18 above with Apollos.

Harsh words? Jesus said that unless you are willing to give up all that you have or hold dear, all of your passions and dreams, all of your desires and the distractions that you love to participate in, then you cannot be His disciple…

 

Luke 14:27-33
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has, cannot be My disciple.

 

Why does Jesus say that anyone who does not renounce all that he has, “cannot be My disciple?” It’s because if you let anything come between you and Him, then that distraction will prevent you from being ABLE to follow Him in what He has called us to do. I can’t follow after Christ at the same time that I am playing video games…I can’t follow after Christ at the same time that I am sitting on the couch watching hours of TV or episode after episode of something on Netflix…I can’t follow after Christ at the same time that I am engaging in various species of entertainment. I can’t follow after Christ if I love my wife more than I love the Lord, and spend most of my time trying to please her rather than trying to please Him. She can’t get me into heaven, only I can do that.

 

2.  Some people think that they are Christians simply because they believe in Jesus or God.

Nope, this is one of the biggest lies floating around the church landscape today…”Oh, I believe in God, so I am a Christian.” Sorry, that’s not how it works. You can believe all you want to that you are a car, and go stand in your garage for hours at a time – but you are delusional! I can believe that I can walk through walls or fly, but the facts of reality demonstrate something very different. No one is a Christian simply because they believe in God, and James says that the demon believe in God, but their belief does not give them amnesty from what they have done and continue to do. Again, listen to James’ words…

 

James 1:22
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

 

It reads a little differently in the Greek…”But be obedient to what the Word tells you to do, not just listening to what is said, failing to practice what you hear – because this is how you deceive yourselves.” What does he mean? In order to answer this, we need to look at some other passages…

 

Hebrews 4:12
For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

1 Thessalonians 2:13
And because of this, we also give thanks to God continually, that you received the Word of God that you heard from us and accepted it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which is active in those who consistently believe.

 

The Word of God is living and active in the lives of those who believe and walk in obedience to (practice as a lifestyle) what the Word of God demands from us. It does no good to only listen to what the Word has to say if you do not practice what it tells you to do in obedience to God – because that is what being a Christ follower is all about. To follow Christ you MUST obey what He tells you to do – if you do not walk in obedience to Him, then you are not following Him, and you are NOT a Christian, no matter what you choose to believe.

The Word of God can only work in our lives as we walk in obedience to it, as we practice what God tells us in His Word to do. If we are not putting the Word into action in our lives, then it cannot do what God has sent it into our lives to do. Getting back to the point, no one is saved just because they believe in God, just as no one is a Christian just because they believe in God. That is a doctrine straight from the bowels of hell.

 

3.  I am a Christian because I repeated the sinner’s prayer with the pastor one day, or because I repeated the sinner’s prayer with the guy on TV.

Nope…not really. I do concede that I have spoken to at least one person that said the sinner’s prayer with a TV preacher and seems to have genuinely received salvation out of that experience, but that is a rarity and I can only think that somewhere in the TV preacher’s sermon that he addressed repenting in order to get saved.

“But wait a minute…you said earlier that one must receive water baptism into Christ in order to get saved, now you are backpedaling.”

No, not quite. I had yet to get into all the details of differing scenarios…which we will now address. Some of you earlier got all bent out of shape when I stated that one must be water baptized in order to receive salvation from sin, and instantly – and ignorantly – regurgitated the same nonsense that you have learned from others…”what about the thief on the cross who was accepted by Christ, you are saying that he wasn’t really saved because he didn’t get baptized”…or…”you forgot about Cornelius and his family who was apparently saved by faith and was baptized in the Holy Spirit before they were water baptized, so you are wrong!”

No, I didn’t forget about them, I just waited until now to address the situations. First, God is holy and righteous, He will ALWAYS act in a righteous way. If God did not accept the thief on the cross just because he didn’t have the OPPORTUNITY to receive water baptism, according to His Word, then He would not have been acting in a righteous and upright way on the thief’s account. If one does not have the opportunity to receive water baptism, do you really think that God will not honor such a person’s faith? Again, He would not be righteous if He didn’t. The thief on the cross is reminiscent of death-bed conversions, where people do not have the opportunity to receive water baptism…so what I am saying is that God does not bend the rules, but He makes calculated exceptions where judgment is concerned in receiving people through faith. He is God, that is His prerogative to do so.

As for Cornelius and his family, we must look at the context of what was happening. First, the church, being up to this point strictly Jewish in nature, was refusing to take the gospel to the Gentiles (which is why God chose Paul rather than Matthias, whom we never hear about again after his ‘election’ to be the 12th apostle by Peter – Acts 1:15-26). God had to get the church’s attention, to recall to them the prophesies that the gospel would be made available to all the world, not just the Jews, under the New Covenant. And working through Cornelius was how God chose to do so.

In short, this was a unique incident in the Scriptures – no one ever received salvation outside of faith, repentance, and water baptism into Christ before Cornelius in the Scriptures (aside from the thief on the cross), and no one in the Scriptures received salvation outside of faith, repentance, and water baptism into Christ after Cornelius in the Scriptures. It may indeed have taken place, but it is not recorded. I say that because I personally know about myself receiving salvation without receiving water baptism, as well as others who have also received Christ without having been water baptized.

“Dude, you are so confused…your brain is out in left field.”

No, I just understand covenanting, and most of those reading this blog do not. Again – God will ALWAYS act in accordance with righteousness, that is, in what is RIGHT. Here is the scenario (which you can get in greater detail than what I am going to give here, in the book: The Gospel According to ANE Covenant Understanding click here),  the church of the first century understood covenant because the Middle East was the center of ANE covenanting. Covenants were a part of their daily life, so they understood like we in western civilization do not, all of the “in’s and out’s” of covenanting. Once the church became predominantly Gentile, particularly after the third century and the church spread over Europe and beyond, the knowledge and understanding of ANE covenanting – and that the New Testament is a covenant, NOT a testament – was all but lost to the church.

A little of that knowledge returned to the church after the Reformation, but it was horribly warped and distorted through Reformed ‘Covenant Theology.’ But solid introduction to ANE covenants and how they impact our understanding of the NT Scriptures did not begin in the church again until the late 1800’s – early 1900’s, and have only recently (within the last 20 years) have become widely understood in the Theological community. Sadly, however, for whatever biased reasons, the heads of pretty much every denomination in this country have not seen fit to get this pertinent information into the hands of their pastors and evangelists. One of the primary effects of covenant understanding is that covenant places boundaries upon how we are to interpret the Scriptures, and because we have not had closed boundaries since the Reformation, we have many false teachings in the church today because of it. The boundaries set by the New Covenant rectifies, clarifies, and separates the intended meaning of many passages from the many false interpretations assigned to them.

That being said, those who heard Jesus teach, and those who heard Paul preach, understood perfectly that they were addressing the gospel as the outworking of the New Covenant – and we, for the most part, do not. They understood that in order to get saved one had to be a participant in the covenant that made salvation possible – and because the Reformers didn’t have that understanding, they claimed – in great error – that all you have to go in order to get saved is to believe in Jesus. So, when it comes to today, and the vast majority of people do not understand covenant, nor that they must be in the New Covenant (that is, in Christ) in order to have salvation – being falsely taught that all they have to do is believe in Christ – God had to make a decision…

Was he going to let the lost knowledge of covenanting and how it affects our understanding of the Scriptures keep millions of people out of relationship with Him, or was He going to do the RIGHT thing and accept people based upon what they know, and not what they don’t know? So…people today can get saved if they come to faith in Christ, repent, and ask God to forgive them of their sins and come into their lives, without receiving water baptism into Christ. HOWEVER, when a person hears that the Scriptures do dictate that water baptism is necessary in order for them to enter into Christ and have eternal life, and if that person rejects that information for no other reason than because of their bias, in not seeking the truth of God’s Word but just protecting and defending their bias – that person’s standing with God as having eternal life has now become jeopardized by his unwillingness to heed the truth of God’s Word.

To put it simply,  I would not want to be standing in that man’s shoes when he stands before God on judgment day…because he was shown the truth of God’s word – “the way of God more accurately,” and he refused to listen because of his arrogance and pride in his doctrine defending without truth seeking. I will defend what I know, but only after listening to what the other person has to say (because he may have greater Light on something that I don’t yet have) and then lining it up with what the Scriptures have to say, but I am not a bias-defender above truth-seeking.

 

4.  Practicing homosexuals can be Christians, so stop saying they aren’t.

Wrong…so dead wrong that its almost laughable if it wasn’t so stinking sad. What does the Scriptures say on the subject?

 

 

Leviticus 18:22
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who practice homosexuality,
10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:21-32                                                                                                                 Because although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools…Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves…For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done…Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

 

The Scriptures tell us that practicing homosexuals (which includes lesbians) are not saved, neither can they be while they continue to practice such behavior. Is that any different from practicing lying, stealing, prostitution, murder, child molesting, or any other behavior that God condemns? No, it isn’t, so I am not picking on homosexuals – the facts are the facts.

If you practice lying to people, then you are not a Christian.

If you practice thievery, then you are not a Christian.

If you practice any kind of sin, in any way, shape, or form, then you are not a Christian… this is what the Spirit tells us through John the apostle…

 

1 John 2:4
Whoever says “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

1 John 2:6
whoever says that he abides in Christ will walk in the same way in which He walked.

1 John 3:6-10
6 No one who abides in Christ keeps practicing sin; no one who keeps practicing sin has either seen Him or known Him.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on practicing sin because he has been born of God.
10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

 

In I John 2:4 God tells us that those who claim to know God (i.e., claim to be saved) but who do not keep His commandments, is a liar and is not saved and does not know God. In the next verse He says that those who abide in Christ (i.e., have eternal life) are those who practice walking in the way that Christ walked – that is, in righteousness and holiness. In the third passage, the Spirit tells us through John that no one who is abiding in Christ practices sin…any sin…period. Whoever practices righteousness (i.e., doing what is right in God’s eyes, which is the same as saying one who does not practice sin) is righteous, just as Christ is righteous. Whoever practices sin “is of the devil”…those who do not practice righteousness, nor loving on others in their time of need, are not of God – meaning that they are not saved nor do they have eternal life. In short, they are not Christians.

Now there are those out there, in their efforts to justify their sinful behavior before God, who claim that the Christian sins against the homosexual by calling him out on his sin – wrong answer. There is a judgmental way of doing that which IS WRONG…but as Paul says, “Am I now your enemy because I tell you the truth?” You may consider me your enemy because you don’t like what I am saying, but that does not mean that I consider you my enemy. The truth sets people free – lies of satan keep people bound to sin and eventually take them to hell. I do not condemn, that is not my place nor my authority. My authority is in preaching and teaching the truths of the Word of God, once I do so, the hearer has the responsibility to align his beliefs and life with the Word of God, or choose to reject it. Those who reject the Word of God reject God, and in doing so take themselves into a world of hurt and suffering, just as Paul lines out in Romans 1:18-32, which I will not post here, you can look it up for yourself.

 

5.  Homosexuals are born that way, they cannot help the way they feel.

Nope, that is neither true according to the Scriptures, nor according to science. This myth has entered into the church scene because pastors and teachers who are not saved, take the word of gay scientists over and above what the Word of God tells us. We will hit the gay gene myth here in a second, but first lets look and see what God has to say about the lie that He supposedly makes people born homosexuals…

 

Ecclesiastes 7:29
See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have chosen to go their own way.

 

That word for upright is the Hebrew word yasar, meaning straight, just, righteous in God’s eyes, which is why if an infant dies before the age of accountability, it goes straight to heaven because it has not yet come to understand the difference between right and wrong and has purposely chosen to sin. In other words, God makes all people perfect in His eyes from inception; the Scriptures do tell us that we were conceived in sin, but He is not saying that we are sinful from conception, He is saying that the flesh is sinful, not the baby.

God condemns homosexual activity, which we have already observed above, therefore…if God turns around and causes, or allows, people to be born homosexual, then He cannot be just or righteous. That’s like saying that after God made black people, He turns around and condemns them all to hell because they are black, not because of their choices. Sorry, but that is not Scriptural, God does not create some people through pro-creation to be something that He explicitly condemns – what that is, is the twisted minds of people trying to talk their way out of hell-fire while remaining in their chosen sin.

But, let’s be fair…what about people who are homosexuals who genuinely feel and believe that they were born gay (not just saying so in order to bolster their justification when it isn’t true)? Can there be any kind of truth to this scenario? There is truth, but not that people are born gay…let us look at another spiritual conception akin to this one. People who believe in reincarnation because they have vivid memories of their so-called passed lives, are being deceived through the means of possession by what the Bible calls as ‘familiar spirits’ (demons masquerading themselves for the purpose of deception). These people claim to have had these memories of their past lives early on in childhood…the most famous of cases is that of Shirley Maclain, who claims to have been reincarnated now for about 7 times, from (supposedly) a life of an Atlantean before it sank, to an American Indian princess, to prostitutes.

But the Scriptures tell us that reincarnation is a hoax, that it isn’t real…

 

Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

 

Reincarnation is from eastern mysticism, but the Scriptures teach that demons masquerading as ‘familiar spirits’ impersonate those whom they have possessed in the past. When people go to seances to speak to someone who has died…they cannot actually speak to the dead, because the dead are either in heaven or in hell, they don’t float around the earth and haunt houses or any of that nonsense. Those spirits which impersonate the dead are familiar spirits – that is, demons who possessed those people and who have all of their memories…and in the case of reincarnation, pass those memories on to those whom they are now possessing, making them believe that they have been reincarnated. Why would demons do that? Because the Word of God says that men die one time, and then wait to be judged in eternity…so if they can make people believe what is in contradiction to Scripture, then they effectively nullify saving faith in that person, and chalk one more soul for hell-fire.

In the same way, some people who genuinely believe they have been born gay, may be possessed from childhood and the demon possessing them gives them those homosexual tendencies. To many this may sound odd, but it really isn’t. The gospels record children being demon possessed in the Scriptures, and we even have modern day reports of child possessions (demons possess children in South America; demon possessed boy glides backwards across floor and walks up the wall). People only choose not to believe that a child could be demon possessed because people don’t want to believe in demons – however, since man dies one time and then goes to either heaven or to hell waiting for judgment, the only spirits left here on earth are demons and angels, and angels don’t deceive people, only demons do. Demons haunt houses, demons possess people, demons make people believe that they have been reincarnated, demons make people believe that they have been abducted by aliens, etc.

“Are you saying that all people who are homosexual are demon possessed? That’s ridiculous!”

Yes, that would be ridiculous, and that is why that’s not what I am saying. Some people who have had such homosexual tendencies since childhood may well be possessed since childhood, but the Scriptures tell us that for the most part (that is, apart from those who are being deceived into believing that they were born gay), the homosexual lifestyle is a chosen lifestyle, from one or another reason. I know a man who was straight until one of his friends asked him to go to a gay bar with him because he didn’t want to go alone – in my book, it would have been a great mistake to go with him, you are just walking into the snakes den. But he went because this guy was his friend.

But, during the course of the night, this guy was raped by a homosexual, and from that very night began having supernatural experiences from demonic sources. He could see the demon, it would manifest itself to him and talk to him. It would tell him that he now belonged to the demon, and that he would do with him whatever he liked. Ever since that night, this guy had strong homosexual urges – so what happened? From all that we have covered from above, and some new information I am about to give you, this poor guy became demon possessed because the guy that raped him was possessed by the same demon. The Scriptures tell us that two people who have sex, as a spiritual principle, become one person – that is, one life lived in two individuals.

This is one reason why God commands that we not have sex until we are married, and that we only have sex with our husband or wife, because we will become one with them when we consummate the marriage relationship. Every time a person has sex with someone, they break that supernatural tie to the one before, which tears one’s soul. So, after a man has had so many sex partners, and his soul has been torn several times, he becomes numb to things…he comes to the place where he doesn’t feel anything for anyone anymore, and it only gets worse and worse. Pretty soon, he (or she) is unable to form any spiritual attachment to anyone, and it only gets worse from there.

So, if a man is possessed by a demon, and he has sex with another person (straight or homosexual, it doesn’t matter, demons aren’t discriminant), he becomes one life with that person because of the spiritual principle, and now the demon possessing him has access to the person he is now one with. What does this have to do with a person who believes he was born homosexual? I am just showing that in many cases – not all cases – demon possession plays a key factor in homosexual activity…in fact, any activity that goes against Scripture. The demon possessed person will not love on you, to the contrary, they make those whom they possess do anything that they can do that is a direct contradiction to what the Scriptures teach.

How would a child get demon possessed? How indeed…how did the children that Jesus cast demons out of get possessed? I can’t answer that, all I can do is show that it is possible today through the activities of their parents when they were infants (or older). If the parents played D&D or played with Ouiji boards, or dabbled in witchcraft (which is on the rise and has been for the last 30 years), then the child in the house was an easy target for possession. Parents do stupid things sometimes that allow demonic activity into their homes…doing drugs, games, sexual perversions, having sex outside of marriage… anything that is strictly forbidden in Scripture, when one participates in it, can lead to demon possession.

I used to work in law enforcement for 25 years, in the county jail in California, and many times we had possessed people coming in that there was no doubt that they were possessed. The courts would label them as crazy and assign them to mental facilities, because the world does not want to believe that demons are real – because if they concede to demons, then the next step is to conceding to the Bible which tells us all about them. Anyway, let’s not get off track…

 

What marks a person as a Christian or not, is not so much what they believe as it is, in the short, what they do. You can believe, but if you do not align your behavior and life according to what God tells you to do – and stop doing what He tells you to stop doing – then you are not a Christian. Remember, the word means Christ-follower, or Christlike…you are not Christlike if you are practicing lying, stealing, being mean to people, using cuss words every paragraph (or worse), etc.

Too many people today in the church are walking the fuzzy road of their own making, and not following Christ according “to the way of God.” Jesus said there are two roads, the broad road which leads to destruction that many, many take…and the narrow road, which few find and walk. Far too many people are choosing to believe what the world says over and above what the Scriptures say. When a person who was at one time “born again” now chooses to believe that they don’t have to do everything that God tells them to do…when they choose to believe that homosexuals are born that way (even when science decries the nonsense that such behavior is directly attributable to genetic factors), even for the sake of their ailing conscience because one of their children chooses to be gay (and I can sympathize, but I would not ever compromise)…then such people are choosing lies over the truth, which takes them right back to Paul’s words in Romans 1:18-32.

When we reject the truth of God’s Word, and choose to accept the lies of the world, then we are, in fact, rejecting the God who spoke and wrote that Word. When we reject the light of the truth, all that remains for such people is the deception of the darkness which now darkens their minds and keeps them blinded from the truth.

You cannot reject truth and expect to hold truth, that is psychotic – yet that is exactly what many today who call themselves Christians, but are not, do.

But being a Christian is far more…one can have faith, repent, enter into Christ through water baptism and gain eternal life…and then never take that eternal life to its purpose…

 

John 17:3
And this is the purpose of eternal life, that they may come to know You personally, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

 

Christ does not give us eternal life as just a “get out of hell free” card, there is a purpose for giving people eternal life, and that is so that we have what we need in order to be able to enter into the presence of God and engage Him in personal relationship. If we fail to engage Him in personal relationship, then we are not Christians – because that is what Christianity is all about. What does engaging God in personal relationship look like? It is spending time with Him in prayer (intercessory) and in quiet time, where you share your soul with Him; and in personal times of worship at home.

Far too many people go to church on Sunday morning, maybe Sunday night, and that is the extent of their “relationship” with God. Sorry, that is not a relationship with God, that is simply being religious or playing church for social reasons. Christianity is all about relationship with God, not about religion…and because of false teachings, many believe that they are in relationship with God just because they got saved, or because they go to church, or because they pray and turn to God whenever they have some great catastrophe happen to them or someone they love. Again, sorry, but that is not a relationship with God…that is using God as your own personal cosmic Santa Claus, and that doesn’t cut it when it comes to eternal life.

In closing, what makes a person a Christian, is this:

A person is a Christian who has been saved from his past sins and is currently walking in a committed, personal relationship with God. He is one who is walking in obedience to God, not practicing lying, stealing, watching dirty movies, cussing, “getting some” whenever they can, practicing homosexual behavior, murdering people, etc. On the other hand, the Christian is the person who practices doing what God tells us to do, in loving on others when we see them in need, whether they are Christians or not. The Christian is one who has an intimate, personal, love relationship with God, who talks to God on a daily basis and makes Him a part of everything in their lives…who worships God at home and doesn’t wait until Sunday to do so. A Christian is a disciple of Christ, studying His word to renew his mind from worldly passions, to Godly passions…the Christian is the one who lives to please God, first and foremost.

People who claim to be Christians, but who spend most of their time doing anything and everything other than spending time in God’s Word, other than spending time with God Himself in prayer, other than making love to God in personal worship, are only kidding themselves. What takes a person from eternal life present, to the consummation of eternal life in heaven, is only that personal relationship with Him. That is what the fullness of the Word of God teaches.

 

What do you think?

Blessings!

 

 

 

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About newcovenantunderstanding

Dr. Dave A. Schoch, Th.D., New Testament Studies email: dkschoch@sbcglobal.net
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