I love to share my faith with non-believers and seekers alike, who have questions about the Christian faith, what we believe and why we believe it. In light of the postmodern perspective that many people adhere to these day, I would like to give a biblical perspective as a contrast to those who say that there is no absolute truth. I believe that the truth can be found in God's word the Bible. http://media4lifeministries.com
Many of us I’m sure, are familiar with the story of Ruth in the
Bible. This story I believe as many others do, is a message to the
Church today. There is an application in the story that God wants us to
hear and understand. Before I come to the application, I will summarize
There was a man named Elimelech who had a wife named Naomi and two
sons. They left the promised land because a famine had come upon it.
They did not seek the Lord, as many did in the times of the Judges, but
they went out of the land and settled in Moab. As time passed by,
Elimilech died and Naomi was left with her two sons Mahlon and Chilion.
These two sons married Moabite women, named Orpah and Ruth. After
some time both of their husbands died. Naomi was heartbroken about the
loss of her sons. She lost her faith and joy and decided to return to
the promised land.
So the three went out towards Israel, the promised land. But when
they came to a bend in the road, Naomi told her two daughters in law to
stay in the land of Moab and their gods. She said, I have no more sons
to give you, return to your homes. Orpah turned around and went back to
her land and her gods, but Ruth clung to Naomi.
She was not going home and she was determined to go with her Mother
in law into the land of Israel, to the hometown of Naomi which was
Bethlehem, Ephrathah in Judea. So she petitioned Naomi and said some of
the most beautiful words written in the Bible.
“Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following
after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I
will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where
you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me,
and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.” When she saw
that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.”
Ruth had fallen in love with Naomi and the God of Israel, the God of
Abraham, Issac and Jacob. Both of them set their eyes towards the
promised land and went on their way to Bethlehem.
One day Ruth was gleaning the fields and she met Boaz who was very
kind to her because he had already learned about her and how she was a
good daughter in law to Naomi who was a relative of Boaz. As Ruth was
coming home, Naomi was amazed at how much Ruth had gleaned. She asked
her which field she was gleaning in and she told her that it was the
field of Boaz.Naomi was beside herself and thanked the God of Israel who
had shown favor on her.
Long story, short, Naomi became the match maker and Boaz married
Ruth. They had a child together who’s name was Obed, who was the father
of Jesse, who was the father of the future King of Israel, David.
What can we as the church learn from this story? How is it relevant
for us as believers who believe in the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob?
What is the application for us today?
In the ancient Jewish culture the names of people had meanings. The
name Elimilech means “God is King” and Naomi means “pleasant.” Ruth
means “friend or friendly” in the Hebrew and Orpah means “to turn the
back of the neck.”
That is what Orpah did, she turned her back of the neck towards
Naomi and went back to Moab and her gods. Not so with Ruth, she embraced
the Jewish people and the true and living God of Israel and God blessed
her beyond her wildest imagination. She became the great-grandmother of
King David. From the line of King David came Jesus the promised Messiah
i.e Yashuah which means “salvation.”
Just as Orpah turned her back on Israel, so today many of the
churches have turned their backs on Israel. They teach a replacement
theology and that all the blessings and promises that God gave to Israel
are now belonging to the church. At a time that Israel needs us most,
many have turned their backs.
But there are some within the body of Christ that want to bless and
support Israel. The Land of Israel is God’s land. It belongs to Him and
no one else. It is the Land where He gave His only begotten Son and it
is the Land where Jesus will return to rule as King from Jerusalem. It
is the Land where God will reveal His Son to the Jewish people.
Just as Ruth loved the Jewish people, so we as the church need to
love and support them. We need to pray for them and help them to return
to the land given to them so long ago by God through a promise to
God is fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant today and all the
unconditional blessings that come with this covenant. He wants to bring
back His people to the covenant of faith, not of the law. The law was
given to Israel 430 years after Abraham because they had left the faith
and went after other gods and everybody did what was right in their own
The law was a Tudor, showing people that they can never live up to
the righteousness and Holiness of God. Now that God has brought them
back into the land, in unbelief as prophesied in Ezekiel 36 and 37, He
will one day open their eyes and they will see Yashua. The will believe,
just as Abraham believed and it was accounted to him as righteousness.
We as true biblical believers are not sons of Moses and the law, we
are the sons and daughters of Abraham by the grace of God through
We need to bless Israel and the people of Israel and worship the
LORD in spirit and truth. Israel is not out of the picture and God has
not cast them aside. Israel is the apple of His eye. We as the church
have a role to play in these last days. If we want to be blessed by God,
we need to stand with His chosen people.
Ruth chose to go with Naomi to the land and she loved the God of
Israel and He blessed her there. This is what God wanted all along, the
Jew and the Gentiles coming together as one, which was and is part of
the unconditional covenant with Abraham in Genesis chapter 15.
“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who
curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be
“…just as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
righteousness. Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons
of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the
Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying,
“In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of
faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” Galatians 3:6-9.
Once again I had someone argue with me
on my Facebook page about salvation after reading my blog “Faith or
Works?” This person believes as does his church that works are required
in order to be saved. He cited of course the passage in James chapter
2, which some believe contradicts Paul’s writing in Ephesians chapter 2.
Paul and James do not contradict one
another. Paul writes about salvation from God’s perspective and James
from a human perspective.
Saving faith in a person should be
evident in their lives by the fruit they bear. As Jesus said, by their
fruit shall you know them. A genuine believer that is saved by faith
should bear good fruit for the kingdom.
It amazes me that there are so many
people that cannot and will not receive the free gift of salvation
through faith in Jesus Christ. They think that there must be something
that they have to do to be saved. I guess some of of it is our human
nature, but I have witnessed and seen numerous people spending years to
argue that works need to be included. They argue that faith in God alone
is not enough and that we have to do something more than just believe.
I don’t see how anyone can come up with a
works based salvation message. I cannot find that anywhere in the pages
of scripture. It is all God’s work and nothing that we have done. God
did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He send His only begotten
Son. (John 3:16)
We are all declared sinners before God, not one is righteous on their own. “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.” Rom 3:10, 11.
God has declared that ALL of mankind has fallen short of His perfect Holiness. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23.
It started in garden of Eden when Adam
and Eve disobeyed God and they ate from the forbidden tree. That one act
of disobedience caused sin to enter the world and the result was a
spiritual separation from God. Adam and Eve who once were in perfect
harmony with God found themselves separated and soon after witnessed
what their disobedience had brought forth, the first recorded murder
when Cain slew Abel.
I can only imagine what Adam and Eve
must have felt on that day when they saw the outcome of their sin. The
result of sin is death. They did not die physically, but they died
spiritually. There was nothing that Adam and Eve could do to atone for
their sin. They tried to cover up their disobedience with fig leafs,
thinking that God would be ok with that. But it was not ok, God clothed
them in animal skins, signifying that blood was required to atone for
their sins. The blood of an innocent animal could only cover their sins
but not take them away. Later when we come to the time of Moses, God
instituted blood sacrifices as part of the law.
Just as Adam and Eve covered themselves
in fig leafs, so are many people today have a fig leaf religion. They
think that they can appease God on their own merit. They think that by
their “good works” God will look at them as righteous before Him. That
is a false hope, there is absolutely nothing that any of us can do to
please God with our works. God provided one way and one way alone and we
must receive that way.
The only way provided is through the
precious blood of Christ. The shed blood of Christ on the cross was
sufficient and acceptable for the Father. Jesus is our propitiation, the
passover lamb. He that knew no sin became sin for us and died for us,
so that we may live eternally with Him.
To all those who think and teach that
faith in Jesus alone is not enough and that certain works are required
to earn salvation are gravely mistaken. The law could not justify anyone
and no one was or is able to keep the law perfectly. If any of us were
able to keep the law, than Christ died in vain. People that want to live
a life of bondage to the law are destined to fail. The law is perfect
and breaking one of them means breaking all of God’s law.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Rom 3:20.
Paul wrote to the Galatians: “But
the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in
Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But the Scripture has
confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might
be given to those who believe. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring
us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has
come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God
through faith in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:22-26.
Yet there are those who insist that
works are required, the write books about it, they preach from the
pulpit and keep their congregation under legalism and bondage. Christ
came to set us free from all of that. We are no longer under the law but
under grace. The gospel i.e. the good news is so simple, but people
have to make it complicated and the put heavy burden on others. This is
not what Christ came for and it is not what God wants.
Jesus came to die on the cross for us.
He left His place in Heaven to become one of us and to take our sins
upon Him. He didn’t have to do that, but God so loves us that He send
His Son Who willingly gave His life. That is something to rejoice in and
to be thankful for. But what do so many denominations and churches do?
They overlook or don’t understand the true meaning of God’s grace and
teach others that the have to live by certain rules and regulation in
order to be saved.
They have teachings that are not
biblical and not be backed up by the scriptures. They twist and turn
verses or built their whole theology around a couple of verses, failing
to compare scriptures with scriptures. It is no wonder that
non-believers sometimes mock Christianity. There are so many
denominations and branches of churches out there, teaching different
viewpoints and are convinced that the are the only “true church.” There
is a lot of confusion out there among the various denominations.
No wonder that Christians look divided,
rather than being of one mind. They follow the teachings of men rather
than what the word of God teaches.
The only way someone can be saved in by
believing in Jesus by faith. It is not Jesus plus, it is Him alone and
only through Him and Hid finished work can we be justified before God.
It is not our righteousness that God looks at but His righteousness that
was imputed onto every true believer. Thank you God for Your mercy and
for Your grace. Thank you Father for giving Your only begotten Son.
Thank you Jesus for setting us free from
the bondage of law and that you have broken the wall of separation so
that we may come boldly before the throne of God.Thank you for giving us
Your perfect peace.
“Therefore, having been justified by
faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,through
whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and
rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Rom 5:1, 2.
“But now the righteousness of God
apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the
Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ,
to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have
sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His
grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set
forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His
righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins
that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His
righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who
has faith in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law?
Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man
is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” Rom 3:21-28.
some that firmly believe that the Bible is full of contradictions. Are
they right, does the Bible contradict itself? The most common one that
people use to proof their case the Bible contains contradictions are the
writings of Paul and James. Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians
grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it
is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Eph 2:8,
clearly states that believers are saved through faith in Christ Jesus
and His finished work on the cross. Saving faith is a gift and it was
given by God to the believers. They cannot earn it by works or any other
means. Salvation is truly by God’s grace and through faith in Christ
minute some argue, what about James, he seemed to think that works are
required in order to be saved. Is that what James is saying and people
use it to point out a contradiction to what Paul wrote? Paul wrote “not
of works.” James mentions works. “Thus also faith by itself, if it
does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and
I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show
you my faith by my works.” James 2:17, 18.
contradiction some would say. But is it really a contradiction? Let me
first say that there are no contradictions in the Bible, there might be
some words that got lost in translation from the Hebrew or the Greek
into English where the translators could have used a different word,
but there are no contradictions.
passages in conflict with each other? Did James contradict Paul when he
wrote that faith without works is dead? I don’t think so at all. The
most simplest way of looking at these two passages is that Paul wrote
from God’s perspective or the divine level and James wrote from the
human perspective, the human level.
it very clear that man cannot save himself. No matter how hard someone
might try to reach God by works or religious rituals. Salvation is a
free gift of God by His mercy and grace. It is His divine action that
saves the believers, not the other way around. God did what we could not
do for ourselves. He made the way to be reconciled with Him through the
sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, our propitiation. Many times in the
Bible we read “I will.” It is God that saves.
saying that someone can say that they have faith which cannot be seen.
Anyone can say, I have faith and I believe in God, but they do not show
or bear any fruit at all. They may go to church, read their Bibles, look
spiritual and act holy but in reality they are unfruitful. They go
through the motions and that’s what James is saying, true saving faith
should be evident in the believer by how they live and how their faith
in Christ produces fruit, some thirty, some sixty and some a hundred
Jesus say about faith and bearing fruit? There are many passages of
course, I will use the gospel of John to show what Jesus said.
the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. “Every branch in Me
that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears
fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. “You are already clean
because of the word which I have spoken to you. “Abide in Me, and I in
you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the
vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are
the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for
without Me you can do nothing. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is
cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw
them into the fire, and they are burned. “If you abide in Me, and My
words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done
for you. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so
you will be My disciples.: John 15:1-8.
Christ is the key, faith in Him and Him alone saves a person, not works.
Good works or bearing fruit is the evidence of faith. There are many
within the Christian faith that teach that works are required and in
order to be saved you have to do this or that. Those are either cults or
legalistic people who do not know or understand the grace of God. They
are in bondage to themselves. If anyone ever comes to you with that kind
of doctrine, point them to the thief on the cross. He had no works to
show for that would save him, yet Jesus told him that he would be in
Paradise with Him. The thief on the cross believed Jesus and had a
change of mind (repentance).
“Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4.
For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:3. James 2:23.
“For God so
loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16.
have raised the question and discussed the existence of a literal place
called Hell. Is Hell for real? I believe that it is, in fact Jesus
Himself spoke more about the literal existence of Hell than anybody else
in the Bible. Another word for Hell is the lake of fire mentioned four
times in the book of Revelation. What is that place and where is it?
I don't think that anyone really knows for sure.
are some that believe that hell is in the center of the earth, while
others believe that it may be far out in the universe i.e. the outer
darkness Jesus spoke off. "And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Mat 25:30. This phrase was used by the Lord three times in the gospel of Matthew.
word Hell appears 32 times in all of the Bible. In the Hebrew the word
hell is Sheol. According to the concordance the word Sheol can mean:
underworld, grave, hell, pit. The OT designation for the abode of the
dead or: 1) place of no return 2) without praise of God. 3) wicked sent
there for punishment. 4) righteous not abandoned to it. 5) of the
place of exile. 6) of extreme degradation in sin.
the New Testament which was written in the Greek the word Hell/Sheol is
translated as Gehenna. Here is what the concordance list as to what it
means: 1) Hell is the place of the future punishment call "Gehenna" or
"Gehenna of fire". This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of
Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out
and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.
Apostle Peter in his second epistle uses the word tartaroo to describe
Hell. Concordance: 1) the name of the subterranean region, doleful and
dark, regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead,
where they suffer punishment for their evil deeds; it answers to Gehenna
of the Jews. 2) to thrust down to Tartarus, to hold captive in
I believe that Peter used this word because he was writing to a Greek audience and they knew what he meant by the word Tartaroo.
are many even within Christendom that either flat-out deny the
existence of Hell or fail to speak about from the pulpit. Just as many
deny the existence of Satan i.e. the Devil. Universalism teaches that
there is no Hell and that eventually everybody will be saved. Then there
are those that would say, if God is so loving, why does He sent people
of all, God does not send people to Hell, they send themselves there by
rejecting His free gift of salvation which is through His Son Christ
Jesus. He did not come into the world to send people to Hell, He came to
set people free from sin and the white throne judgment of God that all
of those who reject Jesus will have to face one day.
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. "For God
did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the
world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not
condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he
has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. "And this
is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men
loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. "For
everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light,
lest his deeds should be exposed." John 3:16-20.
people know John 3:16, but many forget to read the other verses to get
the full context of what Jesus was saying. God loves us and he
demonstrated His love by giving His only begotten Son, but many do not
want to believe, do not care or simply reject Him. All have sinned and
fallen short of the Glory of God (Rom 3:23). All of us have broken
God's divine laws and we deserve punishment.
by His Mercy and Grace has provided a way to avoid that judgment and
that is through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Those who believe
by faith will be saved and inherit eternal life. Those who reject will
have a different destiny; Hell or eternal separation from God.
may say that God does not exist, therefore Hell does not exist. Can
they really be sure? Can they be sure hat there is nothing after death?
I may not be able to proof the existence of God or Hell to an
unbeliever or someone who rejects God completely, but I know that I know
that God is for real, heaven is for real and unfortunately Hell is for
does not want anybody to end up in Hell and I believe that He makes
every effort to save people from that place. He does this through His
word and the witness of others that share the gospel. People have to
really harden their hearts before God let's them go, just as Pharaoh
did. It is not God that hardens the hearts of people. God gave Pharaoh
many chances to listen to Him, but Pharaoh hardened his heart each time
and rejected, until God finally let him go.
hope that there are many out there that have a soft heart that hear the
call and the voice of God. This world as we know it is coming to an
end. I don't know the day or the hour, we are on God's prophetic time
clock. Looking at the world today, it's a few seconds before midnight.
no expert on Hell either, neither do I want to be, I never wanna see or
be at that place wherever it may be. I hope that if you are an
unbeliever and read this, not to laugh it off, but to at least think
about what Jesus said and what He did. Jesus did for us what we could
not do ourselves. He died for you and me, taking our deserved punishment
so that we can spend eternity with Him. Eternity is a long time and
there are only two destinations; Heaven or Hell. Which one will you
"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6.