Are You a Bible-believing Christian?
This Message is for You!
"Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away." Matt 24:35
"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
"Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them. Not everyone that sayeth unto me; Lord, Lord, will enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in heaven." Matt. 7:19-2 1.
To become a disciple, Christ has called us to follow Him, and to forsake everything which hinders our salvation, or comes between us and Him.
"If any man come unto me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever does not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple." Luke 14. And again: "So likewise ye, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:33.
"I am the way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me." John 14.
The rich young man had kept all the commandments, from his youth up! But Jesus said: "One thing thou lackest, go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." Mark 10:21. And when the young man went away grieved, Jesus turned to his disciples and said: "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!"
Anyone who believes Heaven is as easy as accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior is badly mistaken. Accepting Jesus Christ as one's Savior has a great cost attached to it, and it involves much more than just a confession of knowing Jesus Christ. It means the forsaking of worldly friends, possibly family, self-will and everything that may be dear to the flesh. Following Christ means taking up His cross daily, obeying ALL His commandments, and giving your all for the sake of others. It means giving up the sword, the wisdom of the world, and the inherent drive to gain prestige, wealth, and advantage. It also means suffering wrongfully, and being buffeted and persecuted for His name sake. He said we are not fit for His Kingdom if we start something and don't finish it. Luke 14.
If you are a Christian who loves the Lord Jesus Christ, you must devote 100% of your time and/or resources to His cause. For this to become a reality or possibility, you must go right back to the first Pentecost which was the birth of true Christianity and the true church. Here we find the unmistakable foundation and framework of Christianity. The first church of the apostles of Jesus Christ began when all who believed were together, and had all things in common and sold all their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need. Acts 2:44-45, also 4:32-34. This is the historical foundation of the first church of Christ which began at Pentecost, and no other foundation can man lay than that which is laid. Gal. l. Most Christians will make excuses here by saying that system worked back then, but certainly doesn't apply to today, for Scripture says we are saved by grace, and not of works, lest any man should boast! But no, we have to take all Scripture into account, not just the verses that are easy on the flesh. For as the body without the spirit is dead, even so faith is dead without the works. James 2.
Jesus was very specific on which works He requires from us, when He said: "This is my commandment: That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life (giving his all) for his friends. And ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." John 15. Again "By this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you have love one for another." John 13:35.
Was Jesus talking about grace here or works? Yes, we are under grace while we are in ignorance, but once we come to the knowledge of the truth, Christ demands works, otherwise faith becomes dead, alone, and unfruitful.
This love which Christ spoke of here is not simply a warm and washy feeling one has towards his fellow believer, but a conviction which displays itself in action. Love as a feeling is not edifying to anyone but the feeler, but love, as Christ meant it, is the giving and sacrificing of self for the benefit of all those around him. This kind of love enables us to comprehend all the verses in Scripture where followers of Christ are likened unto a body with many members, and all the members have the same care one for another, even though they don't all have the same office.
Of all the passages in the Bible defining true Christianity, none are more inclusive and explicit than those of a living human body, it can function and live only if all organs are connected to each other and working together in harmony. Even so must believers be spiritually and physically united with each other before they are a true body in Christ. One member cannot say to the other: I have no need of you, or I will do my thing and you do yours! For the body is not one member, but many, and all are members one of another. I Cor. 12. Also Eph.4. If we only see our other members on Sunday mornings when most of them are in their best behavior, aren't we making a mockery of the body of Christ, and of His commandments?
Paul writes, "Bear ye one anotherís burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Gal. 6:2. To do this, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, we have to live with him otherwise the law of Christ cannot be fulfilled! One cannot fully follow Christ in life while living by himself and for himself. The apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians: "we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church."
These words leave us with little doubt that true believers are likened unto the union of husband and wife. They must be together to bear fruit, even as in a natural marriage. For if anything in this life hinders us from forsaking all and following Christ, as He commanded, then we still love that something more than Him; and Christ says whoever loves anything more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Christ also called His followers to separate from the world when He said, "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." John 17:16. "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own, but now I have called you out of the world." And again "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness? ...Wherefore, come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you; and shall be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord almighty." 2 Cor. 6
There are no alternate routes into heaven and Christ emphasized that point time and again. That is why He solemnly warned His disciples: "Take heed and let no man deceive you, for there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets and teachers, and shall deceive many... wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them..."
We are living in these perilous times right now. Many claim to be Christians while living a life of sin and a great many more affirm to be saved, but have not denied themselves to follow Christ. Multitudes of churches proclaim to teach the truth, but their doctrine is riddled with errors and non-biblical practices. Infant baptism, divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, sexual immorality, taking up arms, sports, drugs and alcohol, loving money, pomposity, evolution, luxuries, fashions, prestige, etc.., are all unbiblical teachings and practices which only nourish the carnal man, certainly not the spiritual and inner man. These unchristian practices, beliefs, and teachings have found their way into most mainline churches in some form or another, but the highest commandment of love, to which Christ committed most of His ministry, has largely been disregarded in favor of a cheap grace Gospel devised in the mind of fallen man, and God's word has been distorted to fit that lifestyle. This is dreadfully wrong, and will have everlasting consequences.
In Romans 12 Paul writes, "I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Living the gospel of Christ is indeed possible, but one must first forsake the world with all its theologies, philosophies, and humanisms, and desire the sincere milk of Godís word, that he may grow thereby and a Christian must grow to remain a Christian. His life is a lifelong pilgrimage and growth, which begins when one repents of his sins and is converted to Christ. The next step then is the confession of faith. Then comes the fiery trial, the battle with Satan and the flesh, which every individual is destined to lose without the help of Christ and a body of believers. A victorious and new life then follows if the believer completely dies to self and joins a church that lives according to the whole Gospel. The rebirth is then completed if the believer gives up all his personal possessions, and accepts the baptism of water as a sign of a new life in Christ. The lifework of the believer then consists of serving others with all that God has given him.
If you would like to learn more about this "more excellent way" and how true Christianity can be a living daily expression; how you can live it or become part of it, write to:
Fort Pitt Hutterian Brethren
Who are the Hutterian Brethren? The Hutterian Brethren Church was founded in the Reformation period of the 16th century. All its teachings come straight from the Bible and are directly based on the first church which began at Pentecost. All the teachings of Christ and His apostles are exemplified and practiced in daily life. Love, self-sacrifice, humility, temperance, unity, and meekness are the virtues which impart Christ's love in one individual upon his neighbor. It is only in true Christian Community where all the teachings of the New Testament can be fully understood, applied, and expressed.
(A track from the Fort Pitt Hutterian Brethren. Last updated 08/25/00. )
Psalm 133: "For there [in brotherly community] the Lord has commanded the blessing, life for evermore."