You Are Not Ultimately in Control of Anything


My Uncle Doug always used to say this, or something very similar.

I never really understood what he was talking about.

I could choose to do this or that.

I was in control of that, wasn’t I?

Only took me till age 53 to see what he was talking about.

Sure, you can do whatever you want. But you are not guaranteed of the outcome.

People can betray you, your health can take a sudden dramatic turn, you can get in a deadly accident, you can lose the most secure job.

Unforeseen circumstances, the back and forth, the reversals, the uncertainty.

If you cannot control the outcome, what control do you really have?

Credit where credit is due. My Uncle Doug was right.

God bless Uncle Doug.

I now see “Trust in the Lord and lean not to your own understanding” in a whole new way.

Curtis Smale

 

 

 

“The World’s Leading Authority”? Really?


As you get older, you get a little cynical of a lot of the imperfect nonsense that is being sold to you as infinite perfection.

“The World’s Leading Authority”? Seriously?

In a world where the aggregate of human knowledge doubles every few months, is there a single person on the planet who has the -time- to be a Leading Authority on any subject?

I find it expeshially laughable when scientists advance themselves as the living embodiment of god-like knowledge, because their imperfect knowledge is continually being revised and replaced.

Yet they stand there on their TV show or talk show, as if they were God Himself, perfect in knowledge.

Of course it is blasphemy and idolatry to worship yourself and your knowledge, no matter how great it might be, because it is no match for the knowledge of the One who truly -does- know everything: God Almighty, the Creator of the Universe.

–Curtis Smale

Believe in the God-Man Jesus as Savior–Crucified for All of the Sins of Everyone, Buried, And Resurrected; Love with God’s Love; and Forgive, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, as a Child of God, Who Is Your Heavenly Father


If I needed to sum up what Christians and churches should be, these three things would be it.

Of course, there is Bible study, prayer, evangelism, worship and fellowship, and many other things, but based on the Bible, if I could pick three things that are really needed, these would be those.

Today’s churches focus on Lordship Salvation False Gospel, attendance–large crowds, theologically deficient ego-rock for songs, Family focus (what about all the single people like me?), Money and Entertainment and Politics.

My guess is Jesus is ready to spit many of them out of  His mouth after getting a taste of what they are doing. (see the book of Revelation)

Curtis Smale

“The Difference Between Belief, Opinion, Fact, and Truth”


So, what is the difference between “belief,” “opinion,” “fact,” and “truth”?

First, let’s look at some dictionary definitions.

Belief: 
a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true; a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable;  a feeling of trust in the worth or ability of someone; a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing; something believed; especially :  a tenet or body of tenets held by a group

Believe: 
to accept or regard something as true

Opinion:
 a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something : what someone thinks about a particular thing;
belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge

Fact: 
something that truly exists or happens : something that has actual existence; a true piece of information; something that has actual existence; an actual occurrence; a piece of information presented as having objective reality

Truth:
the truth : the real facts about something : the things that are true; the quality or state of being true;
a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true
b :  sincerity in action, character, and utterance
(1) :  the state of being the case :  fact (2) :  the body of real things, events, and facts :  actuality (3) often capitalized :  a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality
b :  a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true 

Most secular people today, and also many Christians, think that beliefs and opinions are identical. They also often think that facts and truth are the same thing. But there are very important distinctions between these four things.

A belief is something that is held to be true. It is distinct from an opinion in that it is often, especially in religious connotations, a tenet that regards the universal truth about objective reality. 

An opinion is a personal evaluation of someone or something that assigns a value or critique of that thing, such as a movie review.

A fact is a statement, usually about physical reality, such as a “scientific fact.” It is also often an accurate statement of events that have occurred.

“Truth” is the way things actually are, whether we like it or not. For example, either there is a God or there is not. One is true and the other is false. It cannot be both true and false that God exists. To assert that this is the case is to destroy rationality.

Two Notes: 
I disagree with the two areas of modern bias in the dictionary quotes above. A belief is not a “feeling.” (This is an attempt of modern unbelievers to make all beliefs a matter of emotion. They are not.

An older version of the ~same~ dictionary defines” belief” as, “an assent of the mind to the truth of a declaration, proposition, or alleged fact, on the ground of evidence, distinct from personal knowledge. I’d say that hits the target.

Secondly, under, “Truth,” I don’t know what a “real fact” would be in contrast to a “fact.” There seems to be a subtle scepticism as to what a “fact” is, included in this phrase.

–Curtis Smale

“What is the Difference Between Salvation and Fellowship with God?”


Many people today in various churches believe that something more than, “believe in Jesus” is needed for salvation. (This is the deadly false doctrine called, “Lordship Salvation” taught by the Roman Catholic Church, and by ~many~ Protestant churches today.” It is the number one lie of Satan.)

Some of the things that people believe they need to do to get saved or maintain being saved are:

1) “repentance from sins” (turning from sins)

2) being water baptized

3) attending church (or Mass),

4) avoiding big sins

5) doing good works of discipleship

6) loving your neighbor as yourself

7) forgiving people

8) giving money faithfully to the work of the church

9) being positive and joyful

10) knowing the Bible

11) raising good kids

12) being tolerant

13) attending Communion or Lord’s Supper regularly

Now these are all positive things, but you can’t get saved by doing ~any~ of them. These are all the works of ~men~.

~The Bible says very clearly, over and over, that no one can be saved by doing good works.~

~The Bible says very clearly, over and over, about 150 times, that the ~only~ thing that is necessary for a person to be saved is for that person to BELIEVE IN JESUS.~ The Philippian jailer asked Paul the apostle, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul answered: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:30,31)

Jesus said the same thing in John 3:16 and John 6:47:

“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

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” –John 6:47

~Nothing else~ is required of you for you to be guaranteed of salvation, to be completely forgiven, to be transformed, and to be guaranteed to go to Heaven when you die.

Jesus did it ~all~.

Anything you add to believing in Jesus, anything else you are trusting in, in addition to Jesus, to be saved, creates a false Gospel that cannot save you.

If you add your good works or your discipleship to the Gospel of Jesus, it becomes a false Gospel (see Galatians chapter one).

~Trust in Jesus ~alone~ and you will be saved.~

Don’t make your good works or your discipleship or your ~repentance from sins~ or your water baptism part of salvation–they are not part of salvation.

*******

Secondly, we are only kept in ~fellowship~ with God through faith in Jesus.

Our good works done as believers, motivated by the Spirit of God, are ~not~ what saves us –they are ~not~ part of salvation, they are the ~result~ of salvation.

Only the perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus can save us.

Doing sins does not damn us and doing good works does not save us.

Our sins have been forgiven by Jesus.

Our sins would have damned us, but they have ~all~ been paid for by Jesus’ dying on the cross.

Repentance means to “change your mind” and to realize that your are a sinner and that Jesus is God and Savior. The repentance spoken of in the Bible in association with salvation is not, “repent of your sins,” but, “repent” (change your mind about your unbelief–and believe in Jesus.)

The Bible ~never~ commands us to “repent of our sins” in order to be saved.

Certainly, changing our minds about sins and stopping doing sins is a good thing, but doing this will ~not~ save you.

Only believing in Jesus will save you.

The baptism that saves your soul is ~not~ water baptism, but ~spiritual~ baptism, where we are baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ, invisibly, at the moment of belief. (Romans 6:3-4)

Our attempts at being good, our good works and our avoidance of sinning does not qualify us for fellowship with God.

Only Jesus’ forgiveness and righteousness can qualify us for fellowship with God–only He makes us pure in the sight of God.

So here we see freedom in salvation through faith in Christ, and freedom in fellowship with God through faith in Christ.

Believe in Christ, and you will be saved.

(Another way of saying this is to “trust in Jesus as your Savior from sin and Hell.”)

If you believe in Jesus you will also be sanctified, if you follow the Spirit and do good works.

Only belief in Jesus saves anyone from their sins and from Hell.

Only believing in Jesus is the way to Heaven. (John 6:47; John 3:16; 1st Corinthians 15:1-4; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:13,14; Ephesians 2:8,9)

–Curtis Smale

4 Things Every Religion Has a Doctrine About


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Every religion on earth, and all throughout history, has a doctrine about each one of the following four things:

God

Morality

Reality

Salvation/Afterlife/Heaven

The question is, what is the truth about each of these four subjects?

The answers, according to the Bible, are:

God is the Creator of the Universe.

Morality is the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.

Reality is that you are not God and that God is not part of the world.

Salvation from sin and Hell is found through faith in Jesus the crucified and risen Savior.

False religions have false answers to these questions.

These answers are God’s answers that He has revealed through His written Word.

–Curtis Smale