It All Boils Down To This


 

Spiritually, everything boils down to this: having faith in the God-man Jesus, crucified on the cross for all sins, and resurrected, for our salvation; loving God, and loving and forgiving others as yourself, as Jesus loves; believing and following the Word and Spirit as a redeemed child of God, by His grace; and eagerly looking forward to Jesus’ Return and Our Father’s promise of Heaven–our destiny.

–Curtis Smale

The Most Important Lesson For Everyone


What I am about to say is not an exaggeration, nor is it a poetic flourish. This is something to live by daily and to absolutely never forget. This is the most important lesson I have ever learned (and am still learning).

The greatest pain and suffering, by far, that I have ever experienced, has come from unforgiveness, resentment, hatred, and unresolved anger.

Jesus was not kidding when He said that if you do not forgive others their sins against you that God will not forgive ~your~ sins, and that He will send the ~torturers~ against you. (The torturers are not men in black masks holding swords in dungeons, but depressing, despairing, painful, terrifying emotions and destructive effects in your life.)

This does not mean that a believer in Jesus is not saved if he does not forgive, but that he will receive the same kind of judgment and punishment and torment from God in his soul that he is giving to others in his mind.

Here are part of the verses of the story Jesus told, in Matthew 18:28-35:

But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.

Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.

Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’

And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.

Forgiving others ~completely~ is the key that unlocks the door out of the worst mental and emotional prison there is. Not forgiving others their sins against you, ~no matter how painful and severe or evil or unjust those sins and abuses were~, is the most destructive force, no exaggeration, in anyone’s life, that I have ever seen. I can think of ten people I’ve known, right off the top of my head, whose lives seem ruled by, and ruined by: resentment, anger, hate and unforgiveness.

The anger that comes from not forgiving others (especially not forgiving those who have severely abused you ~or people like them~) can cause depression, inner chaos and painful thoughts and emotions, random angers, wanting to get rid of friends who do you wrong, suicidal thoughts, despair of life, general negativity, overeating, obesity, alcohol and drug abuse, emotional pain and emptiness, relationship problems, domestic abuse, violence, stress!, health problems, spiritual problems; terrifying, excruciating emotional pain, and probably many other things.

One of the worst things about unforgiveness is that the pain and problems keep coming back if you forget this lesson and start hating and wanting revenge again (what you and I foolishly and sinfully call, “justice”). My opinion is that ~most~ people in therapists’ and psychiatrists’ offices are there because they do not have the emotional freedom that forgiveness could provide

~in a moment~.

(And forgiveness is a continually daily repeated thing, for new offenses, and for old offenses newly remembered.) It is easy to forget this lesson, and to start hating again. Lives are literally destroyed by unforgiveness.

Lives are healed and prospered by forgiveness.

Forgiveness is ~love~.

First Note: You do not have to stay around or in relationships with destructive or unloving people.

Second Note: Our hatred and vengeance is sinful, whereas God’s hatred and vengeance is pure and good, because it is ~righteous~ (holy) judgment against sin.

God dealt with all sin by having His Son tortured and killed on the cross, once for all, for the just payment and forgiveness of ~all~ sins of ~all~ people. Believe in Him and be forgiven of your sins, saved forever, given a new life, filled with His Spirit, and destined for Heaven–irrevocably and permanently.

Pray for and give gifts to those who hurt you, whom you forgive, as Jesus commands you to do. Give good for evil, not evil for evil. Overcome evil with good. We all need Jesus’ help and love and power and wisdom and comfort to forgive. Ask the Holy Spirit for help and for the ability to forgive. Forgiving must be 100% toward everyone, for everything they have ever done to you, and everything everyone continues to do to you, for you to really live

~free~.

–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