Tag Archives: Christian

FIVE REASONS TO BE A HAPPY CHRISTIAN (PART 2)

“May the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and thankful” (Psalm 68:3).

Last week, I shared with you three wonderful reasons why you should be a happy Christian. If you recall, they are:  We have been justified, and that we have peace, and access. Those alone are enough to make us extremely happy, but just in case you’re one of those hard-to-be-happy people, I’ll share two more reasons with you.

  1. We have grace. “We have access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (Romans 5:2a). Grace is wonderful! It is the unmerited favor of God. That means you didn’t do anything to earn it. He saved you because he loves you and he loves you because it is in his nature to love everyone (John 3:16).
  2. We have joy. “We rejoice in the hope of a glorious God” (Romans 5:2b). We rejoice in the gift of God which we have received. We rejoice that we can now live a Godly life. We even can rejoice in suffering (Romans 5:3-5). People can be happy with little and miserable with much. One of the secrets of finding happiness and contentment is to think about all the things you have, not the things you don’t. Learn to be like Paul who said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). If you are a Christian, smile. You’ve got a lot to be happy about.

Robert Wilkerson is a minister, Christian writer, and co-founder of People for the Christian Way. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net   www.PeoplefortheChristianway.com

Reasons Churches Shouldn’t Be Taxed

 

A growing number of people in America seem to be church haters.  Their main spoken objections to churches is that they are tax exempt. However, there are at least five reasons why they should be exempt.

  1. Churches do not sell a product.
  2. They exist only on donations. The money given has already been taxed.
  3. They perform acts of charity. They feed, clothe, counsel, educate, and provide shelter, housing, and medical care for the poor and needy. They provide children’s homes and orphanages. They provide shelter and food for the homeless and helpless. Church members continuously give millions of unpaid, volunteer hours to hospitals and nursing homes. It is impossible to list all the good that is done by churches and their people. In recent years, churches have formed disaster relief teams and go into areas after floods, tornadoes, and other things and provide help that the government doesn’t. The Saddleback Church went into Louisiana after the Katrina disaster. They sent 17 semi truckloads of food, diapers, and formula to help the needy. Each Monday, they help 300-400 families with bags of groceries and do many other charitable things.
  4. Any organization that exists off donations and does charitable work qualifies for tax exemption. If you take away that exemption from churches, fairness dictates that all charitable organizations should lose their exemptions as well. Wouldn’t that be a sad day?
  5. They make valuable contributions to society. Churches, synagogues, and mosques, through their teachings of the Law (The 10 Commandments), and love (the teachings of Jesus) contribute to the order and stability of society. Without such invisible under girding, people revert to the law of the jungle.

Robert Wilkerson is a minister, Christian writer and co-founder of People For the Christian Way.

 

 

Oh, You Can’t Get to Heaven

Can you remember that old song we sang as kids, “Oh, You Can’t Get to Heaven”? It listed several different ways you couldn’t (such as a motor car, a boat, etc.). It was sung in fun, but there are several ways adults try to get to heaven that won’t work, and one way that will.

You can’t get to heaven by following the law. The law is good as a guide, but the law can’t forgive. As the Bible says, “The law was given by Moses, but grace (God’s unearned favor) and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

You can’t get to heaven by following man. John the Baptist is referred to in the Bible as one of the greatest men, yet he said, “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:7-8).

You can’t get to heaven by only belonging to a church. An old evangelist said going to a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. The question is not to what do you belong. It is to whom do you belong.

The one way that anyone and everyone, no matter how good or bad, can get to heaven is through Jesus Christ. He said plainly, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Have you found the way yet?

 

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister and Christian writer. He is the founder of People For the Christian Way. He can be reached through peopleforthechristianway.com

 

THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST

The crucifixion of Christ was one of the cruelest acts of history, but from that evil act has come tremendous good. Christ crucified is one of the greatest revelation of God’s truth in the universe.
The crucified Christ reveals the reality of sin. For those who cannot see the consequences of sin in the lives of others, look at Christ on the cross. See that brow pierced by long cruel thorns. Sin did that. See those hands and feet pierced by huge nails. Sin did that. See the body of Christ twisting in agony and pain for hours that seemed to have no end. Sin did that. It was not Christ’s sin that caused Him such suffering and pain. It was our sins, yours, and mine. Upon the cross at Calvary, Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world. Sin brought suffering and death to God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and if it brought suffering and death to Him, it will most certainly bring it to us.
Along with the reality of sin, the crucified Christ reveals the love and mercy of God. It is easy to talk about love and sacrifice, but at the cross, God demonstrated His love in a way everyone could see. Jesus taught, “God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). At the cross, it was more than a teaching that was given. God gave His Son.
Jesus spoke of the great power of attraction possessed by the cross: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32).

WHAT GOD REQUIRES

 

“To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

 

“Here are my dues. I haven’t been to church in a long time, but I always pay my dues,” said the elderly man. He had just plopped down an offering envelope bulging with money on the church secretary’s desk.

The pastor smiled sadly when he overheard him. He thought to himself that man believes he has to pay regularly in order to maintain membership in the church and stay in God’s good graces.

Paying God off is not a new concept. The Old Testament has many examples of people sacrificing animals in order to please God. They were giving blood sacrifices, but God didn’t want them. The real demands of God are moral and spiritual, and the proper worship is a life of obedience to Him.

The prophet Micah tells us that God has shown us the better way. This way has three aspects, two related to our dealings with other people and one with our relationship with God. We must act justly in our daily relationships of life, show kindness (mercy) to others, and walk humbly before our God.

God is far more concerned with how we live than He is with how much we pay. On the cross at Calvary, Jesus paid it all!

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

 

WHY ISN’T EVERYONE A CHRISTIAN?

Jesus often explained the mysteries of God in little stories called parables. The parable in Matthew 13:1-9 explains why not everyone became a Christian after hearing the Word of God.

In this story, a farmer (God) goes out scattering seeds everywhere in order to grow his crop. If there was a problem, it was not the farmer or his seeds. The problem was in the ground receiving the seeds. Jesus speaks of four types of ground (people) in this parable.

The first type person is compared to the ground between rows. People walking on it pack it down. The seeds merely sit on top of it until the birds come and steal them away. He may have been referring to the closed minds of the Jewish leaders who had their belief system in place, which did not include a carpenter’s son named Jesus, or a gospel proclaiming love and grace. The idea that God was doing a new thing was unacceptable to them. A living God does new things, but sadly, if our minds are closed, we miss them.

Jesus compares some people to seed falling on rocky soil. It has no deep root system, so it springs up quickly and disappears the same way. They are bandwagon Christians who profess Christ because everyone else is doing it. Some have revival religion. They get hot for God during the revival, but when the revival disappears, they do too.

Jesus compares some who hear the Word of God to thorny ground. The ground cannot grow two crops at the same time, and neither can we serve two masters. One crop will crowd out the other. Sadly, “money” is the god of our world. It crowds out all else, including God.

We are thankful that this parable is not completely a sad one. Jesus compares some people to good ground. When the seed falls, they take it in, keep it, and care for it. Given time and cultivation, the crop will come, and multiply thirty times, sixty times, or even a hundred times. The abundant glorious harvest will make the losses insignificant.

Jesus speaks of four types of people. Which are you?

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

 

CLOSET CHRISTIANS

 

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father,

who is unseen. . .” (Matthew 6:6).

 

Are you a “closet” Christian? There are two kinds of Christians that fall into this category, one is bad and one is good.

The bad ones hide the fact from others that they are Christians. Joseph of Arimathea was such a man. It is said of him, “Joseph was a disciple, but secretly, because he feared the Jews” (John 19:38). Secret disciples never let their light shine, so they never brighten the corner where they are, or anywhere else. In addition, they walk on dangerous ground. Jesus said, “. . . whosoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).

The good kind follows the example and teachings of Jesus, particularly when they pray. They go to a place where they can be alone with God. They don’t pray to be seen, or to impress others. They do not pray for the same things repeatedly, thinking God did not hear them, or believing as some children do, that if they worry their parents (God) long enough, they can get anything they want. They pray asking only for those things that are in His will or nature, and they pray mainly in order to have a more intimate relationship with Him.

We need to ask ourselves if we are “closet” Christians who hide our relationship with Christ, or are we “closet” Christians only in the sense that we follow both the example and teachings of Jesus in prayer. Which are we?

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com