Most Ministries and/or Churches usually will not is not a endorse political parties or candidates. We can, however, speak for or against certain political issues. In all actuality, though, few political issues are truly spiritual issues. As an example, we may prefer lower taxes, but the Bible does not endorse low taxes; all it says is that we are to pay our taxes honestly (Matthew 22:15-21; Romans 13:6-7). Taxes and many other issues (social security, universal healthcare, education funding, immigration, energy/environment, etc.) are not spiritual issues the Bible explicitly addresses. As a result, Christians can in good conscience have disagreements on these issues. Generally speaking, Republicans/conservatives prefer smaller government and more individual freedom, while Democrats/liberals/progressives prefer more governmental oversight of society and the economy. Conservatives argue for capitalism, that is free, for the most part, from governmental control, while liberals/progressives have more socialistic tendencies in regards to the government's role. The Bible does not explicitly endorse either capitalism or socialism. God has given governments the freedom to have as much authority as is needed to fulfill their God-given roles of enforcing justice and building order in society (Romans 13:1-7). So, in regards to the size and scope of government, Christians can be libertarian, conservative, liberal, or progressive. None of those persuasions are inherently evil or ungodly. The argument should be over which system best enables the government to fulfill its God-given role. Politically conservative Christians will argue that as governments get bigger and more powerful, personal freedom decreases, and if left unchecked, government will bloat itself into a controlling, authoritarian, and oppressive dictatorship. Historically speaking, there is much evidence to support this argument. Liberals/progressives will argue that the government should be greatly involved in providing social services, caring for the poor, sick, orphans, widows, unemployed, etc., pointing to Scriptures such as James 1:27. If these social services result in more governmental control, liberals/progressives are willing to make that sacrifice. Conservatives argue that the more freedom a society/economy has, the more prosperous it becomes. Liberals/progressives argue that some prosperity should be sacrificed for the "greater good." So, while one economic/societal/political system may be "better," neither is inherently evil/immoral/sinful. Both systems have strengths and weaknesses, and, historically speaking, both systems have proven themselves capable of fulfilling the basic biblical responsibility of government.
This is sort of a MUST read!!!
In the parable of the wise and foolish builders Jesus told us to build our "spiritual house" upon the Rock. That rock is Jesus himself, the chief cornerstone supporting the foundation of our lives. So everything else we use as building blocks must come from him. I would like to propose 4 essential building blocks for a mature and powerful spiritual life. Grace Faith Love Hope The "Grace" of God provides us with everything we need for an abundantly fulfilling and deeply satisfying life. It all starts with receiving that grace by accepting Jesus as our personal saviour. But the grace of God comes to us in many forms. We need the spiritual eyes to see that grace and accept it for our blessing and benefit. The spiritual gifts are good examples of the different forms of God's grace. Without "Faith" it is impossible to please God and faith without actions is no faith at all. Just because we believe what the bible says is true does not mean we have faith. Only when we take what the bible says and apply it into our daily lives are we trusting that God knows best. When we ask God in prayer to reveal his will for us - before making decisions - then obey what God tells us to do, that is exercising faith. When God wants to lead us down an unfamiliar road, to a destination we cannot see, with lots of obstacles along the way, it takes real faith to follow his lead. We "Love" God by doing the things that please him. I have discovered 5 ways to love God. First, I immerse myself in his word from the bible - read, study, meditate, and memorize it. Second, I talk to God about everything, in an attitude of prayer, all day long; then listen carefully for his will to be revealed. Third, I fill my life with praise and thanksgiving, often through contemporary Christian worship music. Fourth, I have intimate fellowship with other Christians on a regular basis through church and s small groups. We "Love' other people by following Jesus example. He reached out to everyone with the love of God by bringing truth, acceptance, compassion and healing. We need the spiritual eyes to see the needs around us, then act to bring God's blessings to the people that need them. As we do this, we will often ask God for more grace to meet these needs, as our own resources will be so inadequate. Our "Hope" is built on God's promises to us. In this world, Jesus said, we would have trouble - suffering, persecution, corruption, injustice, poverty, sickness, pollution of sin, etc. But he also said to take heart because he had overcome this world. Jesus defeated the power of sin, death and the devil and restored eternal life to us. Jesus gave us his Holy Spirit to live within us to be our teacher and source of power. Jesus is coming again to reward our faithfulness. God the Father will judge everyone who has rejected Jesus, punishing all evil and wickedness for eternity. Together Father, Son and Holy Spirit will create a new heaven and new earth. We will live with God in this perfect world forever. This human life is just a scratch on the line of eternity with God. We are aliens and strangers in this place - heaven is our home. All 4 building blocks - Grace, Faith, Love and Hope - are needed to build a powerful and mature spiritual life that enables us to walk with Jesus every moment of every day
I would say that, unquestionably, when we are saved, we are definitely going to be eternally in God's presence. The deeper question is, "When are we saved?" We are saved when we have complete and sole faith in the atoning death and resurrection of Christ, and not in anything that we have done or can do, for our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). As long as we have such faith, we have the assurance of God's Word that we are saved and are going to spend eternity with God. Jesus said that His sheep will never perish, and that no one can snatch His sheep out of His hand (John 10:28). Such inner saving faith, and the transformation that the presence of God the Holy Spirit produces within the Christian as a result of that faith, should then be outwardly evident in the Christian's obedience to God. As Jesus also said, a tree is known by its fruit (Luke 6:43-45), and His sheep hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:27). It is not this obedience (or any work that the Christian may or can do) that saves the Christian, but this obedience is the result of, and the willing and grateful response to, the salvation that the Christian has received through faith
The Bible records multiple instances in both the Old and New Testaments where dreams (or visions, which were, in essence, "waking dreams" that occurred in a trancelike state (Acts 10:9-16)) were a means by which God communicated information to people.
As far as I am aware, the only mention of re-baptism in the New Testament occurred in Acts 19:1-7, where approximately twelve individuals who had received only the baptism of repentance (such as that preached and performed by John the Baptist) were re-baptized in the name of Jesus, and then received the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by Paul, after which they spoke in tongues and prophesied as evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence. This would lead me to believe that (although re-baptism is not prohibited), as long as a person has been baptized either in the name of Jesus (as in Acts 19), or in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (as mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 28:19), there would be no requirement based on Scripture to be re-baptized.
As many of you know (well, maybe not many, perhaps just a few) I was born and raised Jewish but by the grace of God I am now Christian who has accepted Christ as my redeemer and as my lord and savior...I need to be free from sin and by the grace of God I need to be relieved of my guilt and shame on an almost regular basis..
BUT, more on this a little later....
To all my 'brothers and sisters' who have confidence to enter the Holy of Holies through the blood of Christ , who have had their hearts cleansed from guilt and been baptized , who have been sanctified by the covenant , who received the light , and who have the assurance of lasting possessions due to the promises of God. He specifically warns these Christians of the dangers of returning to a willful state of sin after having received personal/exact knowledge of the truth. The word used for knowledge is 'epignosis' - relational or true knowledge, first-hand experience of Christ. Scripture treats the true knowledge (epignosis) that only Christians have of Christ as very distinct from mere 'head knowledge' (gnosis) about the way of salvation. But what, exactly, does the author mean by willful sin? Is he referring to a Christian deliberately ignoring God to engage in a sin, or to something we could accidentally do? No on both counts. 'Hamartano' (go on sinning) here is a present active participle in the Greek, denoting an ongoing action or continuous state. Hekousios is an adverb, meaning willingly, voluntarily, or of one's own accord. This warning, then, does not apply to the general struggle Christians have with sin involuntarily, such as Paul describes in Romans, or to one-off sins that we commit knowingly. Rather, this would apply to those people who once received Christ and had a personal relationship with Him (true knowledge), but then either immediately or at a later date returned to a state of slavery to sin, rather than walking by the Spirit. Going back to the beginning , Paul is specifically warning these Christians not to give in to persecution and try to return to being under the law, rather than trusting the promises of God in faith. The law of grace is opposed to the regulations of the old covenant. If we return again to dead works rather than diligently abiding with Christ with faith, long-suffering until the end, then we are rejecting the sovereign Lord who bought us . Christ only died once, and his death was sufficient. However, if that payment is rejected, what then? Can Christ die a second time? No. The warning is dire. We were redeemed from death once, but if we later reject that redemption, we cannot be redeemed a second time. To do so, Christ would have to die a second time - which would mean death still had power over Christ (which it does not). This warning to hold fast to the faith and not turn back to our previous, pre-Christ state is found many places in scripture. Yet this warning is not without encouragement. God has given us everything we need to get through trials, including each other, and we have the assured hope that at the Ressurection God will make good on the earnest payment he has given us (the Holy Spirit) and grant us eternal life.