Answers Bibelquiz 2010
What does Paul written in one of his letters?
a) “Be ye reconciled to God! “.
b) “Strike up a friendship with god! “.
The correct choice is “a“
In the second letter to the Corinthians in Chapter 5 verse 20 we read:
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God!
And some before this, verses 10+11 read:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
This is generally the essential basis. In our modern times, there is new subliminal biblical teaching in our churches, Christian books and Christian media, that we don’t really need reconciliation.
The beginning of knowledge is
a) Friendship with god.
b) The fear of the Lord.
Choice „b“ is correct
The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction!
Another problem in today's time is the lack of the fear of God, i.e. reverence for the Lord and hesitation to challenge God by sinning.
A sign of this was the success of a Christian best-seller with an edition of more than 10 million and translations into 34 languages.
The message of the “loving God” has arrived safely and did not become questions
The author himself does not believe in the atonement death of Jesus for the sins of the world. He represents the unlimited atonement doctrine, which teaches that everyone gets to heaven through Christ’s crucifixion, even if they have rejected Jesus Christ. This is in fact clearly emphasised in this book.
The success of this book speak volumes. Not only do ordinary people like this book. It is also available in Christian shops, and is a best seller.
What is more important?
a) My experiences with Jesus
b) What is written in the bible.
Answer „b“ is correct
The focus is in the words „more important“.
Experiences with Jesus Christ are not unimportant. They are like Ebenezer stones (meaning “Stones of help”) in our life. They remind us of God's guidance (1th Samuel 7:12).
But they must agree with the Bible and its context.
The Bible tells us, that Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light and tries to deceiving Christians through a false teaching and through supposed experiences with God.
The Bible is also our standard as to whether our experiences are real, or whether we worship a false Jesus.
Jesus himself has said that false shepherds (teachers, preachers, prophets) will come.
With the help of the Bible we can judge what is real. And then we also gain genuine experiences with Jesus.
By the way: Quite a few may protest that it is impertinent to conduct such a detailed examination.
The Berea were honorably mentioned, because they were more noble. They tested the teaching of the apostles by “daily searching the scriptures if these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
Nowadays, unfortunately, many Christians can be carried away emotionally by a sermon.
They simply believe everything they are told. They don’t check whether the content of the preaching is right.
Hence, also the admonitions in the following Bible passages:
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
2th Corinthians 13:5
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
1th Thessalonians 2:4
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1th John 4:1
a) dictated his word to man and it is unalterable for all times and cultures and obliging.
b) provided important truth for us by the Bible. Our job is to find out how the truth applies specifically to our time.
Answer “a“ is correct
The fallacy is in the wording: "specifically to our time."
God's word has been absolutely unalterable for thousands of years and is a firm criterion.
God does not change and his plans outlast space and time.
His laws and guidelines are also valid not only for the present real world but also for the invisible world.
The expression “specifically to our time” is what makes the difference.
Our human world with its standards and rules (e.g. today “In”, tomorrow “out”) offers no firm hold, but only makes people more desolate and empty.
In Romans 12:2 Paul wrote:
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.
John MacArthur wrote in the study bible:
“Conformed” refers to assuming an outward expression that does not reflect what is really inside, a kind of masquerade or act. The word’s form implies that Paul’s readers were already allowing this to happen and must stop. this world. Better translated, “age,” which refers to the system of beliefs, values—or the spirit of the age—at any time current in the world.] Ungrammatical. Check the quote again. This sum of contemporary thinking and values forms the moral atmosphere of our world and is always dominated by Satan (cf. 2Co 4:4).
First Paul commanded, Do not conform (lit., “Do not be conformed”; this Gr. word occurs elsewhere in the NT only in 1 Peter 1:14) any longer to the pattern of this world (aioni, “Age”). Living according to the lifestyle of “the present evil Age” (Gal. 1:4; cf. Eph. 1:21) must now be put aside. Then Paul commanded, But be transformed (pres. passive imper.,“ keep on being transformed”) by the renewing of your mind.
Because God's word is unalterable, it provides a set value at all times and places.
Unfortunately, many brethren do not want this. Or it was not taught to them properly.
And often there are good intentions behind this.
Perhaps they don’t want to seem outmoded and they want to win other people for Christ, or they would like to show that Christians must not be dreary people.
But unbelievers see no motivation to it to change their lives if we Christians are equal to them and claim to be going to heaven
Through Jesus Christ
a) I can start a new fulfilled life and, incidentally, my sins will also be forgiven.
b) I have peace with God, because he forgives my sins and because I follow Him, I have a fulfilled life.
Answer “b“ is correct
The word “and“ in choice “a“ is what also expresses whether I spend eternity with God.
Jesus’ death for my sins is the absolute condition to get peace with God. Forgiveness for sin and peace with God are not the “added bonus to the jackpot.“
In addition, a small story: From: "Hell’s Best Kept Secret" by Ray Comfort,
Two men are seated in a plane. The first is given a parachute and told to put is on as it would improve his flight. He’s a little skeptical at first because he can’t see how wearing a parachute in a plane could possibly improve the flight. After a time he decides to experiment and see if the claim is true. As he puts it on he notices the weight of it upon his shoulders and he finds that he has difficulty in sitting upright. However, he consoles himself with the fact that he was told the parachute would improve the flight. So, he decides to give the thing a little time. As he waits he notices that some of the other passengers are laughing at him, because he’s wearing a parachute in a plane. He begins to feel somewhat humiliated. As they begin to point and laugh at him and he can stand it no longer, he slinks in his seat, unstraps the parachute, and throws it to the floor. Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart, because, as far as he was concerned, he was told an outright lie.
The second man is given a parachute, but listens to what he’s told. He’s told to put it on because at any moment he’d be jumping 25,000 feet out of the plane. He gratefully puts the parachute on; he doesn’t notice the weight of it upon his shoulders, nor that he can’t sit upright. His mind is consumed with the thought of what would happen to him if he jumped without that parachute.
Let’s analyze the motive and the result of each passenger’s experience. The first man’s motive for putting the parachute on was solely to improve his flight. The result of his experience was that he was humiliated by the passengers; he was disillusioned and somewhat embittered against those who gave him the parachute. As far as he’s concerned it’ll be a long time before anyone gets one of those things on his back again. The second man put the parachute on solely to escape the jump to come, and because of his knowledge of what would happen to him without it, he has a deep-rooted joy and peace in his heart knowing that he’s saved from sure death. This knowledge gives him the ability to withstand the mockery of the other passengers. His attitude towards those who gave him the parachute is one of heart-felt gratitude.
Now listen to what the modern gospel says. It says, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. He’ll give you love, joy, peace, fulfilment, and lasting happiness.” In other words, “Jesus will improve your flight.” So the sinner responds, and in an experimental fashion, puts on the Savior to see if the claims are true. And what does he get? The promised temptation, tribulation, and persecution. The other passengers mock him. So what does he do? He takes off the Lord Jesus Christ, he’s offended for the word’s sake (Mark 4:17), he’s disillusioned and somewhat embittered, and quite rightly so. He was promised peace, joy, love, fulfilment, and lasting happiness, and all he got were trials and humiliation. His bitterness is directed toward those who gave him the so-called “good news”. His latter end becomes worse than the first: another inoculated and bitter backslider.
Saints, instead of preaching that Jesus improves the flight, we should be warning the passengers they’re going have to jump out of the plane. That it’s “appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). And when a sinner understands the horrific consequences of breaking God’s law, then he will flee to the Savior solely to escape the wrath that’s to come. And if we’re true and faithful witnesses, that’s what we’ll be preaching. That there is wrath to come; that God “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Why? “Because He has appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness” (vs. 31). You see, the issue isn’t one of happiness, but one of righteousness. It doesn’t matter how happy a sinner is, how much he’s enjoying “the pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25). Without the righteousness of Christ, he’ll perish on the day of wrath. “Riches profit not on the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” (Prov. 11:4).
Peace and joy are legitimate fruits of salvation, but it’s not legitimate to use these fruits as a draw card for salvation. If we continue to do so, sinners will respond with an impure motive lacking repentance.
Now, can you remember why the second passenger had joy and peace in his heart? It was because he knew that parachute was going to save him from sure death. And as a believer, I have, as Paul says, “joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13), because I know that the righteousness of Christ is going to deliver me from the wrath that’s to come.
Now with that thought in mind, let’s take a close look at an incident on board the plane. We have a brand new stewardess. She’s carrying a tray of boiling hot coffee. It’s her first day; she wants to leave an impression on the passengers, and she certainly does. Because as she’s walking down the aisle, she trips over someone’s foot and slops that boiling hot coffee all over the lap of our second passenger. Now what’s his reaction as that boiling liquid hits his tender flesh? Does he go, “Ssssfffff! Man that hurt”? Mmm-hhh. He feels the pain. But then does he rip the parachute from his shoulders, throw it to the floor and say, “The stupid parachute!”? No. Why should he? He didn’t put the parachute on for a better flight. He put it on to save him from the jump to come. If anything, the hot coffee incident causes him to cling tighter to the parachute and even look forward to the jump.
Now if you and I have put on the Lord Jesus Christ for the right motive, to flee from the wrath that’s to come, when tribulation strikes, when the flight gets bumpy, we won’t get angry at God; we won’t lose our joy and peace. Why should we? We didn’t come to Jesus for a happy lifestyle: we came to flee from the wrath that’s to come. And if anything, tribulation drives the true believer closer to the Savior. And sadly we have literally multitudes of professing Christians who lose their joy and peace when the flight gets bumpy. Why? They’re the product of a man-centered gospel. They came lacking repentance, without which you can’t be saved.
Conversions based on emotion can be destructive and how disappointed we are when we take a spiritual brush fire for a rebirth.
- Conversion from emotional impulse (e.g. at huge events)
- Persuasiveness with (incomplete) sentences like “Come to Jesus and everything will be fine“, “With Jesus, you will find a fulfilled life“, „”With Jesus everything is fine.”
The most tragic consequence is that these people think they are on the narrow way, but are on the broad way (See also explanation to question 10).
Jesus has purchased my freedom on the slave market of the power of the darkness and from then on I follow Jesus. And if Jesus is 100% Lord in my life, then I have a full life only because HE is in control.
The Christian Church was
a) created for man and for the fulfilment of his needs.
b) created for God, to glorify Him, and for Christ, to serve Him.
Answer “b“ is correct
Ephesians 5:25-32 compares the church to a bride and a helpmate who is sanctified and purified by washing with the water of His word.
Turned to God from idols and purified from dead works to worship and to serve a living and true God (1.Thess 1:9; Hebr. 9:14).
Even Paul and Peter considered themselves as bondmen (slaves) and servants of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:1; 1.Kor. 3:5; 4:1; Eph. 3:7; Phil. 1:1; Tit. 1:1; 2th Peter 1:1).
Honour is due to him in the church (Eph. 3:20-21), as expressed even more plainly in 1 Peter 4:11:
If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The church should be a central place at which believers are prepared for every good work, that is, for service (Hebr. 13, 20-21). By the way, it is striking that in verse 21, God is glorified by Jesus Christ and not by the Holy Spirit.
However, this preparation is possible only by setting the proper priorities, because the fulfilment of human needs does not enjoy top priority (cf. questions 5 and 7).
The Bible does not say that He gives us absolutely everything we would like to have. But he would like to give to us what we need, even if we do not realize it.
I once read the poignant sermon title “Grazing Sheep, or Entertaining Goats?” and I realized there was something to it. Our churches lose spiritual quality and the true biblical gospel falls by the wayside when the church operates on a needs-oriented marketing approach.
1 Corinthians 1, 18-24 speaks quite clearly against this.
Rudolf Ebertshäuser, author and watchman within Christendom, wrote in “Life with Vision
and Willow Creek- Trend”:
“The alignment of congregational life with the latest trends of worldly culture and with the needs of the unconverted sinner cannot bear real conversions, but as a rule mere pseudo-conversions. The real work of the spirit is suffocated in this way, and wrong spirits mislead believers like unbelievers.
At the same time, congregational life will be perverted and pulled down to the human level inimical to God. The church will be desecrated; it is no longer the holy temple of the Lord, but a department store (John 2:16).
It is no longer a priesthood consecrated to the Lord, but a team of worldly social workers and therapists who want to solve sinners’ their problems.”
My action as a Christian in things like Evangelisation and Church Growth
a) Is strictly guided by the revelation of the Bible.
b) Is guided by what works best for Jesus and promises success.
Answer “a“ is correct
Quite a lot of new strategies are trying to be guided more by worldly trends. In the world there is competition where it therefore so many people go as possible for “my cup of tea” or “my offer” to win.
Many churches, working, for example, with their young people, feel helpless when they see, that young people prefer to go to a disco party rather than attend a “boring” bible study group.
So they try to adopt superficial worldly methods which remain competitive with the world. But this approach resembles a bottomless barrel.
Besides, will often overlook the fact, unfortunately that one gets with it rather to the worldly spirit of the times into the church.
Pastor Wilhelm Bush wrote once in an article titled “will be the ‘narrow way’ be broadened?“:
Explanation: “First we must establish contact with youth before we can preach the Gospel”.
I think this explanation is a pathetic display. I have met old Christians who had a monumental influence through a pastoral ministry to young people. Not by “seeking contact”, but by showing great love and great authority.
Forest ranger von Rothkirch, who founded the YMCA in Wilhelm Street, could sit down beside a young person who came there for the first time. After 5 minutes, he spoke with him about Jesus.
Later, I spoke with such people. And they reported how this man von Rothkirch showed great love and human warmth, immediately bridging the age gap and class distinctions.
Yes, if we are “reverends,” than we must seek contacts. But I fear we will not find contact, when we descend to the miserable level of our time.
Once, I saw my brother Johannes slapping complete strangers on the shoulder, and said “hello!” From that time on, there was “contact”.
The same applies to visitor-friendly church services. The service with a sermon, which provides the centrepiece with its spirit-filled biblical teaching, should make the faithful grow, and mature spiritually and experience sanctification. Instead, light baby food is served to the believers, so that they are not challenged. The Gospel message is also toned down so that the unbelievers will not be shocked by words like “hell,” “sin,” “damnation,” “repent”, etc. (see also question 5).
By this approach, I make the way broad and the gate wider and higher.
The gospel in vogue today holds forth a false hope to sinners. It promises them that they can have eternal life yet continue to live in rebellion against God. Indeed, it encourages people to claim Jesus as Saviour yet defer until later the commitment to obey Him as Lord. It promises salvation from hell but not necessarily freedom from iniquity. It offers false security to people who revel in the sins of the flesh and spurn the way of holiness. By separating faith from faithfulness, it teaches that intellectual assent is as valid as wholehearted obedience to the truth.
Thus the good news of Christ has given way to the bad news of an insidious easy-believism that makes no moral demands on the lives of sinners. It is not the same message Jesus proclaimed.
John Mac Arthur, “The Gospel According to Jesus” S.19/20
I receive restoration of communion with God
a) by repenting and supplication to receive the Holy Spirit, who himself bears witness with my spirit, that I am a child of God.
b) by being called to a life for God in the kingdom of God and I wholeheartedly heeding this call with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Answer “a“ is correct
I receive the restoration of communion with God, as in question 3, only through Jesus Christ and His act of atonement. Because God is holy and I am a sinner.
The difference is that I can do nothing for my salvation. Special exercises like penitential service, sufferings, etc. dishonour His work of salvation. And if I could have done anything to come clean with God, Jesus would not have had to die for me.
My first step is to repent of all my sins from the bottom of my heart, asking Him to forgive me my sins and cleanse me. Then I ask for the Holy Spirit, who Himself bears witness with my spirit, that I am a child of God (Romans 8:16).
He works through circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:28+29) and sanctification (1th Thessalonians 4: 7; Hebrews 12: 14) in me.
This is the right order!
There’s no other way. The Holy Spirit touches no unrepentant person. In Acts 10:43 Peter spoke about forgiveness of our sins. And then something happened in the hearts men and the Holy Spirit came.
The Bible Encyclopedia by Rienecker says:
True repentance is the result of the knowledge of one’s own sin (Job 42:6). It leads to upright works of a new life (Acts 26:20). It includes estrangement from the previous lifestyle (Romans 6,1 ).
The Kingdom of God will be built
a) By our building the kingdom of God and handing over to Jesus a changed world, which He needs only take possession of.
b) after the rapture and the dominion of the antichrist for about 7 years after which He will destroy the Antichrist and his army.
Answer “b“ is correct
Many biblical and accepted expositors represent the following order:
1. The rapture of the church (1th Cor. 15: 51-53; 1th Thess. 4: 13-18)
2. The time of the Antichrist (Daniel 7:19-27)
3. The day of the Lord (Math.24:27-31; 25: 31-46; Rev.19: 11-21)
4. The millennial empire of God (Rev.20:1-7)
5. The judgement at the end (2th Peter.3:10)
Now there is the doctrine of “Dominionism” wherein the church is appointed, now and today to build up the Kingdom of God and hand over a changed, transformed and Christianized world to Christ.
For this purpose, the church would have to go to wrest the kingdom and the dominion over the earth from Satan so that the world would be healed and changed into goodness.
This would occur through “Spiritual Warfare” and a major “End time Awakening” and through influences in culture, politics and economics. This is connected with suitable social programmes which are carried out together with governments and relief organisations.
That doesn’t mean that we should not help people in distress in connection with spreading the gospel. But with the intent to make the world better and to minimize the primary task to spread the gospel, because we want fall into line and we don’t want shock someone, misses the main goal of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Behind Dominionism is the anti-Christian thought that man has been able, from time immemorial, to create peace and righteousness and cure poverty and disease.
This overlooks the fact that the world is seated in evil (1.Joh.5, 19) under the dominion of the spiritual power of darkness and will be incurably tainted with sin, misery, poverty, diseases, etc. until Jesus Christ comes as King and Prince of Peace to build up His millennium and hold his judgement (see also 2th Peter 3:1-18).
The bride of Christ, as opposed to the harlot (Rev. 17), is called out and saved out of this world. She lives in this world, but she’s no longer of this world (cf. John 15: 18-19).
The “straitened way – narrow gate”, vs. the “broad way – wide gate”
a) represents „Christianity“ vs. “World“.
b) are intended for Christians.
Answer „b“ is correct
The subtlety of this question lies in whether I have only “Christianity” or “biblical Christianity”.
For there is also a Christianity which does not differ from the world.
This includes a mixture between Christian doctrine and adaptation to the world with all its facets.
As conveyed in questions 1, 2, 5 and 8, there are differences as to whether someone becomes a real Christian and is added to the body of Christ, because Jesus Christ became Lord and King in his life or whether Christianity is only a hobby or a lifestyle.
John Mac Arthur wrote about the two ways and two gates, in the study Bible, in the following
Matthew 7:13, 14 Both the narrow gate and the wide gate are assumed to provide the entrance to God’s kingdom. Two ways are offered to people. The narrow gate is by faith, only through Christ, constricted and precise. It represents true salvation in God’s way that leads to life eternal. The wide gate includes all religions of works and self-righteousness, with no single way (cf. Ac 4:12), but it leads to hell, not heaven.
Christ continually emphasized the difficulty of following Him (10:38; 16:24, 25; Jn 15:18, 19; 16:1–3; cf. Ac 14:22). Salvation is by grace alone, but is not easy. It calls for knowledge of the truth, repentance, submission to Christ as Lord, and a willingness to obey His will and Word.
It is notable that these teaching of Jesus are at the end of the sermon on the mount, together with other related elementary parables. Mac Arthur writes in addition one paragraph earlier :
“7:13–29 This closing section of the Sermon on the Mount is a gospel application. Here are two gates, two ways, two destinations, and two groups of people (vv. 13, 14); two kinds of trees and two kinds of fruit (vv. 17–20); two groups at the judgment (vv. 21–23); and two kinds of builders, building on two kinds of foundations (vv. 24–28). Christ is drawing the line as clearly as possible between the way that leads to destruction and the way that leads to life.”
And precisely in verse 23 Jesus tells about people (actually “Christians”) who have done many things in their lives in His name. But still says: “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Jesus does not want temporary fans who follow on with him, as long as things are nice and comfortable, but people who give Him 100% of their lives.
Some conditions of the succession can be found in Luke 14: 25-27+33 and Matthew 10: 37-39; 16: 24-26.
It is all about renouncing everything and putting Him in first place.
He’s not demanding that one separates from one’s wife and children. But to love Him more when it comes to obeying God's word.
Next, real Christians must also expect mockery, scorn and persecution until death (John 16:2; Matthew 10:22). This is happening to countless Christians throughout the world (read the reports from the organisation “Open Doors“). Jesus has said that the disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord (Matthew 10: 24+25).
On the straitened way, there is no place for the Welfare Gospel entitled: “Enjoying Everyday Life.” And Jesus never promised a life without problems and diseases.
Of Course, the message to enter in through the narrow gate and walk the straitened way also applies to the lost of this world, not only to those to follow Jesus.
“There are not many good religions; there is only one. And so the options are only two - the true and the false, the right and the wrong, God's way and humankind's way. All this world's religions are based on human achievement. Biblical Christianity alone recognizes divine accomplishment-the work of Christ on humankind's behalf- as the sole basis of salvation. Christ's death on the cross paid the price of our sin (1 Cor. 15:3), and His resurrection revealed that He had 'conquered death (v. 20). Salvation is not a merit system in which people can earn favor with God. No one could ever do enough good works to gain acceptance by God (Rom. 3:10 - 18). Even the law of Moses did not make people righteous; it was given to show how sinful and disobedient we really are (v. 20). As we noted in chapter 19, God through His grace imputes to believers the righteousness of Christ (vv. 21- 24). On that basis alone they can stand before Him.
And so the only choice is between the plethora of religions based on human achievement and the one religion of divine accomplishment. Scripture says, "Now to the one who works [whoever chooses a religion of human achievement], his wage is not reckoned as a favor but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly [whoever submits to the religion of divine accomplishment], his faith is reckoned as righteousness" (Rom. 4:4-5).
The narrow way and the broad way do not contrast religion with paganism, Jesus is not setting the higher religions against the lower ones, or even Christianity against open immorality. The choice is between divine accomplishment and human achievement. Both systems claim to be the way to God. The wide gate is not marked "This Way to Hell"; it is labeled "Heaven," the same as the narrow gate. It just doesn't go there.
Satan is a master at religious deception. He disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). He paints his gate so that it looks like the door to heaven, and "many are
those who enter by it" (Matt. 7:13, emphasis added).
John Mac Arthur, “The Gospel According to Jesus” P.204
As already suggested in question No. 5, we should never proclaim a false gospel, even if the Gospel is not pleasing to the ear. It is interesting, that the next verse, verse 15, takes up the theme of false prophets.
They play the role of shepherds and promote the wide gate and the broad way.
Because of this statement it is worthwhile to conduct a Bible study on this theme of “False Prophets”.
Finally I want to quote from the book “The Gospel According to Jesus” again (P. 205/206):
“In fact, many who approach the gate turn away when they discover how narrow it is. Did you ever try to get through a turnstile with an armload of suitcases?
That is the imagery Jesus' words evoke. The narrow gate is not wide enough for superstars who want to enter with all their valuables. The rich young ruler searched until he found the gate.
But when he saw that entering meant he had to leave his baggage behind, he turned away. Whoever we are, whatever we treasure, when we reach the narrow gate, we can expect to have to drop everything. Extra baggage - such as self-righteousness, selfishness, sin, and materialism -will not make it through intact. The good news is that although the gate is narrow, it is wide enough to accommodate the chief of sinners (cf. 1 Tim. 1:15).
For those who insist on taking luggage, the broad gate may be more appealing. It is marked "Heaven" - it may even be marked "Jesus" - but it is not going to heaven, and it has nothing to do with Jesus. It is the gate for the religion of the masses, a wide-open gate through which anyone can pass without jettisoning self-righteousness, pride, material possessions, or even sin. But there is no salvation for those who choose this gate.
Receiving Christ does not mean we can merely add Jesus to the refuse of our lives. Salvation is a total transformation: "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Cor. 5:17). What could be clearer than that? Old things pass away. Sin and selfishness and worldly pleasure are replaced by new things. This is the whole point of salvation: it produces a changed life.”
The presence of Jesus and growth in faith
a) I intensify these through Christian techniques and exercises like devotion, contemplation, special acts of prayer or through the power of imagination.
b) I experience these through sanctification and promises of Jesus that He will be with me.
Answer “b“ is correct
All points of choice “a” belong squarely in the areas of Far Eastern esotericism, shamanism, spiritism or occultism. This mixture belongs to the “New Age“, which is finding its way into many churches and Christian organisations.
It occasionally is cloaked n pious garb; please read the book “Occult Invasion” by Dave Hunt
God’s word says: “Thou hast beset me behind and before” (Ps.139: 5), and Jesus promised, that He would be with His disciples every day until the end of the age (Math.28: 20). Sometimes, we Christians want to directly sense God’s presence and guidance in our lives.
And if this doesn’t happen (Joh.3: 8), we start using “techniques” to make it happen. But t 2 Cor. 5:7 says: for we walk by faith, not by sight
In 1 Cor.6: 11 Paul wrote:
And such (see two verse before) were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God!
John Mac Arthur wrote in the study bible on the word “sanctified”:
This results in new behaviour, which a transformed life always produces. Sin’s total domination is broken and replaced by a new pattern of obedience and holiness. Though not perfection, this is a new direction (see Ro 6:17, 18, 22).
The sanctification will be performed by
– God. Ez. 37: 28; 1th Th. 5:23; Jude 1:1,
– Christ. Hebr. 2:11; 13:12 and
– The Holy Spirit. Rom 15:16; 1th Cor. 6:11
Hence, the right contact with the word of God is indispensable (see also questions 3, 4 and 12), and is the start of the discipleship (see also questions 5 and 8).
In our day and age, the best way to let God speak to me and get to know his will is
a) to make myself empty, under his protection, while I pray and listen intensely.
b) to pray for His guidance while I read the bible and that He will speak to me through His word the bible.
Answer “b“ is correct
The Bible nowhere teaches passiveness. However, it teaches to be watchful.
Some Christians have already thought, they would hear the voice of God, if they emptied their minds as in Transcendental Meditation and then listened.
The voice promised one such Christian that they would be one of the two witnesses from revelation chapter 11. By this time, we have more than hundreds of these “two witnesses”.
Something must be wrong here.
Schools where people can learn to receive prophecy teach spiritual emptying and the utterance of every thought that occurs to them.
In a Christian student union, the members started with empty thoughts and with pencil and paper in their hand to jot down the thoughts that occurred to them. In this way, the men received totally irrational guidance, which was deemed as authoritative.
They tended to have lax views of the doctrine of the bible and were wound up being less certain as to the meaning of the Gospel.
Barbara Marx Hubbard described how she began “regularly” to hear an “inner voice” after she had learned to recite the Lord’s Prayer in deep concentration, during meditation.
The “Hearing Prayer“ is becoming more and more popular. It is not primarily by God's word that people seek help and guidance, but by a “direct” message from God. They also expect the Holy Spirit to speak “on command“, or transmit impressions.
The former Buddhists Elke and Martin Kamphuis wrote in their Newsletter in February 2010:
“Buddhists strive for the state of void. This means, if they give up all thoughts, all wishes and become an empty vessel, they rise to the state of enlightenment. God, however, would want our intentional desire for Him, not void passive creatures.”
And the Chinese Watchman Nee wrote in his book “The spiritual Man Part 2“:
“Their spirit thus falls entirely into a passive state. Satan begins to give them extremely happy feelings with numerous visions, dreams, and other supernatural experiences. They do not realize that all these are due to their passive spirit. Instead, they consider them all to be from the Holy Spirit. Even though they have these experiences, they will still be able to tell the difference if they can distinguish their own feelings from the spirit and the supernatural from the spiritual. However, a mistake concerning the passivity of their spirit, compounded with a mistake
in their lack of discernment, deeply entraps them in the enemy's deceit.
Once the believer's spirit is passive, his conscience spontaneously becomes passive as well. Once his conscience becomes passive, he thinks that he will be led directly by the Holy Spirit, either through a voice or through the Scriptures. He thinks the Holy Spirit will no longer lead him through his conscience or through the judgment of the intuition. Since he possesses the highest way of leading, he thinks that he only needs to listen to what the Holy Spirit is personally speaking to him or what He is speaking through the Scriptures. By not using his conscience and letting it slip into a passive state, he is defrauded in his daily living by the enemy. The result is nothing but obedience to the work of Satan. Since he no longer uses his own conscience, the Holy Spirit also, according to the principles of His work, will not employ his conscience on his behalf. Satan will take advantage of this situation to replace the leading of the believer's conscience and intuition with supernatural voices and other things. “
We must observe the following warning:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 1Timothy 4,1
The right way is this:
God has dictated his word to man and Jesus is the living word of God (John1:14).
God having spoken to man through the prophets and ultimately through His son. (Heb.1:1+2).
The Holy Spirit is the deputy of Christ who teaches us in all truth (John14:26).
When I study the word of God, I pray that he will help me to get God’s word right. And I pray, that He will work in my heart (Rom.2:29).
In this way, I get to know the risen Lord and Saviour in a living relationship.
I get to know his guidance, if I commend my way to Him and He disposes and allows situations, or shows new ways that lead to them.
For Christians, there is no co-called destiny and luck or misfortune. There is only guidance.
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