“Are you saved?”

a covenant

 And He Healed Them All

“For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”  Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”-that they might accuse Him. Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? “Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”  Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.  But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. Matthew 12:8-15

Many of today’s religious teachers make use of analogy and allegory in their endeavor to convince a student of the supposed truth of what they say. Many use Scripture stories and allegorize them to paint their analogies. Though there is a place for analogy, one must recognize the fact that there is very little a clever teacher cannot prove by analogy! Yet every day, millions are convinced a lie is the truth by use of analogy. Analogy is not logic. In a court of law, analogy goes nowhere. The opposition has it thrown out as irrelevant as soon as it raises its head.  If a teacher has no solid logic to back up their claims, then their claims should be taken with a measure of skepticism.  Jesus didn’t just talk about things but He healed them all to prove who He was and what He was all about. Yes, it really upset the religious hypocritical impotent anemic leaders that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. But Jesus told them, “For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Jesus healing demonstrated not only God’s love for sick and hurting humanity, but God’s will to do good even on the Sabbath. Man is more important than the Sabbath and all the religious rules and regulations that religious fools make! One day all the rules and regulations of men will be gone but God’s love and power will remain forever strong and constant. Yet God’s word is unchanging:

Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;  For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,  And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies,  And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand,  In her left hand riches and honor.  Her ways are ways of pleasantness,  And all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,  And happy are all who retain her. Proverbs 3:13-18

There are Christians who believe that God knows everything a man will choose to do in life. While others state God does not know everything, and He has limited His knowledge of the future.  While we as humans cannot know everything, God’s word tells us that from the LORD comes knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly. If we cry out for discernment and for understanding, we will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Then we will also understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.  When wisdom enters our heart, and knowledge is pleasant to our soul,  discretion will preserve us; understanding will keep us to deliver us from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things,  From those who leave the paths of uprightness  To walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice in doing evil,  And delight in the perversity of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, And who are devious in their paths (Proverbs 2:3-9). Obviously such knowledge is impossible for a fool or a proud and arrogant man because God gives grace to the humble and contends with the proud.

Yes, God’s has indescribable love and mercy toward man in spite of his ignorance and errors, and He does respond to the use of faith. He has told us in His word what faith can do:

By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.  By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.  By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Hebrews 11:29-35

Yes, many Christians have a spirit of religion and have misconstrued faith to be is to think and act like Apostle Paul, even be his clone and even go to be a missionary in a foreign land or to be a pastor or a preacher.  While I was in University I was very active in Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship studying the bible, fellow shipping with other Christians and witnessing. But most of my male friends became clergy because they were indoctrinated through this movement that this was the only way to serve God.  They could have been successful and prosperous Architects, Engineers, Lawyers or Bankers and still have serve God in their particular field and not have given up their hearts desires that God had placed in them in the first place. God wants primary the heart of a man and not his vocation or location. This is something that many Christians have not understood. They have accepted what others had wanted for them and not what they or God wanted for them! Shepherd boy David was called to be a man of war and a king and though it required many years of fights and killing people he finally achieved his desire. The bible records:

Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he said:
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;  The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;  My shield and the horn of my salvation,  My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.  I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:1-4

“He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters.  He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me;  For they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my support.  He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.  “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;  According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. 2 Samuel 22:17-21

“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great.  You enlarged my path under me; So my feet did not slip. “I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them;  Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.  And I have destroyed them and wounded them,  So that they could not rise; They have fallen under my feet.  For You have armed me with strength for the battle;  You have subdued under me those who rose against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me.  They looked, but there was none to save;  Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them.  Then I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth; I trod them like dirt in the streets, And I spread them out. 2 Samuel 22:36-43

The study of soils is a very complex science because there is nothing simple as how soils are formed. And similarly human beings are very complex in their thinking process and why they believe what they do.  There are so many differing ideas as to what the truth is and a greater amount of error out there because people accept ideas and theories and lies from all over the place. It would seem that everyone can see the errors with everyone else but themselves.  And it’s true it very hard to see ourselves are we really are. But thank God that God knows us and loves us and understands and He is able to correct and heal us in spite of all our faults, errors, and sins. And He has given us His own Counselor and Wisdom to be our Friend, Counselor, Guide, Helper and Teacher. When ever we are in trouble we can always turn to the Holy Spirit and ask for His help.

But for some people it cost them a great price for them to arrive at a place to embrace what they believe and feel to be the truth even if it is a liar and full of error. So they refuse to change or accept the truth on any matter. While for others it really doesn’t matter what the truth is or what makes the best sense. They will embrace their respective group’s teachings and gladly perpetuate its teachings for the underlying purpose of being accepted by their peers. So strong is this drive that many become perfectly willing to die for what they believe. There is very little that can be done for such people.

But there are those about whom Jesus talked about who love truth and are willing to pay any price including  the rejection from family and friends if necessary to  have it. God’s word is unchanging:

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.   “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, “who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:44-46

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-19

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;  to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,  according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,  in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.  Ephesians 3:8-12

Fleshy fundamentalist Evangelicals Christians like to use the phrase “Are you saved?” to make a person either accept “Jesus” as savior or spend eternity in hell. As a result quite a few get “saved” using Jesus as fire insurance to avoid burning in hell. And many of these “saved” ones are no different after they were saved, then before they were saved. They are just as mean, selfish, nasty, bigoted and hateful of others as they have always been. But they are once saved and always saved and are now part of the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus did tells us, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. They will be in the kingdom of heaven just like Apostle Paul, the least of all the saints!

Jesus also told us to “make disciples of “all nations” (Matt. 28: 19) and “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  … Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:  ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;  ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’  (Matthew 25:31-46). So nations of people will be gathered before Jesus and separated one from another and the sheep will inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world and the goats will be cursed into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels?

But there are those who would tells us that the “saved” ones who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and were Baptized by the Spirit and obeyed the commands of Jesus including casting out devils and healing the sick, would not stand before the Great White Throne Judgment?  They would automatically go to the “New Jerusalem” to live with their Savior and LORD Jesus Christ? For Jesus told us:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”  Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.  But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.  “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”  And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:13-17

So what happens to the dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie who are not permitted to enter the city but go to the Great White Throne Judgments where they are judged to be a sheep or a goat? Do they go to hell and enjoy the pleasures of the tormenting fire, even if they are a sheep?  God’s word tells us:

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. Revelation 21:1-3

The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.   But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.  And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.  Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).  And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Revelation 21:21-27

Apostle John tells us by the Spirit of God that there is a new heaven and a new earth on which live all of those who are saved, (have eternal life). These are those whose names were written in the Book of life.  There is also a new city, the New Jerusalem which is the crowning glory of all that has been created. There is no more pain or suffering of any kind in the city. The city itself gives light to the new earth, and this light is the Glory of the presence of God and the Lamb. He also tells us that the New Jerusalem was the home of the bride, the Lamb’s wife.  So who lives in the new earth if not the lamb’s bride, is it the sheep who went through the Great White Throne judgment? Apostle John tells us:

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15

It appears that not all “unsaved”  people go to hell or are cast into the lake of fire. Those who were judged by their works as evil, wicked and losers were cast into the lake of fire and those who did at least the bare minimum for salvation by doing good works to the poor and needy lived in the new earth. They were not born again on earth and sanctified on earth through Jesus Christ by faith and grace but got into the new heaven and earth based on their works to others just like Jesus talked about:

“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.   “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?  “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.  “Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.  “But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’  “and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,  “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,  “and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:44-51

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