I’m Sick and Tired of Prosperity Theology

This website is about to get much more controversial, so buckle up! Prosperity theology, also known as “Prosperity Gospel” or the “Health and Wealth Gospel” is a controversial subject within the Church. It’s also known as the “Word of Faith” movement, because the teachers within this movement adhere to prosperity theology.

What is Prosperity Gospel/Word of Faith? Looking At It In Depth…

This horrendous movement teaches people that it is God’s will for Christians to be wealthy, have financial success, be rich, be healthy, be healed, and free from sickness and disease, etc. That’s why it’s called “prosperity gospel” – it promotes that every Christian is entitled to a nice, abundant lifestyle since they think it’s “God’s will”. This is not the case, and as you keep reading I’ll explain why in depth – I have a lot to say on this subject. Fun fact: the Word of Faith movement actually derived from the Pentecostal movement (aka Charismatic), which might be next week’s post.

Word of Faith preachers promote a “name it and claim it” type agenda, which at first would seem harmless, but now that I’m educated on this topic – it sickens me. That if you have faith in what you want, it’ll come to you, since it’s “God’s will”, manipulating the faith force. This is basically the same thing as manifestation, which is New Age – which is a sin. So how is this any different than the New Age movement? It’s not, they’re just using God’s name to back up their narratives. This is literal idolatry. To clarify what I’m saying about the Word of Faith/Prosperity movement, I’ll show you some examples I frequently find on Instagram:

If you’re seeing posts like that ^^^ on Instagram, Tiktok, or wherever it may be – you need to run from it. Do not comment “Amen” on those types of posts, don’t be a brainless idiot. Don’t “claim those” either, because at that point you’re playing with Satan. Know better. It’s not biblical and is very deceptive. Don’t blindly agree to it. Let’s get one thing straight: GOD IS NOT A GENIE. Say it with me: God! Is! Not! A! Genie! Ok great, now that we’ve got that covered, let’s move on.

Celebrities and Prosperity Gospel?

There are celebrities that “thank God” for their success and wealth, but are they really thanking God? A prime example, on the top of my head, is Cardi B. Her Instagram bio has “GOD IS GREAT” yet does not serve or worship Him, nor is she holy from some basic knowledge about her – in fact, she’s quite worldly. She once posed as a Hindu god– but that’s another story. Cardi B decided to “thank God for the blood of His son” after being blessed materialistically. This man on Tiktok, offered some words of wisdom as a response.

And I agree with him! I do believe Cardi B was given material “blessings” by Satan, since that’s what the devil does. She is thanking God, whom her lifestyle is visibly against, for what Satan gave her. I believe she’s deceived, so we need to pray for her. But this goes back to my point, the prosperity gospel is demonic. I truly think it is from Satan. So keep reading to see me debunk this common, but false and deceptive gospel.

Is it God’s Will For Christians To Be Wealthy/Rich?

I will start this off by saying that I do believe God wants people to be financially STABLE. This is not the same thing as being rich or wealthy. A person can work a middle-class job with a middle-class salary, and live in an average house. If their finances are stable, this does not make them rich. But I’m talking about rich, as in “God wants you to be wealthy and rich, and own a mansion!” type thing. That’s what these prosperity preachers teach. But it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The answer is NO, it is not God’s will for Christians to be wealthy and financially well-off. God is actually against this. There are many Bible verses that support my claim, since Jesus Christ Himself openly condemned the love of money, chasing money, rich men trying to get into heaven, etc. Take a look at the following verses, and observe how they condemn wealth:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”

– Matthew 6:19-21

Jesus does not want us to have earthly treasures like fancy cars and mansions. He prefers us to have heavenly treasures, such as the rewards and what God will give us in heaven.

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this, the man’s face fell. He went away sad because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

– Mark 10:21-25

A rich man asked how to get eternal life, but while Jesus instructed Him to keep the moral law, He also asked that the man sell everything he has to the poor. The man was disappointed and failed to do so. Jesus as a result, explains that it is quite difficult for a rich man to get into heaven.

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.”

– Luke 6:24

Jesus condemns the financially rich, since they are already comfortable. He is upset that the poor are not looked after instead, who will be rich with God in heaven.

“And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

– Luke 12:15

Jesus condemns covetousness (a major sin, the 10th commandment). Jesus tells us that a person’s value and life is not measured by their material possessions.

“But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

– 1 Timothy 6:8-10

Paul condemns greed and the desire to be financially rich, saying food and clothing is enough to be content. The desire to be rich leads to temptations and evil desires. It can be so dangerous, that people have departed from faith because of the love for money.

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.””

– Hebrews 13:5

The writer of Hebrews tells us to keep our lives free from the love of money, and to be content and grateful for what we have, because we have God. And our loving God will never leave or forsake us, unlike money.

So, I hope those verses are enough to show you why the wealth part of prosperity theology is very incorrect. There are probably more verses, but I didn’t want to put too much, I’ll have mercy on your eyes. But prosperity preachers sadly ignore those verses – they either twist them or ignore them altogether, which is cherry-picking scripture. Instead, they use OTHER verses from the Bible and twist them to say what they want. This is true for the health part too, which we’ll see in a few sections.

Common Verses That Prosperity Preachers Twist To Promote Wealth and Richness

These are some common verses twisted by prosperity teachers, to promote the idea of money and wealth – with an explanation of the context and true meaning.

“Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.”

– Genesis 13:2

This does not guarantee that God’s will is for every believer to be rich. This was his will for Abraham (Abram) though, we don’t know why – God has His reasons. But just because one person, ABRAHAM was rich and prosperous, does not mean we all should be. King Solomon had 1000+ wives, which God actually allowed. Does this mean I should be a polygamist too? No. Saying that Christians are promised riches because Abraham was, is inserting yourself into the text, aka eisegesis.

“If they listen and serve him, they complete their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasantness.”

– Job 36:11

This verse isn’t even about money. Money, or the concept of money, is mentioned absolutely nowhere in this verse. Prosperity doesn’t always = health and wealth. God DOES want us to prosper – as in peace, joy, love, happiness, basically bearing the fruits of the Spirit. This is something to remember. God is not promising the people money or a big house and whatnot. Firstly, this was directed to a group of people, and second – the prosperity from God is most likely referring to the fruits of the Spirit and happiness.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

– Jeremiah 29:11

This one isn’t just misquoted by word of faith preachers, but also many misguided Christians in general. This verse is not about prosperity, nor is it even speaking to us. Context is super important here too, since the book of Jeremiah was written about the Jews in exile in Babylon. Specifically, in 29:11, God is promising a specific group of people restoration. Who? The Israelites. And actually, this isn’t amazing news since the Israelites would be in exile for another 70 years…

Something that will definitely come up in future blog posts of mine, is that you cannot insert yourself into the text while reading scripture. That’s an interpretation heresy called “eisegesis”. We need proper exegesis to determine what the author intended to say, who it was said to, when, and historical context.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

– Mark 11:23-24

THIS IS THE VERSE MOST COMMONLY TWISTED BY THE WORD OF FAITH MOVEMENT. Not only them but also by Christians who try to defend the New Age practices, such as manifestation. People like to say that believing you already have something (literally what the Word of Faith movement teaches) will make it happen. This is treating God like a genie. Like I said before, God is NOT a genie.

This verse is actually promoting prayer within God’s will. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us how to pray to God the Father, and it says “thy will be done”. It’s putting God’s will above our own. This does not mean God is going to give us absolutely anything in the world, but rather what is good and acceptable to His will (Romans 12:2). For example, if you asked God to make you holier and walk according to the Spirit better, God would grant that request – He’s doing so for me. This is because this is God’s will, for a believer to become holy (1 Peter 1:16) and walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16).

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

– John 10:10

People interpret this as to mean that Satan steals, kills and destroys, so therefore Jesus owes them an abundant and wealthy lifestyle. This is not the case. When Jesus uses the word “abundantly”, he was not referring to an increase of materialistic possession – but life lived as a higher level of obedience to God’s will and reflecting his glory. In other words, this is about abundance of a spiritual life. And besides, this verse isn’t even about Satan – John 10:10 is about the contrast between shepherds, so the “thief” is actually about false shepherds.

“If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

– John 14:14

This is very similar to Mark 11:23-24. But the context is different. These are Jesus’s words to His 12 disciples, as reassurance. Look at verse 6 that’s famously quoted, “I am the way the truth and the life”. This was not spoken to us, but to 12 apostles. From verse 12 onward, this is about doing “greater works” in Jesus’s name. This is not Jesus saying, “treat me like a genie!” but rather explaining that whoever believes in God will go onto do great works. Then we have verse 14, which ties into it, because it’s saying that whoever prays according to God’s will, God will grant their request if it’s for His glory and His will. Just a slight repeat of Mark 11.

“You do not have because you do not ask”

– James 4:2

Commonly preached by the Word of Faith movement. They’ll use this verse to tell you, “You’re not rich because you didn’t ask!” leading to their “name it and claim it” practices. This is absolutely not true. It’s actually quite funny because they ignore the verse RIGHT AFTER, which says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3). The general context of James 4:1-4 condemns covetousness, take a look for yourself.

This is my point, these people are asking with greedy motives. They think they can force God’s right hand into giving them what they want – but why would God do that? Paul even mentioned that in 1 Corinthians 6:10 that the greedy do not inherit God’s kingdom. They ask with wrong motives, greedy and materialistic motives.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:19

This verse is discussing God supplying a believer’s NEEDS not wants. Money, cars, mansion, and a nice luxurious lifestyle are not needs – they are wants. God’s “riches in glory in Jesus” do not refer to materialism, but rather spiritual riches.

Is it God’s Will For Christians To Be Healthy?

Although many Christians reject the money part of this doctrine, they’re quick to claim that healing for everyone, at every time, is God’s will. It’s hypocrisy. Am I saying healing isn’t biblical? No! I’ve been healed of a nosebleed and stomach pain in the past. But there have also been times where I’ve cried out to God during excruciating headaches and He did not heal me. Word of Faith teachers would probably tell me that I didn’t have enough faith. Simply not the case.

It is not God’s will for everyone to be healed, because that’s just not how He works. We do not know why He is like this – why God chooses to heal some but not others. We must trust in His purpose, and remind ourselves of Isaiah 55:8-9. Unlike the “wealth” part of the prosperity gospel, there are not many verses that support the claim I am making. In fact, it seems like there’s just the opposite…

Common Verses That Prosperity Preachers Twist To Promote Guaranteed Healing

Prosperity preachers like to use many verses to justify their narrative, that God’s will is to physically/mentally heal every person who asks. I will debunk all of these, with proper exegesis and interpretation. Here are some verses they like to use:

“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”

– Isaiah 53:5

This is the favorite verse of the prosperity preachers. Isaiah 53 is about the prophecy of Jesus, I love it and it’s beautiful. But – they interpret this verse to mean that Jesus’s wounds from the crucifixion somehow mean every believer is healed physically/mentally? That every Christian is guaranteed healing because of what Jesus did on the cross? Absolutely not the case.

What the writer of Isaiah 53 meant is that Jesus’s work on the cross, guarantees spiritual healing to those who believe. The same words are repeated in 1 Peter 2:24, that Jesus was crushed and pierces for our sins, transgressions, and iniquities. But again, the use of the word “healed”, means spiritual healing, going from dead in our sin to alive in Christ (Eph. 2:5), and to have the debt of sin paid off. Jesus’s work on the cross was for people to be reconciled with God and have their sins forgiven. We are freed from sin’s penalty since we chose to believe. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus’s work on the cross promises physical/mental healing. Ever.

“For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,’ says the LORD, ‘Because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.”

– Jeremiah 30:17

This is the other one that they like to use. Once again, this is written to the Israelites in Babylon. Aka God promising a specific group of people, The Israelites, healing and restoration, once again. The deeper context of Jeremiah, like I said, is about God’s promises and messages to the Israelites, who were in exile in Babylon. This is not God promising healing to every believer of Jesus Christ, His words were not to all people who decide to read that verse.

You cannot stare at Jeremiah 30:17 and declare that it is God’s will for you to be physically/mentally healed – that’s what He promised to the Israelites, not you. Are you an Israelite who lived thousands of years ago? No. So don’t claim that God owes you healing. To say that is cherry-picking. Taking single Bible verses out of context is indeed dangerous, which is why we have so many heresies today.

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”

– 3 John 1:2

I’ve also seen this verse frequently quoted in comment sections of social media, when they try to defend their claim. Last week, I was in a TikTok preacher’s comment section, calling him out on the “God promises to heal” doctrine that he loves to proclaim. One of his simping followers decided to quote this verse to me. I don’t remember my exact response, it wasn’t that long – but I definitely needed to include this verse in my post.

Context is important as I said, but the general context of 3 John isn’t as relevant as the wording of this verse, so let’s look at that. Verse 2 starts out with “Beloved, I pray”. This is not John saying “Beloved, this is God’s will”. John is PRAYING for a group of people, and the rest of verse 2 tells what he is praying for. John prays that “all may go well” and that they may “be in good health”. This does not suggest that God’s will is for everyone to be in good health. John is showing us that we should pray for people to be in good health – I haven’t argued against that once. God does indeed heal people as He chooses, and He has His reasons for that.

We can use 1 Corinthians 14:5, where Paul says, “I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.” Notice how Paul says “I WISH”. It’s basically the same thing that John says, “I pray”. Paul is saying here that he wishes that all people could speak in tongues, proving that it’s not God’s will for everyone to. Wishing does not mean it will happen. Just like when John prayed over people’s health, that does not suggest that God will heal everyone at every time, although he prayed for it, it is something he wished.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

– James 5:16

This is the easiest one to debunk. The “healing” in this verse does not refer to physical or mental healing, but spiritual healing. That’s why James urges us to “confess our SINS” because sin destroys a human spiritually. Confession of sins allows people to pray for each other, so that God may help them with their spiritual issue and sin. For example, if a brother/sister in Christ confessed to you that their heart is filled with hatred and unforgiveness, you’d pray for them. Not for their physical healing, but spiritually – since God needs to help them out spiritually.

Besides, even if it was supposedly God’s will for every Christian to be healed, that would mean:

  • Every Christian would die a natural death
  • The deaths and losses of family members/friends would be the Christian’s fault (since this implies that they “didn’t have enough faith”)
  • Christians would not go through sickness or cancer or diseases
  • There would be no Christians in hospitals or doctor’s offices

How John 3 (not to be confused with 3 John) Disproves Prosperity Interpretations

I love using verses from John 3 to disprove this stupid claim. Not to be confused with 3 John (third John) which is an epistle. I’m talking about chapter 3 of the Gospel of John. We can use verses from there quite easily and interestingly to disprove the health and wealth gospel:

  • John 3:16 says, “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.” It DOES NOT SAY, “Whoever believes in him should not suffer but have wealth/healing”.
  • John 3:18 says, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned”, NOT “whoever believes in him will be rich/healed”.
  • John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him, NOT “Whoever believes in the Son has lots of money/healing, whoever does not obey the Son shall be poor/suffer“.

These people act as if those verses say that, but thankfully the correct verse proves their efforts wrong. I hope this helps.

In Conclusion

  • The prosperity gospel is a false gospel which should be condemned
  • The Word of Faith movement is heretical, run far away from it
  • God does not promise material riches or money, but spiritual prosperity
  • God does not promise Christians physical/mental healing, but spiritual healing
  • The only thing God has promised to heal us from is sin, aka spiritual healing
  • Jesus’s work on the cross does not guarantee physical/mental healing, but is a perfect sacrifice and a debt paid for the believer’s sins.
  • Beware of false teachers, next week’s post is about prosperity teachers to run from!

Demon Possession: Your Handy Guide

So lately I’ve seen more than a few TikTok videos discussing demon-possession and whatnot. I’ve also become fed up with the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement’s theology as well, especially when it comes to demons. I’ve always found this to be an interesting topic, so I’m gonna discuss it. What is demon possession? Can Christians be demon possessed? What are some examples in scripture? Is mental health equivalent to satanic possession? Let’s find out.

What is Demon-Possession?

Biblically, demon possession is when a demon, or an evil spirit (descending from Satan) enters and indwells in a human. When this happens, the person’s actions and thoughts are controlled by the demon, and as a result, it manifests serious consequences. For example, the demon-possessed person may:

  • Suffer physically, mentally, or emotionally
  • Inflict harm to others around them
  • Have a change in personality and reflect evil

In the battle between God and Satan, good and evil – one of Satan’s major strategies is to possess humans. Why does he do this? One, he’s evil. Two, he hates humans, and he hates God.

Symptoms of Demonic Possession

  • Contortions
  • Speaking in tongues
  • Unusual sounds and movements
  • Paranormal abilities
  • Extreme strength
  • Convulsions/Seizures (no, people with epilepsy are not demon possessed don’t attack them please)
  • Different voice
  • Cannot control themselves
  • Suicidal/self-mutilation tendencies (not all people like this are demon possessed, I dealt with this at one point and wasn’t)
  • Blasphemies towards God
  • Extreme hatred towards God/Christianity
  • A very wicked and sinful lifestyle

Biblical Examples of Demon Posssession

There are many cases of demonic possession in scripture. Here are some examples:

  • The Whole Book of Job

So this is a book I’m currently reading. Job is a man who wasn’t necessarily possessed by Satan, but Satan did a lot of damage and caused a lot of disaster in this man’s life. Satan did this in order to challenge God, to prove his claim that Job was only faithful to God due to the blessings he received. So God allowed Satan to make Job’s life a living hell. Job lost basically everything – his family, his servants, his animals, and his crops. Once Job passed the test of faith, God restored everything that Satan took from him.

  • Jesus Casted Out a Spirit in a Synagogue (Mark 1:21-28)

In the synagogue where Jesus went to preach, there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit. Jesus silenced the spirit, and cast it out. When the spirit came out of the man, the people were amazed and astonished.

  • Jesus Cures a Demon-Possessed Boy (Luke 9:38-43)

So in this example, a man comes to Jesus and asks Him to heal his son, who is possessed by a demon. The boy is suffering from horrible seizures/convulsions, and foams at the mouth – but was unable to be healed by Jesus’s apostles. Jesus replied that it was due to a lack of faith the boy wasn’t healed, so then Jesus rebuked the demon and instantly came out.

  • Jesus Drove Out Demons From 2 Men (Matthew 8:28-34)

2 extremely violent and dangerous men were possessed by demonic spirits. Jesus arrived to them, and they shouted, “What do you want Son of God?” The demons within the men begged Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs if He casted them out. Indeed He casted them out, and the evil spirits entered the pigs.

  • Jesus Heals a Possessed Blind and Mute Man (Matthew 12:22)

A man was possessed by demons, and as a result he was blind and mute, unable to see or talk. Jesus casted the demon out of him, and his abilities were restored.

Can a Christian Be Demon-Possessed?

Ah yes, the awaited question. I’ve heard many Christians, specifically Pentecostals and members of the Charismatic movement claim yes, that Christians can be. Good thing you have me to expose the truth, because I’m here to tell you that the answer is NO. A Christian cannot under any circumstance, be possessed by Satan. Claiming that Christians can be demon-possessed, is false teaching, and I’m here to make it known. The following scriptures debunk this absurd claim:

“We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.”

– 1 John 5:18

So basically, anyone who has been born of God or born again is in Christ’s family. The person does not keep on sinning” (as in living in sin without repentance) and this person is protected by God. However, look at the last sentence. “The evil one” (aka Satan) does not touch that person. Satan cannot possess, indwell, or harm a believer. Can Satan tempt us? Of course, that’s part of our walk with Christ – battling temptation, which comes from Satan and his demons. But can Satan come and control us and possess us? Never. He cannot lay a hand on us, God protects us and we are His children, who are safe with Christ.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

– 2 Corinthians 6:14-15

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

We’re gonna look at 2 verses here, since they go hand-in-hand with my argument. The first verse, is commonly used to condemn a Christian dating a nonbeliever. But it’s good at explaining why. The reason that Christian + nonChristian = together is forbidden, is the exact same reason why Christians cannot be demon possessed. Righteousness and wickedness, and light and dark, have nothing in common with each other. Nor can they have a fellowship with each other. God and Satan absolutely cannot exist within the same person. You either belong to one or the other. Jesus said that one cannot serve two masters – the context was loving God and money being incompatible, but it can definitely be applied here. You’re either with God or with Satan. Not both.

Now this ties greatly into the second verse, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. It tells us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, which lives in us. Which is exactly what I was saying before. God and Satan cannot be in the same person. Because tell me then, how is it possible that the Holy Spirit and a demonic spirit can co-exist within the same person? The Holy Spirit (lightness) cannot have fellowship with Satan (darkness). If you have the Holy Spirit, you belong to the Lord. He bought you with a price!!! Nothing can snatch you out of His hand (see John 10:28). If you are truly God’s, Satan can not take you back. If a so-called Christian is claiming to be demon-possessed or is found to be, then they were never a true Christian after all, and should be led to real salvation.

No Biblical Example

Aside from those two verses, there is nowhere in scripture recorded that a true believer of Jesus Christ or even in the OT for that matter – was demon-possessed. Every biblical example of demon possession was always with an unbeliever. Paul never warns the churches he wrote to about Satan possessing them, and nor did Jesus say such a thing. There are also zero instructions in the Pauline epistles regarding casting out demons, since that was only for Christ and His apostles at the time (should I maybe write about this topic?). Therefore the silence in these scriptures speaks matters. However, the Charismatic squad may like to argue certain scriptures to defend their absurd position. The captive people in 2 Timothy 2:26 are not believers. The people delivered to Satan in 1 Timothy 1:20 purposely walked away from the faith, it was their conscious decision, not God’s. The person that was to be “delivered to Satan” 1 Corinthians 5:5 has no evidence that they were indeed handed over, and this command was done to remove him from the church and lead the sexually immoral man to repentance.

Demonic Attacks & Temptation

While Christians can’t be demon-possessed, that doesn’t mean that we are completely free of any Satanic activity for that matter. What do you think happens when we sin? Who is tempting us? It’s not God. It’s Satan himself who tempts us to sin. And what about spiritual warfare? That’s a prime example of a demonic attack, since it’s Satan’s work right there – to try and get us away from Jesus. And the simplest of demonic influences – thoughts. When you get blasphemous or negative thoughts, it’s from the devil. For instance, “God doesn’t love me” or “I’m going to hell”. I know, because I’ve been a victim of that. So while Christians cannot be demon-possessed, they can most certainly be influenced or attacked. Scriptures that support this include: 1 Peter 5:8-9, Ephesians 6:10-11, James 4:7, and 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Does Mental Illness = Demonic Possession?

It’s often taught (once again, in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches) that mental illness is due to demonic activity or demon possession. But what’s the truth behind that?

The answer is most of the time no, but it can sometimes be, yes. Let’s look at why I believe it is a mostly “no”. So, it depends on what mental illness the person is struggling with. Do they have depression? Anxiety? Bipolar disorder? Or maybe even schizophrenia. Any of these disorders can be demons, but for the most part, depressed and anxious people normally aren’t demon-possessed. The testimonies I’ve seen of people healed demon-possessed, usually had severe issues such as schizophrenia or BPD, not ordinary mental health issues like depression per se. According to the WHO, 1 in 4 people experiences mental health issues. Which is about 25%. But with today’s day and age, I suspect the number may be higher. Does that mean at least 25% of people in the world are demon-possessed? That’s ridiculous.

The second reason why I lean towards “mostly no” is because not all sicknesses are from Satan, but rather the Fall. When Adam and Eve decided to eat the fruit, they plunged humanity into sin, a curse almost. A consequence of the fall is sickness, medical problems, mental illness, and other disorders. I’ve heard of many people who have said that physical illness is demon possession, but when they simply sought medical attention, were proven wrong. Someone may be enduring mental illness solely because of what Adam and Eve did, not because Satan has indwelled them.

However in some cases, mental illness can be a sign of demon possession – that’s why I said “most of the time no”. There are factors we have to look at. Is the person a born-again Christian? Because if so, they cannot be demon possessed like I said above. I’m a born again and saved Christian, and I deal with regular depression, am prone to horrific anxiety/panic attacks, and I’m a major overthinker, about absolutely everything. Despite all of that, I’m 100% sure I’m not demon possessed since I belong to Christ. But what about an atheist? A nonbeliever? Nonbelievers are the only kinds of Christian who can actually be possessed by a demon for that matter, since I discussed that no true Christian who is saved, can be. Nonbelievers with severe mental health issues, or even maybe it’s possible depression – can definitely be possessed by some sort of demon. You don’t always know for sure though, but I’d keep watch of the symptoms of demon possession in a person who is not of Christ.

If a nonbeliever is a witch or spends time in occultism or the New Age stuff, they are much more prone to demonic possession. So pay attention to that too – if someone is very mentally ill and is associated with the occult or new age movement, it could be a sign. So be on your guard and keep watch.

3 Big Things to Avoid

  • Occultism/Satanism
  • The New Age movement
  • Witchcraft

In Conclusion….

  • Demonic possession is authorized by Satan himself
  • There are many symptoms that may indicate demonic possession
  • Christians cannot be demon possessed, but Satan can still influence.
  • There are no biblical examples of a believer being demon-possessed.
  • Possession by demons are easily confused with mental and medical conditions
  • Mental health does not always equal demon possession
  • Be careful and advise people against New Age practices, the occult, and witchcraft since they make someone more prone to Satanic possession.

Spread The Gospel in These 10 Verses!

Preaching the Gospel and evangelizing the Good News of Jesus Christ is a task assigned to every Christian (Matthew 28:19). But some people struggle with. Not everyone is a talented and gifted evangelist. Not everyone is called to make a lifestyle out of preaching. However, that shouldn’t stop you from super-simple Gospel spreading. We need to help nonbelievers come to Christ! So to make it easy for you, I’ve broken it down in 10 Bible verses. This post is also for top-level evangelists too, because it’s very important to use scripture when we preach to the lost. So with that being said, let’s get into it!

1. Romans 3:10/3:23

“As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one”

“…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

You can use either one of these verses here. They both preach the same thing; that there’s no such thing as a good person, because we’ve all sinners and fallen short of God’s glory because of our sin. This is the best rebuttal for someone who claims they are a “good person” – because they’re not, and the Bible even says so.

2. Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

This teaches that there is a penalty for sin – death. And while some can interpret this to mean physical death, since it most likely wasn’t in God’s original design for humanity – it’s primarily referring to hell. In the afterlife, there are two places a human being can end up. Heaven or hell. And if you sin, you deserve a punishment, which is hell. But why is that? This is because God is a righteous, just, and holy God, and He cannot tolerate sin or allow something unclean to enter His kingdom. He is also a judge, meaning that sin has a punishment, just like if you break the law you must pay a fine or serve time in jail.

3. Romans 5:8 or John 3:16

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

You can use either of these verses because they have the same message. They both show us that while us humans are full of sin, breaking God’s moral laws on the regular, God still loves us, and He has mercy. God sent His only Son – who was innocent and lived a perfect life, to die on a cross for us. Jesus Christ was whipped, beaten, and was nailed to a cross to pay the debt for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to receive that punishment in hell. John 3:16 emphasizes that whoever believes in Jesus receives eternal life and is freed from paying the wages of sin.

4. John 14:6 or Acts 4:12

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.””

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

These two verses are crystal clear; Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and salvation is not found in anyone else. No one gets to the Father, or heaven for that matter, unless it’s through Christ alone. Jesus’s words here shatter the possibility of any other religion being “right” or as a path to salvation. It blatantly tells us that the way to heaven/eternal life is through Jesus Christ, and through Him alone – not any other religion or any pathway for that matter. You can’t find salvation anywhere else. He is truth, and as John 3:16 says, whoever believes in Him has eternal life.

5. John 3:18-19

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”

Basically, it’s pretty straightforward. The one who believes in Jesus is not condemned for their sin any longer (see Romans 8:1) and gets to go to heaven. The one who rejects Jesus and does not believe in Him, is already condemned, because they were a sinner to begin with and did not accept Christ’s atonement on the cross. The “light that came into the world”, is Jesus Himself (see John 8:12), and those who do not believe, love darkness (their sin) instead of Christ, showcasing their deeds are evil.

6. Isaiah 53:5

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Highlights the suffering that Jesus went through for humanity on the cross. He was pierced by Romans soldiers, crushed, and took the punishment that we deserve. He shed His blood on that cross for us, and whoever believes, is healed (of their sin) by His wounds.

7. Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

You heard it right. We’re saved by God’s grace, through our faith. Our works do not get us into heaven. Many unbelievers or people of other religions are accustomed to believing that if you’re a “good person” or do good works, you can get into heaven. I know I believed that at one point. But this is not the case. Why is this? Well, go back to Romans 3:10 and 3:23, we’re sinners and sin deserves a punishment. Good works cannot override that. It’s only by faith in the one who died for us – that we may enter heaven. He already paid the debt for our sins, living a perfect sinless life, and was crucified in our place.

8. Romans 10:9

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Ah yes, this classic old verse! The unbeliever at this point is probably wondering how to get saved. Like, what must they do? This verse makes it simple! Just believe/trust in Jesus, confess it with your lips, believe in your heart that Christ died, and that God raised Him from the dead. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will indeed be saved. However, it’s not just a matter of saying it, but the person must truly believe this and have real faith. Remember, God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

9. Romans 8:1

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

And now, once someone is saved and becomes a believer, there is no more condemnation for them! The debt of their sins has been paid because they trust Christ’s finished work on the cross. There is no more condemnation for their sin, no more judgment, none of that. However, a true believer will walk in the spirit of Christ now and will become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), no longer walking in the flesh.

10. John 1:12

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name”

Now a true born-again believer is a child of God! Welcome to the family of God! The new believer is now accepted into God’s family, healed from sin, redeemed, and one of God’s children. A new believer receives the Holy Spirit within them, has been crucified with Christ, and become a new creation (Galatians 2:20, 2 Cor. 5:17). It doesn’t get better than that, it’s such an honor!

I hope these verses are of help to anyone in their Christian walk, trying to preach to the lost. Do your best to memorize these verses, you never know when you’ll need them. Until next week….. 🙂

Investigating Universalism

Ah yes, the doctrine of Universalism. Also known as Universal Reconciliation, Universal Salvation, and Ultimate Reconciliation.

I’ve been seeing this topic discussed quite a bit on Reddit, they even have a sub called r/ChristianUniversalism, with 3100 people being led astray. As you can tell; I am not in favor of this doctrine, and today I’ll be discussing why.

What is Universalism?

Universalism teaches that all people will be saved and eventually reconciled with God. That’s right, all people. Every human being on the planet will get to go to heaven. For the Christian reading this, you can already tell why it’s false. However, some Christians are wrestling with this question because the arguments behind Universalism are enough to deceive a child of God.

Basically no matter what, whether you repent, no matter what religion you are, that you’ll eventually end up in heaven. Muslims? Going to heaven! Buddhists? Going to heaven! ATHEISTS??? GOING TO HEAVEN TOO. You heard that right. According to Universalism, if you didn’t accept Jesus in your life, you still get to go to heaven with God eventually. Universalists believe it’s impossible for God to be all-loving, but yet forbid them from heaven if they didn’t accept Jesus.

What’s Wrong With It?

Well, in the most simple terms – it distorts God’s grace, and the Gospel altogether. It is heresy. Far, far, worse than Calvinism (discussed last week) – because Calvinists would probably rebuke this creed the most. I’m going to put this into very simple terms to explain what’s wrong with the Universalism doctrine.

Universalism:

  • Denies God’s wrath (Romans 1:18, John 3:36)
  • Denies Jesus’s teachings on hell (Matthew 13:42, 25:41, Rev. 20:15, and many more)
  • Denies God’s just and holy nature, since it teaches that unrepentant sinners receive the same reward as children of God do, despite never repenting or accepting Christ. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
  • Eliminates the need to accept Christ (Romans 10:9-10) since you’ll go to heaven irregardless right? Makes perfect sense.
  • Makes evangelism/preaching/the Gospel unnecessary (Mark 16:15, Romans 1:16) because if everyone will achieve salvation, why preach? Makes perfect sense.
  • Makes repentance unnecessary (Acts 3:19, Matthew 3:8) since you’re going to heaven automatically, right? Makes perfect sense.
  • Eliminates the need for morality and good deeds (James 2:14-26, Matthew 7:12, Romans 13:8-10) since you’ll go to heaven no matter what you do, right? Makes perfect sense.
  • Violates human free will, just like Calvinism does – since your eternity (heaven in this case) is already determined for you. Makes perfect sense.

The Objective Against Universalism In-Depth

So basically, you get the point, and the above reasons are why Universalism is an utterly stupid doctrine, I hate it more than Calvinism. But we’re gonna go even deeper, just in case it still doesn’t resonate with you.

I’m going to give you an example to show you how stupid it is. Imagine you have someone like Hitler, who caused a mass genocide for Jewish people, killed millions, and was pure evil. And let’s say Hitler never repented (I’m not even sure he did), and died. Some universalists (conservative-leaning) would argue that he’d go to hell temporarily (for the punishment of sin), and other universalists (progressive theology) would argue that Hitler would get no hell. Both groups would claim that Hitler would eventually then come to heaven. But why?

Universalists argue that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient for all of humanity (which it was) so somehow therefore people who don’t repent can be reconciled with God. Let me just say this… if you remember from last week’s post – accepting Christ is a CHOICE. A human being chooses whether they want to be with God and spend eternity with Him or not. If you reject Jesus, you are choosing hell. Simple as that. If someone evil like Hitler sins and reject Christ/doesn’t repent, they are damned to hell. Why? Because hell is the default, heaven is the detour. Every human is automatically on the path to hell – because we’re sinners who deserve it. Heaven is the way out, and not only that – but a literal “forever-happy-paradise-place” with the Creator and author of love and peace. Who wouldn’t want that? I guess that’s why Universalists believe everyone goes to heaven. But sadly that’s not the case.

The 3 Common Arguments That Universalists Try To Make

So, there’s many reasons that Universalists hold to this doctrine. I’ve heard many of them, and yes – I did consider becoming a Universalist, for like a few days back in December or so.

Argument #1 – The Bible’s Words of “Hell”, “Everlasting”, and “Torment” are Supposedly Mistranslated.

Hogwash. The classic “mistranslation” argument. Sigh. This isn’t the easiest one to debunk, because at first glance it seems to be an amazing argument from their view. But let’s get right into it.

Universalists claim that the Greek word aion (means “age”) has been mistranslated across centuries, basically saying that 2,000 years of Church history has been wrong. Yes, the word aion/αιων has been used in other parts of the Bible and didn’t mean everlasting, it can mean a temporal sense, like in Romans 16:25 where Paul is talking about “long ages”. So therefore Universalists conclude that when the word aion is used elsewhere, as in hell, it doesn’t mean eternal. But as I’ve said before, and I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face – Context Is Crucial. Seriously. Context is so important, that if you disregard it, you end up with false doctrine and confusion, that’s one of Satan’s biggest tricks.

So to disprove this absurd claim, let’s look at 1 Timothy 6:16, which says:

“who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”

The context is discussing God’s eternal nature. Let’s try and replace the words “eternal dominion” with “aion dominion”. If we did that, it would mean God’s dominion, or His sovereignty, is limited, since we eliminated the word eternal. See how that’s heresy? God’s sovereignty isn’t limited, it is indeed eternal. So essentially, Universalists are cherry-picking the Greek word and disregarding context.

The word aion/aionion is also used in other places throughout the New Testament. It is used not just for eternal damnation/hell, but also when speaking of eternal life. Here are the verses where aion is used, but not about hell: John 6:47, 10:28, Acts 13:48, Romans 2:7, 5:21, Galatians 6:8, 1 John 1:2, and 5:11. When each of these verses use the phrase “eternal life”, it comes from the Greek word aion. If you ask a Universalist about those verses and whether they mean eternal or not – they won’t deny it, not the way they do with the hell doctrine. Therefore we can conclude that eternal punishment is biblical – and these Universalists are plain out cherry-picking scripture. Well, the doctrine of hell is uncomfortable, but don’t remove doctrine just because it doesn’t tickle your ears. Moving on….

Argument #2 – “The Savior of All Men”

Universalists get this notion from 1 Timothy 4:10, which reads:

“That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”

However, this verse doesn’t support Universalism at all. In fact, Jesus CAN be the savior of all people, but due to being rejected by some, He cannot redeem them. All people are born into sin, and are under God’s wrath (Eph. 2:3) unless they accept Christ through faith (Eph. 2:8). All unbelievers are under judgment:

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

– John 3:18 NKJV

But, God is patient with unbelievers, giving them time and opportunity to repent and receive Christ into their lives. God is loving and kind enough to allow them to enjoy their life on this earth and is delaying His judgment/wrath upon them. This is true, as stated here:

“What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory”

– Romans 9:22-23

Jesus is also called “the savior of the world”, because of verses like 1 Timothy 2:4 and 1 John 2:2. Like I mentioned last post, God wants all to be saved. He desires all people to be saved. However, that does not mean all WILL be saved. Wanting something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. So many people on this earth have rejected Christ – but God loves them enough to want them to come to repentance. But sadly, many won’t. So Jesus is the savior of the world in the sense that He died on the cross for every sinner that walks the planet, and also in the sense that He desires all to come to Him. It is also because of Jesus dying for the whole world so that whoever believes will have eternal life (John 3:16). He made salvation possible for everyone on Earth.

Argument #3 – “The Early Church Was Universalist”

No <3. Universalists are so desperate to prove their case, LOL. But the doctrine of Universalism, was in fact, deemed as heretical by the 6th century. Instead, the Early Church had differing views, between Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT) and Annihilationism. If anyone knows me, whenever I’m in doubt about a doctrine – I check to see what the Early Church actually had to say about it. Here are some of the most notable early Church Fathers and their views on hell:

  • Barnabas (70-30 AD): The way of darkness is crooked, and it is full of cursing. It is the way of eternal death with punishment.
  • St. Ignatius (110 AD): “Corrupters of families will not inherit the kingdom of God. And if they who do these things according to the flesh suffer death, how much more if a man corrupt by evil teaching the faith of God for the sake of which Jesus Christ was crucified? A man become so foul will depart into unquenchable fire: and so will anyone who listens to him.”
  • Clement of Rome (150 AD): “But when they see how those who have sinned and who have denied Jesus by their words or by their deeds are punished with terrible torture in unquenchable fire, the righteous, who have done good, and who have endured tortures and have hated the luxuries of life, will give glory to their God saying, ‘There shall be hope for him that has served God with all his heart!’”
  • Justin Martyr (151 AD): “No more is it possible for the evildoer, the avaricious, and the treacherous to hide from God than it is for the virtuous. Every man will receive the eternal punishment or reward which his actions deserve. Indeed, if all men recognized this, no one would choose evil even for a short time, knowing that he would incur the eternal sentence of fire. On the contrary, he would take every means to control himself and to adorn himself in virtue, so that he might obtain the good gifts of God and escape the punishments”
  • St. John Chrysostom: “No one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments, but for those who neglect their neighbor a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire and torment in the company of the demons. Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.
  • Polycarp (155 AD): “Fixing their minds on the grace of Christ, [the martyrs] despised worldly tortures and purchased eternal life with but a single hour. To them, the fire of their cruel torturers was cold. They kept before their eyes their escape from the eternal and unquenchable fire”
  • Irenaeus (189 AD): He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send ‘spiritual wickednesses,’ and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning of their Christian course, and others from the date of their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.
  • Clement of Alexandria (195 AD): All souls are immortal, even those of the wicked. Yet, it would be better for them if they were not deathless. For they are punished with the endless vengeance of quenchless fire. Since they do not die, it is impossible for them to have an end put to their misery.
  • Hippolytus of Rome (212 AD): “To those who have done well, everlasting enjoyment shall be given; while to the lovers of evil shall be given eternal punishment. The unquenchable and unending fire awaits these latter, and a certain fiery worm which does not die and which does not waste the body but continually bursts forth from the body with unceasing pain. No sleep will give them rest; no night will soothe them; no death will deliver them from punishment; no appeal of interceding friends will profit them

So there you have it. From the beginning of the church, eternal condemnation was taught in accordance with the Word of God, as shown by the very quotations of the Church Fathers themselves. The most notable and trustworthy Church Fathers were not universalist. So what does that tell you?

In Conclusion

Universalism is a false doctrine. I’m not going to write a detailed conclusion because… it’s painfully obvious and I shouldn’t have to recap. With that being said, until next week,

-A

Why I’m Not a Calvinist: Exposing The Popular Reformed Theology

To start this off, I mean absolutely zero hate towards Calvinist or Reformed Christians. I just simply don’t agree with their theology, I find it quite harmful – which is what this post is about. If you are a Calvinist and don’t agree with me, that’s fine, but maybe you’ll consider reading this post. Actually, I once considered becoming Reformed, until I noticed the flaws of Calvinist views. This is going to be a VERY long post. As I’ve gotten more comfortable, the longer my posts have become. This blog is about controversial topics after all, so expect lengthy explanations of things. Anyways, let’s hop into the debunking of Calvinism!

What is Calvinism?

Also known as “Reformed theology”, Calvinism concerns the teachings from the French theologian John Calvin. Generally, his interpretation of the Bible emphasizes God’s sovereignty and predestination. Let’s look at the acronym TULIP, which outlines his points:

  • Total Depravity: Humans are stained by sin
  • Unconditional Election: God chooses who will be saved
  • Limited Atonement: Jesus only died for the sins of the elect, not the whole world.
  • Irresistible Grace: Humans are powerless to resist God’s grace.
  • Perseverance of the Saints: The elect (saved Christians) cannot lose their salvation, they are eternally secure.

Why is This Wrong?

Let’s analyze each of the 5 points in TULIP:

1. TOTAL DEPRAVITY

Total depravity teaches two things. That one – ever since the Fall of Adam and Eve, humans are born into sin – and I agree with this part of it. It describes our fallen and corrupted state. In Psalm 51, David says, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me”. So far, Calvinists have a half point (0.5). But however, the second part of this is problematic.

Calvinists believe that since we’re stained by sin – that we’re somehow so corrupt that we don’t have the ability to choose God. This leads to the next points since they discuss God choosing and electing humans. According to Calvinism, humans aren’t able to believe the Gospel on their own, they are blind, deaf, and dead to the things of God. So therefore God must essentially force people to believe out of His grace reserved for certain people (just wait….we’re getting there!). So it’s all God’s work, the human has no role in their individual salvation. This is since humans “don’t have the ability” to choose good over evil.

They get this ridiculous logic from John 6:44, which states that people can’t come to God unless He draws them to Him. Reading that blindly off the pages would seem to support Calvinism, right? This is why we need context – #ContextIsCrucial. They seem to ignore John 12:32, which says that when Jesus is lifted up from the earth, Jesus will draw everyone to Himself. Basically, Jesus’s statement in John 6:44 is later fulfilled in scripture. Because of the ascension, all humans are now drawn with the ability to choose to accept Christ, or choose to rebel.

So I can’t agree with the second part of this – because it basically erases free will. Calvinism entirely is an objection to man’s free will. Don’t worry though – I’ll discuss the whole free-will concept in the coming points, so keep reading!

TLDR ; Total Depravity is wrong because while humans are depraved and born into sin – it’s not to the extent where we can’t make the choice to walk with Christ. Besides, humans have always had a choice to obey or disobey God – this ability to chose is consistent with God’s character even in the Old Testament!

2. UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION

So basically, God handpicks who will be saved. Why is this wrong? At first, I almost agreed with it, thinking that an all-knowing omniscient God would know who is saved for Judgment Day right? He is all-knowing, but let me explain why this doctrine is a big no. Saying that God “predestines” people to their eternity basically cancels out free will. That’s basically saying there’s no point even trying to live for Christ or evangelize because God has already damned people or saved people. It’s stupid. It portrays our Lord as a puppet master – and us as puppets.

You might try to shove John 15:16 in my face, but the verse isn’t even discussing salvation. Rather, these words were spoken to the disciples, (who had already believed in Jesus), and were being chosen to produce good fruit – to God’s glory. Jesus is telling them basically “I chose you to go and bear fruit”, not “I chose you to be saved”. You might also try to quote Ephesians 1:4, but that verse doesn’t imply that God chose and predestined the believers to believe in Jesus Christ or to be saved. Instead, it tells us that God chose the believers to be holy and blameless, and predestined them to be adopted by Him as His children through Jesus Christ.

Unconditional election particularly specifies how God chooses people – not by foreseeing into the future, or by people who are obedient or repentant. Instead, God elects people by whoever He wants – out of God’s own pleasure. It’s not based on what man does – but He elects people for no apparent reason. If you’re reading this thinking it sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. And we’re only on point #2, we have 3 more left to discuss. This is wrong mainly because it’s stupid. You’re telling me that a God who claims to be loving and the most intelligent being in the universe would predestine whoever He wants “just because”?? Something ain’t adding up.

3. LIMITED ATONEMENT

Probably the worst part of Calvinism. Some would say “heresy”. This claim denies that Christ died for everyone. It rather says that Jesus only died for those who are “elect” – people who God cherrypicked to save. This is wrong for so many reasons, and probably the worst part of the Reformed doctrine.

Firstly, the Bible argues the exact opposite:

  • John 3:16 “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.”
  • 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise vas some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
  • 1 Timothy 2:3-4 “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
  • Hebrews 2:9 “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
  • 1 John 2:2 “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” !!!!!!!!

I mean, could the Bible make it any more obvious? Christ died for EVERYONE. When He was on that cross, He thought of you, your family’s sins, your pastor, even your favorite celebrity. God is not picking and choosing and only dying for those people. According to Mark 2:17, Jesus came to save those who need saving. And who is that? Sinners. Christ came to die for every single human being – who is a sinner him/herself. The whole purpose of Christ’s crucifixion was so that all of mankind could have an opportunity to be restored with God. So therefore limited atonement is an absolutely absurd claim because Calvinists are essentially arguing that God doesn’t love everyone. If God is all-loving, how could Christ not die for everyone? Doesn’t God love each and every person? Limited Atonement by God is a denial of His omnibenevolence.

TLDR ; Limited atonement is a false teaching that implies that Jesus’s work on the cross isn’t made available to anyone who believes. Salvation is a free gift to all humans through faith, and according to His word, God does not want anyone to perish.

4. IRRESSISTIBLE GRACE

This one is almost as bad as Limited Atonement. Irresistible grace speaks for itself – that God’s grace cannot be resisted by humans. Those who are the elect or pre-saved, can’t resist God’s grace, nor do they have a choice to accept/reject Jesus as their savior. But why is this bad? Simple. It contradicts free will. Since the beginning of the first humans (Adam and Eve) we’ve been created with free will. The ability to make our own decisions. God doesn’t control us – we are not robots. This teaching, however, suggests that we’re robots or puppets, and portrays God as an unjust puppet master.

“Irresistible grace” is something that’s forced onto us, instead of us having a choice to accept Him. If we know God’s character, we know that He wouldn’t give us a gift by forcing us to accept it. Gifts are not forced. Human beings have the ability to resist the Holy Spirit, as seen in Acts 7:51. I’ve evangelized and preached to atheists. One of them decided to consider Christ – I hope they did. The others decided to reject God. Are you going to sit there and tell me that God predestined them to? You’ve got to be ridiculous to think that. Humans can harden their own hearts, the scriptures tell us this in verses like Proverbs 29:1 and Hebrews 3:8. The Bible also proves how humans have the free will and ability to reject or choose God’s gift:

  • Romans 10:9 “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • Romans 10:13 “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
  • Acts 7:51 ““You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
  • Hebrews 3:8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness

God’s grace isn’t only for select people. It’s a gift He offers to EVERYONE. The choice lies in us if we want to accept His gift for salvation or not. If He did, that would make Him an unloving God – that would make Him a hateful God, to only have grace for the ones He chose. It completely contradicts God’s love (1 John 4:8)– His love is unconditional, despite us all being sinners (Romans 5:8).

TLDR ; Irresistible grace is a stupid theory that basically contradicts the free will that God gave us. It indicates that God forces grace on the people he elects to heaven and that we don’t have a choice to accept or reject Jesus Christ.

5. PRESERVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

This one isn’t just a Calvinist belief – but I have to touch on it since it is apart of the Calvinist acronym TULIP. I can’t just discuss 4 points and ignore the 5th. It teaches that God basically perseveres the elect. People who are predestined to salvation, or are elect, are always saved. They cannot lose their salvation. This is also known as “Once Saved Always Saved” (OSAS) and is taught by many Christians, including non-Calvinists.

I personally stand with OSAS, but that may change since I’m considering Orthodox Christianity (I’ll let you know how that goes). But, Calvinism has their view wrong on this because they believe no one can fall away from the faith. They quote John 10:28 since Jesus says that no one can snatch believers out of the Father’s hand. This is wrong because while I agree with the verse, this is talking about people “LOSING salvation” not REJECTING IT. They are 2 different things.

I’m not going to go into too much detail, but losing salvation means you commit a sin or do something that causes God to say “that’s it, they’re no longer saved, they’re not coming to heaven now”. Losing salvation is God’s decision. Rejection, on the other hand, is based on human’s free choice. If we have free will, we can choose to forfeit salvation and walk away from Christ. So while you can’t lose your salvation, you can most definitely put your hands up and say “God I don’t want this anymore”. I almost did this twice (blame fundamentalists) and gave up on God. Thankfully, He restored me (Psalm 40) but that’s a story for another time. If you don’t choose to walk away from God or forfeit, then you’ll always be saved, hence OSAS. That’s how I see it.

What About Arminianism?

You’re probably thinking I’m an Arminian based on the arguments I’ve made against Calvinism. While I do agree with most of Arminianist theology, I wouldn’t label myself an Arminian. The 5 counter-points against Calvinism made in Arminianism, are:

  • Free Will/Partial Depravity: This states that although humans are fallen, we have the option to freely choose God. His will is not restricted and enslaved by our sinful natures. We have the ability to accept God’s grace and choose to follow Christ despite being depraved.
  • Conditional Election: God chooses people for salvation (similar to Calvinism) based on His “foreknowledge”. God looked into the future from eternity past, to see who would respond to the Gospel message, and picked people. This is supported by verses such as Romans 8:29.
  • Universal/Unlimited Atonement: Christ died for the entire world, His blood was shed on the cross for every person’s sins.
  • Resistible Grace: That God’s grace CAN be resisted, and that the Holy Spirit can be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
  • Conditional Salvation (Falling From Grace): You can fall from God’s grace, and salvation isn’t unconditional. According to Arminianism, loss of salvation occurs when a person fails to keep up their faith or commits a grievous sin.

I agree with all of these except conditional salvation – because as I mentioned before I don’t believe you can just magically lose your salvation. Once a sinner has been regenerated, I don’t think God would just take away salvation. The other 4 points though, match my arguments above against Reformed theology. Free will is what I argued against Total Depravity and Conditional Election against Unconditional Election. Limited Atonement obviously backs my entire argument against Unlimited Atonement. And same with Resistible/Irresistible Grace. So yes, I do lean Arminan but I have not adopted the “Arminian” label.

Now, in terms of Conditional Election – yes it is biblical. Predestination is biblical too, it’s just the Calvinist view on it is horribly wrong. From Arminian (conditional election) and my interpretation of scripture, seems likely that God looked into the future (since He is omniscient) and based on His foreknowledge elected people of their free will. God has predestined the entire world to have the chance to believe and be saved. Gentiles (everyone on the planet who isn’t Jewish) were also predestined to be invited to join the family of God, faith in Jesus. Before the foundation of the universe, God’s predestined plan was to summon both the Jew and the Gentile.

Who Did Christ Die For?

In case I wasn’t clear when debunking Calvinism above, I’ll say it again in simpler terms. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Almighty God, died:

1. For all (1 Timothy 2:6; Isaiah. 53:6)
2. For every human (Hebrews 2:9)
3. For the world (John 3:16)
4. For the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2)
5. For the ungodly (Romans 5:6)
6. For false teachers (2 Peter 2:1)
7. For many (Matthew 20:28).
8. For Israel (John 11:50–51)
9. For the Church (Ephesians 5:25)
10. For “me” (Galatians 2:20)

So there you go. I hope that gets in your head. Here’s a tissue for the Calvinist who got proven wrong with God-breathed scripture:

Common Calvinist Arguments

  • ROMANS 3:11

“There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.”

This verse is used to argue the Total Depravity Point. Upon reading it, at first, it may seem like it supports that idea. I thought this too when I was thinking of becoming a Calvinist. But let’s break this down in simple terms.

According to Romans 3:11, who can seek God? The Calvinist would answer, “No one” – but no one of the elect, or no one at all? The correct answer is “no one at all”, this is the Calvinist position. Now let’s refer to verse 12 – who has turned aside? All people have turned aside. Okay so now again, does this refer to all of the elect or all people in general? Once again, the Calvinist will correctly answer with “all people in general”. So now who did Jesus die for? According to Calvinism, He died for the elect. Time to bring out Isaiah 53:6, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Who has gone astray? All people, like Romans 3:12. Since “no one” seeks after God and literally all of us (each of us) has turned aside and to their own way, whose sin has fallen on Christ? The Calvinist will incorrectly answer, “the elect” but from this exegesis, that isn’t the case.

The Calvinist had agreed every step of the way analyzing Romans 3:10-12 with universal terms until we got to the part “for whom Jesus died,” as referenced in Isaiah 53:6. Literally “no one” seeks after God, literally “all” we like sheep have turned away, but somehow not literally “all” whose iniquity has fallen on Christ. So there’s that disproven.

  • JOHN 6:44

“For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.”

Calvinists just love this verse, it’s quoted so often by them. But, it needs proper context to understand. I explained this earlier, but I will again in case you forgot. In this verse, Jesus makes it clear that people cannot come to God without being drawn to Him. John 6:44 is later fulfilled in scripture, specifically John 12:32. Jesus said when He is lifted up and ascends into heaven, He will draw all people to Him.

So Jesus draws us and enables us the ability to be saved. But in order to be saved, what are the requirements? Let’s look at the rest of the verse for context. You can’t just cherry-pick a verse without acknowledging what comes after it. Verse 40 of John 6 says, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day“. So we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s a clear condition for salvation. Romans 10:9 also backs this up. And last time I checked, believing is a CHOICE. And choices are done out of a human’s free will. So that’s good to know! This verse was pretty easy to debunk. So now that this verse is taken care of…

  • ROMANS 8:29-30

“For those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

Did you know that Arminianism actually supports this verse? This isn’t even talking about Calvinistic predestination….it actually supports Arminian predestination. Notice the word “foreknew” there? Didn’t we discuss that earlier? The Arminian predestination is biblical because God foreknew who He would predestine based on man’s free will. Calvinists might be quick to jump in and likely say that God’s foreknowledge = predestination. Wrong. Other places in the Bible, such as Ephesians 1:3-4 and Galatians 1:15 show that foreknowledge ≠ predestination. If God knows everything, including the future, therefore the “foreknowing” in Romans 8:29 applies to all people having the opportunity to be saved. So what does that tell you?

  • ROMANS 9:16-19

¹⁶”It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. ¹⁷For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. ¹⁸Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. ¹⁹One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will? But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, Why did you make me like this?’

Probably the favorite Calvinist passages aside from John 6:44. The most Calvinistic-sounding verses run from 16 to 19. These appear to support Calvinism, but once again we must look at the context and its exegesis. Romans 9 is not about salvation for everyone or Christians in general. Instead, the theme of Romans 9 is discussing the Jewish objections to Christian conversion. This is why you constantly see Jewish examples throughout the book of Romans (i.e. Abraham, David, Moses). The Jews are opposed to accepting Christ, their attitudes consisted of, “I don’t need Jesus, I descended from Abraham!” They were relying on their works too.

In verses 1-2, Paul is grieved at the Jews for rejecting the Gospel (seen in Romans 1-8). So there’s a bit of background for you. Verses 3-5 talks about how Paul would trade his eternal place so that the Israelite kinsmen could believe in Jesus – that’s how concerned he is for them. The next few verses explain this general concept: how ethnicity is not a guarantee of a blessing. Paul illustrates that both Issac and Jacob were chosen to be blessed over Ishmael and Esau, even though all of them were sons of Abraham and this even though Ishmael and Esau were the oldest sons. Despite the blessing of being descendants of Jacob, Jews are saved the same way Gentiles are – by faith in Jesus. Even though Jews are physical descendants of Abraham, they still must believe in Jesus in order to be saved (as seen in Romans 10). This is Paul’s entire argument.

So if Paul is discussing the entire nation of Israel at the beginning of this, wouldn’t it make sense that verses 16-19 are also about Israel, and not mankind as a whole? Especially since verses 30-32 are about Israel as well, “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.“. So it’s about Israel, not the individual Calvinist election doctrine.

But what about the specific verses that claim to support Calvinism? Well, I had to explain the context surrounding this entire chapter first. But now, let’s examine these verses. Verse 15 is a direct reference to Moses, citing Exodus 33:19. Paul quotes this to explain God’s mercy and the Glory of God. In Exodus 33’s content, it wasn’t about Moses’s salvation, but rather seeing God’s glory. Paul’s main point is that the righteousness of a nation is not the basis of God’s election for salvation. The Gentiles less righteous than the Jews, but God was able to show “mercy” on the Gentiles in the present—just as he showed “mercy” to the Jewish people at the Golden Calf. It’s as if Paul is saying, “Don’t look down on the Gentiles for being idolaters… Your own people were idolaters too!” Okay, now let’s run through verse 16, which seems to be the most problematic. Notice how it says “IT does not, therefore, depend on…” well what does “it” refer to? Calvinists believe “it” is talking about God’s unconditional election or salvation, but instead it actually refers to God’s choice to give salvation by grace – apart from works-based righteousness or ethnic race. The “it” is talking about God’s purpose of election.  But what is God’s purpose of election? To fulfill God’s promise (see verse 6) to bring a redemptive plan through an unconditionally chosen nation of unfaithful people. Paul has been citing one OT passage after another throughout this chapter, in order to show that God chose people to carry out His word – even when they didn’t deserve it. So it’s not about election or Calvinistic predestination. It goes back to the bigger picture: God’s election plan for Israel.

So let’s look at verses 17-18 now, where it discusses Pharaoh, a guy in the OT whose heart was hardened by God. He saw miracles and spoke to Moses, yet still remained unrepentant. Paul is quoting Exodus 9:16, and is explaining that if God was righteous in hardening a Gentile to save the Israelites, then why can’t God harden the Israelites to save the Gentiles? If God was righteous to judge Pharaoh for rejecting his miraculous revelations through Moses, then why can’t God harden the Israelites for rejecting the miraculous ministry of Jesus? The overall point of Paul is the hardening of Israel. Not the individual human being. Lastly, verse 19 tackles how God can find fault in Pharaoh if God was the one who hardened his heart. It appears to portray God as a puppet master, with Pharaoh as the puppet. The Calvinist would argue that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened as a result of God’s wants, but God actually hardened it because Pharaoh wouldn’t comply, he kept refusing to obey. So technically, it’s Pharaoh’s fault, he literally asked for it. So there’s a bit of free will in there 😉

In Summary…

  • Calvinism portrays God as an angry hateful monster, or like an ultra-controlling puppet who controls human beings like robots.
  • Calvinism erases a human’s free will, which has been given to us since the very first creation of Adam and Eve (see Genesis 3)
  • Calvinism diminishes God’s love and suppresses His omnibenevolence
  • Calvinism proves that evangelism and gospel-preaching is useless
  • Calvinism says we have no choice; that we’re basically pre-programmed robots destined for heaven or hell.
  • Calvinism goes against many verses in scripture, such as 1 Timothy 2:4, John 3:16, 1 John 2:2, Titus 2:11, and more.
  • Arminianism says we do have a choice, but after accepting Christ we’re responsible for maintaining our salvation as if the Father and Son’s promise to one another at the Cross wasn’t sufficient enough.

Thanks for reading! This post took me a long time to make, so I’d appreciate it if you’d give it a like and share! Leave a comment below if you have any questions, or if you want me to discuss something I may have missed. May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you.

Putting God First

It’s something that’s expected of Christians. It’s actually a command. We hear it all the time. “Put God first!” But what does that mean? I’ve been walking with God for 8 months, and I struggle with this too. But today’s post hopefully will enlighten you and teach you something.

What Does it Mean?

Here are some verses that also demonstrate what “Putting God first” means:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

– Matthew 6:33

“So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.'”

– Luke 10:27

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

– 1 Corinthians 10:31

So from these three verses, it’s clear what we need to do. According to the Matthew verse, loving God means seeking His kingdom first. And according to the Luke verse, loving Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. We should love God first out of everything/everyone in this world. As seen in specifically in Matthew 6:33, God promises us that if we seek Him first, He will give us everything we need! The Corinthians verse explains that whatever we should do, we should do it to His glory – therefore that’s putting God first.

Besides that, it also means:

  • Making your relationship with Lord a priority
  • Seeking Him above other things
  • Glorifying Him in all that you do
  • Choosing Him over sinful temptations
  • Submitting to Him in everything
  • Spreading the Gospel/Evangelizing
  • Making disciples of people

Evidence of People Who Put God First (aka the evidence of a true Christian)

People who follow God and put Him first, will do many things. If you’re not sure whether you’re putting Him first or not, refer to this checklist! Followers of God will:

  • Deny themselves and take up their cross (Luke 9:23)
  • Obey God’s commands (John 14:15)
  • Not forsake God (Revelation 2:4)
  • Bear [good] fruit of the Holy Spirit (Colossians 1:10, Galatians 5:22)
  • Refusal to follow the world (Romans 12:2)
  • Repentance and conviction of sin (1 John 1:9)
  • Surrender everything to the Lord (James 4:7)

If you don’t have any of these, then you have some work to do, fellow Christian. I suggest you read these verses, meditate on them, and pray. Ask God to lead you, ask Him for guidance, clarity, and strength.

Some Ways to Put God First

  1. Start Your Day with Him – whether it’s a morning prayer of praise, reading some of scripture, or listening to a worship song or two.
  2. Remind Yourself of Verses – you can do this in different ways. For instance, you could write it on a sticky note and place it around the house, laptop, car, wherever. Another way (which I personally do) is make my lock/home screen a Bible verse.
  3. Watch Sermons Often – I’m guilty of not doing this enough. But I highly recommend watching a sermon at least 1-2x per week. There’s a lot of great pastors out there – but make sure they aren’t false teachers (look out, I’ll do a post one day on my favorite pastors, and one about common false teachers).
  4. Start a Prayer Journal – and write in it daily.
  5. Pray Throughout the Day – This is beneficial because it allows a deeper relationship and more intimate connection with the Father.
  6. Always Look for Ways to Help Others – by doing this, you are obeying God’s second greatest command. This is biblical, and brings glory to Jesus.

In Conclusion

I hope this helps! Next week’s post will be controversial, and I’ve had people ask me my stance on this type of theology, and I’m finally going to give my opinion after some questioning. God bless, and till next time.

I Ran Into The Holy Spirit – My Encounter Testimony

So, I don’t know how to start this off. I honestly didn’t know what to write for this week’s blog post. But, the title should reveal it – I had a recent encounter with God. Specifically the Holy Spirit. Before I get into what happened, I just want to take a moment to praise God. I can’t stop praising Him after that happened. This Psalm has been living in my head rent-free:

“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!” The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”

– Psalm 116:1-9

This experience of mine happened on February 26, 2021, at approximately 5pm. Just a few days ago! I did make a TikTok video about my experience, but I’m going to go super in depth on this blog post. So if you don’t like detailed testimonies, then I don’t know what to say.

How it Started

I’ve been going through some confusion behind the scenes for several months now. It’s a personal issue, but if I end up taking one path then everyone in my life will be affected, especially their perception of me. So therefore, I’m waiting on a special date in March, the 29th. Prayers for God’s will to be done are appreciated.

I then saw a TikTok about this girl who had taken the path that is a possible option for me. I’m terrified that God will tell me to take the same path that she did. So upon stalking her account, I had a panic attack. I didn’t know what to do. I’ve had numerous panic attacks relating to this issue in the past, since September. I pray God will give me a way out soon. But although this wasn’t the worst panic attack, it still felt like the world was going to end.

In order to calm myself down, I did a few things. Firstly, I prayed to God and cried out to Him for help. I’m not one to cry, but in this specific prayer I did. I tried to focus on Him, rather than the random thoughts that popped up in my head. The prayer didn’t work. At least not yet. So I opened my Bible app. I went to Romans 14, because it catered to the situation I’m in currently. I tried reading it to myself – it helped a tiny bit, but my heart was still heavy, and I still wasn’t calmed down 100%. So then I decided to try Instagram. I went to go look at Christian posts in my saved collection. I was scrolling through posts I had saved, until I found a beneficial verse – 2 Timothy 1:7, which says:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

– 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

This is one of my favorite verses, it’s been living in my head rent-free for a few weeks. But back to the point. Those three things helped only slightly, and weren’t the most beneficial. That is, until, God intervened.

What God Did

As I was staring at the 2 Timothy 1:7 post on Instagram, my body froze. I remained still, because something supernatural had just begun. Suddenly out of nowhere, I had this random wave of peace come over me and I froze as I was scrolling. Then I put my phone down and sat down on my bed because I didn’t understand what was going on with me.

The best way I can describe it, is this spiritual force rushing throughout my body. I felt it specifically in my upper arms and shoulders, center of my chest, stomach, and my legs. Inn my arms and shoulders, it felt as if someone was gently grabbing onto me to prevent me from shaking of anxiety.

It was a good force though! I don’t think it was demonic. It was very peaceful. It felt amazing! Whatever was inside me though, it was speaking to me! But not through my mind or my thoughts, it wasn’t speaking to me in my head. I’ve learned not to trust my thoughts because of Isaiah 55:8. But the peaceful spiritual force in my body was trying to say something, and I felt it speak to me in my soul. It’s kind of hard to explain, but that’s just how it was for me. I felt it speaking to me within my soul.

You might be wondering what it said. It was saying things repeatedly such as:

  • “Wait”
  • “Be Still”
  • “Be Patient”
  • “Focus on Me”

But what does this mean? Well, the force saying “wait” applies to me waiting for God to reveal something to me on March 29th. The “Be still” and “Be patient” applies to me being patient and still. And the Holy Spirit said “Focus on me” whenever my mind tried to think about the Tiktok I saw, or about my situation. It’s like God was trying to distract me from the anxious intrusive thoughts I was dealing with. He wanted me to focus on Him, and godly things. He didn’t want me to worry (Matthew 6:25-34).

Is What I Experienced Biblical? Was it Really God?

You might be reading this thinking, “Aish how do we know you weren’t possessed by a demon?” Well firstly, I’m pretty sure demons don’t give you peace. The Bible says in Galatians 5:22 that peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that God is the author of peace. So therefore demons cause confusion and chaos – so technically you could argue that demons were the ones who inflicted my panic attack.

But besides that, the things that the Holy Spirit was speaking to my soul, match up with MANY verses in the Bible! It traces back to scripture. As follows:

That’s how I confirmed this was God, by going back to scripture and checking to make sure the Bible aligned with my experience. Therefore not demonic or anti-God by any means.

“But how do you know it wasn’t your own thoughts/conscience?”

I know it was God and not myself – because I wasn’t in control. I’m not lying. At first I had no idea what was going on with my body. Not a single clue. I was not control one bit, that’s why I described it as a “supernatural force” that was taking control of me. So therefore it was indeed the Holy Spirit, aka God.

So Therefore….

God is real. God is love. God is amazing. God is peaceful. God is strong. God is real.

PRAISE THE LORD. For He is truly good.

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

– Psalm 18:2

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”

– Psalm 23:1-3

There Is No Such Thing As “A Good Person”

Many people in this world believe they are a “good person”. Well what is a good person? Let’s look at the definition of good:

“that which is morally right; righteousness.”

…We’ll come back to that later.

But many of those people in this world, also believe that they are going to heaven, simply because they believe they are “good people”.

  • “I donated to charity so I’m going to heaven!”
  • “I did so many good works here on Earth so I’m heaven bound!”
  • “If I try to be a good person, God will let me into heaven.”

Sadly none of this is true. This is a classic deception from none other than Satan himself. Polite lies at its finest. The truth is, you can’t work yourself into heaven. And the biggest truth? There’s no such thing as a good person. Seriously, there isn’t. If this is an alarming wake-up call for you, I’m not going to apologize since you NEED to hear this.

No Good People? Really?

That’s right, you heard it. I’ll say it again! No one is good. Not you, not me, not even Mother Teresa. Wait what? Yeah. The Bible has been clear on this issue too:

“As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one”

– Romans 3:10

“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

– Mark 10:18

These two verses, imply that there is no righteous person on earth. Not one. Not without God anyway. Because on our own…. we’re nothing. Humans alone aren’t righteous. Jesus is pointing out that only God alone is good. We aren’t. But why is that the case? The following verse explains it:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

– Romans 3:23

So basically, it states that “all have sinned”. That’s right, every human has. We have all fallen short of God’s glory. Let me ask you this, and please be honest.

  • Have you ever lied?
  • Stolen anything? Even if it’s something small?
  • Looked at someone with lust or had sex before marriage?
  • Hated anyone?
  • Used God’s name in vain? (saying things like “Godd*mn” or “Jesus f*cking Christ”)

Well, then you’ve broken God’s law. Let’s pretend you’ve done all of those things. If God were to judge you out of the 10 commandments, you would have broken 5/10. You still think you’re a “good person”? If God were to judge you, would you be innocent or guilty? I hope you answered guilty because those are serious iniquities against Him. Now because you’re guilty, is it heaven or hell for you? Sin deserves punishment, and that’s hell. Like I mentioned in my last post, Christ offers a ticket out of hell, and simply by repenting and believing in Him, you can waltz into heaven.

Let’s go back to the definition of “good” as I mentioned before. In case you forgot it, here it is again:

“That which is morally right; righteousness”

So…if humans are sinners, then it’s not possible for us to be morally right. If we’ve sinned, we are not morally right. We are morally WRONG. Only God is morally right, because He is good. And He is good because He is perfect and can do no wrong. Us humans however, go against God’s morals constantly. So therefore, we’re the opposite of good: BAD. So we’re all technically bad because we’re sinners. Got it so far? Good. Keep reading.

So therefore, that’s exactly why there’s no such thing as a righteous person (no good people!). We all sin, and fall short of God’s glory. The truth is, we’re sinners who are FAR from good. Humans constantly fall short of God’s standards and His law.

But What About Good Deeds?

Other religions love to teach that if you do good deeds/works, you will get into heaven. Religions like Islam teach that if your good works outweigh your bad deeds, you get into heaven. Sadly, this is just another one of Satan’s lies, to blind you from the true Gospel of Christ. Before I was a true born-again Christian, I thought this too. Christianity is the only religion that relies on God’s grace and one’s faith, rather than their good works. Satan will do everything he can to omit Jesus from other religions.

Don’t get me wrong – good deeds please God. If the Holy Spirit within you is prompting you to bear good fruit, and do good works in Jesus’s name – then good! That’s what God likes to see. However, the problem lies when you are relying on them to get you into heaven. One is justified by God’s grace, through faith alone in Christ alone. Not of works. Here’s the famous verse to back that up:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

– Ephesians 2:8-9

And you know that according to God, your “good works” are filthy rags to Him? In the context of trying to rely on them for salvation (not if they’re out of faith). He even said so here!

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

– Isaiah 64:6

Moving on. But why can’t we get into heaven by our good works? It’s simple. We’re all sinners. We can’t waltz into heaven because of our good deeds. Let me break it down for you.

Imagine this scenario: you’re in a courtroom standing before the judge. You are guilty of theft, and you are about to be sentenced to prison for 3 years. The judge is about to slam that little hammer down, and make the decision final – until you cry out, “Wait judge, look at all of these good things I did!” The judge pauses, confused. You tell the judge how you donated to charity, volunteered, etc. The judge says, “I’m sorry, but I can’t just let you go because of the good deeds you did”. You can’t erase your bad deeds with your good ones. Just as if you commit a crime, a good deed wouldn’t get you out of it – you’re still guilty of the crime, and deserve punishment for your iniquity.

It’s the same thing with God – He is a righteous and just judge. He hates sin, just like a judge hates crime. So based on the sins you commit, you deserve hell. But what gets you out of that – is Jesus. Through Him, you get a one-way ticket to heaven!

In Conclusion…

  • You’re a bad person – we all are.
  • You’ve sinned against God, so you deserve punishment.
  • You sinned, Jesus came to save you and offer you an eternal paradise.
  • Salvation is achieved by God’s grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
  • Your good works don’t save you – you can’t erase your bad deeds with good ones.
  • There is no such thing as a good person!!! Because ONLY GOD IS GOOD.

Praise the Lord!

Not Every Christian is Going to Heaven

It might shock you. But Jesus Christ even said Himself:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

– Matthew 7:21-23

*sips water* This is probably going to be the longest post I’ve ever made, but probably the most important post I may EVER write – because it’s gonna be a wake-up call for some people!!

So in this verse, Jesus is saying that not all people who claim to be Christians, and not all who claim to know Him and say “Lord, Lord” will enter heaven. He then explains that these people will try to justify it by saying things like “did we not do this…..” and “oh but I did this” but it won’t be enough to enter God’s kingdom.

“But I thought all Christians go to heaven?” Nope. All true believers, aka true Christians, go to heaven. But anyone can call themselves a Christian. It’s simply not enough to call yourself a Christian and believe in God to be saved.

“But I believe in God!”

Do you have a bible verse in your Instagram bio? Do you attend church regularly? Or maybe do you simply just believe in God’s existence? Well, that’s simply not enough, unfortunately. Well at least according to scripture:

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.”

– James 2:19

Believing in God isn’t enough, nor does it make you a Christian. That’s what James is trying to say here in that verse – that even Satan and the demons believe in God, too. Does that make them Christians? No. I believe in Satan, does that make me a Satanist? Of course not.

Neither does having a Bible verse in your bio, nor does going to church. What makes you a Christian, is if you’re truly born again of the Spirit (John 3:3) and have repented and accepted Jesus in your life. And your life should reflect that, too.

“But I’m a good person!”

No you aren’t. That’s impossible. Don’t lie. There are no such thing as “good people”. At least according to the Bible anyways, which states:

“As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one’”

– Romans 3:10

“For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God”

– Romans 3:23

Therefore, no. You are not a good person. I will go into great detail in an upcoming post on why there are no good people (stay tuned) but as for now, those verses say enough. You are not a good person. No one is. So if you’re not good, why should God let you in heaven?

Who Goes to Heaven?

Well for starters, the Bible tells us that we are saved by faith alone through God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) and that in order to achieve salvation we must “confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart God raised Him from the dead” (Romans 10:9). Many people think it’s that simple and say that with their mouth. This is where people get the “I believe in God so I’m going to heaven” ideology from. But throughout the Gospels, Jesus even showed it was more than just words:

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

– Matthew 15:8

Romans 10:9 is only the first step. Jesus also checks your heart. In the above verse, Christ even clarified that honoring and praising God MEANS NOTHING if your heart is not in the right place, or if it’s far from God. The Pharisees praised God, and prayed to Him too. Yet they were openly rebuked by Jesus. Their hearts were far from God.

Now, if we go back to what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, He clearly stated that “the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” So in order to enter heaven, a Christian (true believer that is), will do the will of the Father. Keep reading, and soon I’ll discuss what the “will of the Father” is.

The Will of The Father

This refers to God’s general will for Christians. Aka what God expects out of us. The clearest verse in the Bible on God’s will for Christians is this:

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

– John 6:40

So for starters, it’s basically a repeat of Romans 10:9, which says to receive salvation you must believe. It’s also a repeat of John 3:16-36, which says that “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.”

Besides that, God’s will is also summed up in 2 great commandments: Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). Christians who obey those two commandments have done the will of the Father. How do we love God? One day I’ll make a detailed post about that – but the best way to love Him is obeying His commands (John 14:15). By “commandments” Jesus is referring to His commands throughout the Bible (including Jesus’s words in the 4 Gospels), and doing our best to obey the 10 commandments given in the Old Testament.

If a Christian does not strive to keep those 2 commandments, they aren’t real Christians after all. Because a true Christian will have a love for God – their heart will have a desire to obey His commands, one of that which is loving others. The Christian’s heart plays a BIG ROLE in their eternity.

The Heart and Its Significance

God is most concerned with people’s hearts. Several passages in the Bible state this.

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

– 1 Samuel 16:7

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.”

– Proverbs 21:2

On Judgement Day, God will be analyzing and evaluating each person’s heart. Yes, He will definitely care about the good/bad deeds you’ve done here on earth. But the things you do in life, aka your deeds, are a result of your heart’s state. Let’s take a look at what Jesus said about a man’s heart:

“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Mark 7:20-23

So I assume that’s pretty clear. Christ said that everything, especially evil things and desires of the flesh, comes from within the heart. And that’s what defiles a person. Therefore, if the state of your heart defines you, then that’s what God will use to judge you on that day.

With that being said, I’m sure you’re probably familiar with Jeremiah 17:9 which describes the heart as, “deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”. But if you continue reading that passage, and look at verse 10, it backs up what I’ve said about God judging our hearts on that day:

“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

– Jeremiah 17:9-10

But the heart is deceitful? Yes. Because it leads us to sin. But it also leads us to bear good fruit, which is part of doing the Father’s will. When you are a true Christian, God will transform your heart and renew your mind! You will change as a person, and in the best way possible. You will start to bear good fruit, of Jesus changing your life.

Good Fruit vs. Bad Fruit

Now, because of this heart change, the true Christian will bear one of two types of fruit in the Bible: Good and bad. Jesus first mentioned fruit in Matthew 7:17-20. In this context, He was discussing false teachers and false prophets (check my previous post!). But this applies to every Christian. He explicitly stated this:

“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”

– Matthew 7:17-18

But what does this mean? Simply, Jesus is using metaphors and stuff. He tends to do that a lot! “Tree” is a metaphor for humans. In this context, we are trees. And “fruit” is a metaphor for works/deeds/behavior. So to put it in simpler terms, a “good human” (a human made righteous and redeemed in Christ) cannot live a lifestyle full of bad deeds/works, and a bad human (aka someone who is not a real Christian) cannot bear the good works and righteousness God wants of us. In the Bible, it actually tells us what good fruit and bad fruit is:

Good Fruit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

– Galatians 5:22-23

Bad Fruit:

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

– Galatians 5:19-21

As a Christian, you should be bearing GOOD FRUIT. Of course, everyone sins and falls short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23) so sometimes you will bear bad fruit as a result of sin. HOWEVER….you should not be living a sinful lifestyle. Aka willfully sinning without proper repentance. True Christians repent for their sins, that’s one way you know you’re saved. Now, back to the good fruit talk. As outlined in Galatians 5:22-23, that should be what your lifestyle looks like. If you bear good fruit like that, it’s an indicator that you’re a true Christian and that you’re saved and going to heaven!

So now let’s recap what I said about the heart.

The Sheep and the Goats

This is a very important concept. On the day of Judgment (aka the checkpoint in determining your eternal destiny!) Jesus will “separate the sheep from the goats”. This is not talking about atheists, Hindus, or whatever. The “sheep and goats” refer to everyone on this earth who calls themselves a “Christian”. This is exactly what I meant when I said “not everyone who calls themselves a Christian is going to heaven”.

Let’s look at the following verse, where Jesus discusses the sheep and goats. This is a very long passage, but it NEEDS to be read. Every Christian should know this:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

– Matthew 25:31-46

This entire passage is a parable. A parable of what Judgment Day is going to be like. The sheep and goats Jesus is describing are people who label themselves as Christians. I shouldn’t have to explain this verse much, because it speaks for itself. Jesus spoke numerous times, of the importance of helping others, feeding the hungry, caring for the poor and oppressed, and loving our neighbor. The sheep, are successful Christians who bear good fruit. Bearing good fruit produces good works! This goes back to James 2:14-17, which says that “faith without works is dead”. A true Christian will have faith that will produce good fruit/good works. Now for the goats, Jesus is talking about false disciples and fake Christians. These goats, are the “Christians” that will be saying “Lord let me in!” but will hear a “DEPART FROM ME”. They are self-titled Christians but do not truly know Christ or bear the fruit of the Spirit.

In Conclusion

In order to go to heaven (eternal life) you must be a true believer. A true believer’s heart is changed by God, which leads them to bear good fruit, and that leads to doing the will of the Father. That is how you identify a true Christian. So check yourself.

If you’ve read everything that I wrote above, and you’ve concluded that you’re not a real Christian, or are lukewarm, then I have something to say to you. God loves you, and wants you to be saved. God is waiting for you with open arms. So what are you waiting for? Confess your sins to God, repent, and He will forgive you. Give your life to Him, it’s the best decision you’ll ever make.

False Teachers: What They Are, and How to Spot Them

The subject of false teachers have always been a constant dilemma. But, this is a very important topic, and Christians need to know this. So please listen up!

What is a False Teacher?

Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory. A false teacher is someone who preaches things that contradict doctrine or what scripture says. Jesus described these people as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15). These “teachers” are dangerous because they lead people astray. People are quick to trust pastors and priests, so if false information is coming out of their mouths, it’s quite easy for people to be deceived. False teachers are usually responsible for preaching false “gospels” (Galatians 1:6-9), promote heresy (2 Peter 2:1), and even adding/removing sins from the bible (Proverbs 30:6).

False teachers are also dangerous, because when they teach or preach, people’s blood is in their hands. If a wolf in sheep’s clothing decides to lead someone astray, on judgment day they could face severe consequences (aka hell!). Leading someone to hell is one of the most horrible things a Christian can do. But the person who heard the teaching isn’t the only person who faces punishments. That’s right, you guessed it! The false teacher would also face consequences. This is because teachers (such as pastors, priests, etc) are held at a higher standard/authority than people who don’t teach. If someone’s blood is on your hands and you lead them astray, it is a serious offense to God. Jesus even said in Matthew 18:6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” That’s how serious leading someone astray is. Rod Pickens even mentioned this in his Judgment Day testimony.

What Does the Bible Tell us about False Teachers?

False teachers are mentioned quite a bit in the Bible. Here are some general verses about them:

  • Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
  • 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
  • 2 Peter 2:1-3 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”
  • 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Some Common False Teachings

Here are some of the most common false teachings being spread today that you need to look out for! If your pastor or priest says any one of these, run!

False TeachingThe Truth
“The Bible isn’t God’s word”The bible is divinely
inspired and “God-breathed”
(2 Timothy. 3:16)
“Faith isn’t enough to save you”Saved by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“If you do enough good deeds you’ll make it to heaven”One is justified by faith in Christ (Galatians 2:16)
“Hell isn’t real”Hell is very real. (Revelation 21:8)
“Sex before marriage is okay”Sex is explicitly designed for
marriage. (Hebrews 13:4)
“Speaking in tongues is proof of faith”Tongues are not proof of faith,
but our good fruit is (Galatians 5:22)
“It is God’s will for you to be wealthy and healthy”God’s will is for people to suffer sometimes. (2 Cor. 12:7-10)
“Jesus isn’t God” (arguably the most heretical)Jesus is God (John 10:30)
I couldn’t list all of them, but those are the most common ones that I’ve heard.

How to Spot a False Teacher

I’m glad you asked! Above I listed some bible verses regarding false teachers. If you’ve read 2 Peter 2, you’d know what to look for. Spotting a false teacher can be difficult, especially because they’re not all the same. They come in different shapes and sizes. Some false teachers are hateful and bigoted, and others are good at disguising themselves so that they appear as a reliable preacher, with their smooth talk and charisma.

Characteristics of False Teachers:

  • Preaches a gospel contrary to Christ’s message (Gal. 1:6-9)
  • Their sermons revolve around someone/something other than Christ
  • Insists on using other sources other than the Bible
  • Bears bad fruit (Gal. 5:19-21) instead of good fruit (Gal. 5:22)
  • Defends sin and makes it look acceptable
  • Twists scripture to suit their own narrative
  • Ignores the existence of hell and the afterlife
  • Never discusses repentance, concept of sin, or mentions Satan
  • Takes scripture out of context frequently
  • Preaches a prosperity gospel
  • Chases after worldly things (i.e. money)
  • Associates with other false teachers

What Should We Do About False Teachers?

Well for one, avoid them, and certainly shut our ears to their heretical sayings.

But if given the opportunity, we should definitely call them out. Politely, that is. That’s because doing so, lets God’s sheep know so they are aware of what not to follow. You are saving and benefitting so many people doing this. In fact, the Bible actually calls for this and gives us clear instructions in two passages:

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”

– Ephesians 5:11

“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'”

– Matthew 18:15-16

Besides exposing wolves in sheep’s clothing, there are some other things to consider when dealing with false teachers:

  • Read the Bible/Word of God: Doing this allows you to understand God’s word, and when you know the bible and study it’s context, then you may be able to discern what is correct preaching or false teaching.
  • Pray about them: It is important that we do not let people go to hell, and do our best to prevent it. A way we can do this with false teachers, is to pray for them. We must pray that they repent and accept correction. We can also pray that they come to Christ and become a true preacher of the Word.
  • Carefully listening to their sermons: Be careful. Always pay attention to what your pastor/priest/minister is saying. Be on guard, be on the lookout for any heresy or twisted doctrine.

Quiz Time!

You didn’t think I’d let you finish reading this without a little fun, did you? Let’s test your knowledge on false teachers! Click this link to launch the quiz. Let me know your results and score in the comments below!

The Dangers of Pride

The Bible is filled with things that God warns against, or are detestable to Him. When you think of the worst sins, things like murder and sexual immorality come to your mind. Or maybe perhaps you think of the 7 deadly sins. But what if I told you that pride is actually the deadliest of the seven?

The Bible states that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” in Proverbs 16:18. Therefore, pride is the root of all sin. Sins like wrath, lust, and greed are all rooted in pride. In fact, it is due to pride; that Eve decided to eat the fruit in the garden. It is due to pride, that the Pharisees were rebuked by Jesus. And worst of all, it is due to pride, that Lucifer was kicked out of heaven.

What is Pride?

Pride is a state of self-righteousness and tied to a state of conceited behavior. It is refusing to recognize God and recognizing yourself instead. Pride also reveals insecurity and a lack of trust in God, too. It is one of the most sneaky and deceptive sins, because it can manifest itself in both positive and negative aspects.

Some examples of pride:

  • Vanity
  • Excessive self-love
  • Arrogance
  • Boastful behavior
  • Self-centeredness
  • Criticism and analysis of self
  • Self-hatred

The sin of pride is not the same thing of being proud – such as being proud of someone or proud of an accomplishment. But the sin of pride involves the thirst for glory, honor, and power. And it consists of attributing divinity to oneself, which can be quite deadly.

Why is Pride so dangerous? It can’t be that bad, right?

Hold up, stop right there. It is that bad.

Pride is a literal trap, essentially. It’s a trap for you to commit other sins. Every time you commit a sin against God, you are not only guilty of that sin, but also guilty of pride. It adds an extra sin to the list. Ouch.

It is Satan’s way of deceiving you into ignoring God’s judgment and leading you to destruction. People who reject Christ and the Gospel, such as atheists, is due to their own pride. This is a dangerous consequence obviously, since it leads them to hell.

What Does The Bible Teach About Pride?

A lot of lessons about pride, can be found in the book of Proverbs. I highly recommend reading Proverbs, I just finished it for the month of January, and I’ve learned many things. It is a book of wisdom after all! And this wisdom filled book is filled with teachings on the sin of pride. Here’s what it has to say:

  • 6:16-17 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue…”
  • 8:13 “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”
  • 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
  • 16:5 “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
  • 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
  • 18:12 “Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.
  • 21:4 “Haughty eyes and a proud heart – the unplowed field of the wicked – produce sin.
  • 21:24 “The proud and arrogant person – “Mocker” is his name – behaves with insolent fury.
  • 25:27 “It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.”
  • 27:2 “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.
  • 29:23 “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.

So, are those verses enough to convict you? Because that’s not all. Proverbs isn’t the only book of the Bible that condemns pride, but in fact, pride is looked down upon many times in other parts of the Bible as well:

  • James 4:6 “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.
  • Galatians 3:6 “If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.
  • Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves
  • Psalm 59:12 “For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter
  • Jeremiah 9:23 “This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches…”
  • Romans 11:18-21 “Do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

Humility

The opposite of pride is humility, which is the state of being humble. It is a righteous trait that God expects us to have. It comes with genuine gratitude, a lack of arrogance, and a modest self-view. It means trusting and glorifying God instead of ourselves. It also ties with Proverbs 3:5, where we trust in the Lord and not our own understandings. Humility is a synonym for fear of the Lord! Jesus is our primary example of how to live humbly, especially when He told the parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector:

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.”

– Luke 18:10-14

From this parable, we can see that the state of humility depends on the grace and mercy of God.

Besides Jesus’s parable about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, here’s what the Bible also teaches us on humility:

  • Proverbs 22:4 “Humility is the fear of the Lord; and its wages are riches and honor and life.
  • James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
  • 1 Peter 5:5 “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.”
  • Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
  • Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
  • Luke 14:11 “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

What About Pride Parades?

This, is very controversial. But are pride parades wrong? The answer is yes.

Before I was even a Christian, I hated pride parades. And long before that, when I was around 12 or 13 years old, I actually wanted to go to one. I know, embarrassing. In fact, I even wanted to buy a pride flag and hang it in my room. I’m 17 now, and could never think of doing such a thing.

In case you don’t know what a pride parade is, it is a yearly event that takes place in streets during the month of June. It consists of gay and lesbian people (or anyone who considers themselves a part of the LGBTQ), parading and celebrating their relationships and self proclaimed “identities”. This started in the early 1970s, after the 1969 Stonewall Riots took place.

Pride parades are wrong, well, because it’s literally in the name. The name of it is rooted in sin. Pride itself is a major sin, like I mentioned above. So why would a parade that glorifies a deadly sin be okay with God? That’s like saying that “Lust Parades” are okay. Pride parades exist for the LGBTQ, in order to boast and glorify themselves. It is NOT a parade of humility, hence it is sinful and NOT something that Christians should support. If you’ve read any of the verses I provided above, those should tell you enough on why events like these are sinful.

In case you’re still hesitant on this topic, I’m gonna leave this intriguing verse here:

The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.”

Isaiah 3:9

In Conclusion

Pride is a dangerous sin, and one that you should definitely look out for. Don’t exalt yourself, but instead humble yourself before God. Do your best to keep a repentant heart.

Absorb the scripture, especially in Proverbs! They were very beneficial to me when I was first trying to defeat sin back in January, since God used those verses to speak to me.