Reasons Not to Believe, Part 5 and 6

Over the last three posts we have been examining the reasons Christians abandoned their faith as given in a 2016 Pew Research Center Survey.

The names of the posts are as follows: Reasons Not to Believe, Part 1; Reasons Not to Believe, Part 2; and Reasons Not to Believe, Part 3 and 4.

The last two were examined together due to their similarities. The following two, and last in the series, are taken together for the same reason, they are as follows.

“I just realized somewhere along the line that I didn’t really believe it.”

“I’m doing a lot more learning, studying and kind of making decisions myself rather than listening to someone else.”

“I didn’t really believe it” is an indicator that this person was never a Christian to begin with, not having accepted Jesus as their Savior.

People like this may have grown up in the church because their parents went every Sunday. Or they visited one and got excited and caught up in the camaraderie amongst the members. Until someone threw a wet blanket on them!

Some never realize through willful ignorance, or they resist the fact that they need to accept Christ as Savior to enter heaven. These folks think their good works will get them into heaven and they come to a tragic end.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven [God’s will is to accept Jesus as your Savior]. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:21-23.

There are many today who prophesy in Jesus’ name who are clearly not Christians by their own words.

The Pharisees were able to cast out demons according to Jesus, see Matthew 12:25-30. Then there is the following account.

“Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ‘We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’ Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’ Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” Acts 19:13-16.

People who resist the urging of the Holy Spirit constantly will eventually be allowed to believe the lies of Satan. Often this lie is sort of a satanic joke.

A person is led to believe they can cast out demons, the demons allow themselves to be cast out of someone, there is much celebration and the exorcist moves on to someone else; later the demons quietly reenter the same person or perhaps someone else.

The exorcist goes to hell, the one exorcised goes to hell because he believes all that mumbo jumbo instead of in Jesus Christ, mission accomplished. This method or one like it is used on those who believe in the occult.

God has warned against the occult numerous times in Scripture so there is no excuse for ignorance.

“Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31.

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” Luke 6:46.

“I didn’t really believe it”, there is another possibility.

There is the story about a woman who attended, in her words, a Holy Roller church (Pentecostal church) when she was a teenager and she loved it.

Later on she and her husband joined a church which suddenly grew into a mega-church and they were worship leaders. Around that time the woman started to want a child, and while she fretted about this everyone told her to just believe and it will happen.

Her infertility gave her doubts which her husband began to share. They also traveled, and visited Poland where the concentration camps are in Krakow. After seeing photos of the victims and the ovens the question arose, “How could God allow such a thing?”

They then began to ask questions, what sort I can only guess, but it got them ejected from the church.

Somewhere around this time the woman had two daughters, one with Down’s syndrome, and the other a normal child. After all of this she says that she and her husband are now atheists.

Without getting into details about this woman’s minefield of a life let us cut to the chase.

Where she is now is similar to the statement, “I didn’t really believe it”; her teenage years in a church in which she was happy are long gone. However, the potential lasting effects will go on for eternity.

Here is where we get into the, if, if, if, and watch carefully, this may be a comfort to you.

What if this teenage girl accepted Christ as her savior in the Holy Roller church she loved?

“And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…” Hebrews 10:11-12.

It is this sacrifice; Jesus paid it all on the cross, and anyone who sincerely accepts the fact that Jesus died for them is saved, and as it says above, “one sacrifice for sins forever,” it is done and irrevocable.

If this woman accepted Christ as a teenager she is still saved and going to heaven, even if she is an atheist.

Many Christians can take comfort in this if they have a loved one who has died and they do not know if this person was a Christian or not. You never know if they had accepted Christ in their childhood or at some other time you are not aware of. Always give the benefit of the doubt.

In the Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13:1-23, Jesus gave four different types of soil representing four different types of hearts of those hearing it.

The gospel is the seed that fell: “by the wayside”; “Some fell on stony places”; “some fell among thorns”; “others fell on good ground and yielded a crop”.

Some say that the only one who was saved was the seed on good ground. It is my contention that the only one who was lost was the seed that fell by the wayside and was snatched away by the birds.

Jesus explained this parable to His disciples later on in Matthew 13:19-23. We will examine the last three beginning with the seed sown on stony ground.

“But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while, for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13:20-23.

It is possible that if this woman was saved at all she fell away because the seed fell on stony ground and her tribulations and rejection by the church caused her to stumble and become an atheist.

The real tragedy here is that if she is saved, she is going to raise her daughters without Christ, endangering their own salvation.

Fortunately for Down’s syndrome children perhaps all of them do not mentally reach the age of accountability where they can knowingly reject Christ as their Savior.

As I read this sentence I can see that it looks horrible, Down’s syndrome is a tragedy no question, but I write this for those who have lost children, some quite advanced in age physically, but not mentally.

All of those who are mentally incapable of consciously rejecting Jesus, including severe autism, brain damage, anything, even aborted babies or just young children. If you have lost one, they are not in limbo, or hell, or anywhere else you may have been told.

Children like this are right now in heaven in the arms of Jesus who shed His own blood for their sakes (and ours) and they are at peace with Him. They will never be bullied, beaten up, tortured, raped, or have their heart broken.

Read the four paragraphs above again, focus on them and realize that they are true, and when you are done grieving, know that the one you miss so much is in a peaceful wonderful place.

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [died], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep [rest] in Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14.

“I’m doing a lot more learning, studying and kind of making decisions myself rather than listening to someone else.”

This person too may have been ejected from the church, offended, or saw what they interpreted as hypocrisy, which there will be a lot of since church is made up of people.

But church is all about Jesus, God the Son. Jesus is not a hypocrite, does not lie, will not snub you if you are poor, nor will He reject you if you fail to do everything church leadership tells you to. Church is all about Jesus and Him alone.

If the pastor, worship leaders, choir, elders, deacons, and the membership would realize that church is all about Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and that He is actually the leader, and not the pastor or the elders, church would be a more pleasant place to go to.

“And He [Jesus] is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” Colossians 1:17-20.

“And He [the Father] put all things under His [Jesus’] feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22-23.

“So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:28-33.

“I’m doing a lot more learning, studying and kind of making decisions myself rather than listening to someone else.”

Seems that folks who study, and learn do so by studying other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Mormonism, or Jehovah’s Witnesses all of which teach that you must do something to enter heaven, nirvana or wherever.

Christianity is all about the reality that salvation is accomplished in Jesus; one need only accept Him as their Savior.

Interestingly enough, these searchers are listening to someone else because they have to read their books or listen to their lectures, often paying money.

Jesus said, “…by their fruits you will know them”, that’s good advice. Buddhism, and Hinduism promise an inner peace, yet the people live in the worst conditions possible.

Children are used as cult prostitutes in their temples, and a caste system keeps many in abject poverty due the system of karma. Persons are reincarnated over and over and if they are lucky they will come back into a higher caste, or they may come back as a rock.

Meanwhile there are millions of gods in this system; many of them terrify their worshippers. There is no real inner peace, only a demonic way of denying our sins for a time.

Islam is the most dangerous of religions today because in spite of their protestations that they are a religion of peace. Islam’s method of evangelism is to place a sword upon one’s neck and say “Convert or die.” This is literally how all Muslim countries began.

Their methodology has changed, today they invade countries as refugees and when they become strong enough they infiltrate government until their own Sharia law is instituted and then the sword comes out once again.

Women are chattel, forced to do the will of the man they have no real rights as we know them. Their sex organs are mutilated, yes, destroyed, by circumcision, and they are forced to dress head to toe with only an opening for the eyes.

If they are raped their witness has no value and often they are punished for being raped.

One seventeen year old girl was raped on her way to the bathroom. The Sharia court ordered her to be caned with one hundred stripes, she was very strong, and she lived to the count of 74.

If a woman offends someone by trying to get an education, she may have acid thrown in her face; I have seen pictures of this. Others may have their nose cut off for some supposed offense.

Peace in Islam means that when every Jew and every Christian is murdered and all the world is forced to submit to Allah, then there will be peace, but the sin nature guarantees that peace will never come; “…by their fruits you will know them.”

Study the book of Mormon, dictated by a fallen angel to Joseph Smith a man. Look into the bland, lifeless teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and see how they all give lip service to Jesus Christ but deny His deity, examine convoluted dead religions if you will but you will find no real peace.

When you have worn yourself out searching for a shadow read the Bible, a book actually dictated by the Creator God, a handbook for life and the answers to the world’s problems.

A good translation is the New King James Version, or the New American Standard Version. Start with the New Testament in the book of John.

Read from John through to Jude, the book before the last one Revelation. When done, go back to the book of Matthew and read clear through to the end.

When you do this, you will be doing a lot more learning, studying, and making your own decisions yourself rather than listening to someone else. You owe this to yourself in all fairness.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:17-17.

Reasons Not to Believe, Part 5 and 6 taken from posted on 10-7-18, updated on 9-19-20.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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