Salvation 2023+  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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What does it mean to be saved or how can you be sure your name is written in the book of life?


What does it take to become Saved, to have your name written in the Book of Life & go to Heaven?

Is it as easy as to say, you believe in the name Jesus and that makes you and your whole family saved? See Acts 16:31
Acts 16:31 NASB 95
They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Is that all there is to it? I might as well put my bible down, live life to the fullest, get what I can from this world, because no matter what I do, I know I’m saved, the bible said so, and I will go directly to heaven after this life. How do I know, because I spoke those words and believe in the Lord Jesus!
Well, Today, I’m thinking of a particular group of worshipers, known to most as prosperity gospels, mostly, Maga churches!
What they believe, doesn’t seem so different from the christian theology belief or does it? They believe in the Lord Jesus, so do christian; They believe, He is who He says He is, so do christian; They believe, in loving one another, so do christian; They believe the bible is true, so do christian; They believe, in certain bible verse’s, that christian also believe in, but it’s how the prosperity worshipers believe and don’t believe that differs greatly, as I’ll explain.
Go to verse’s for the prosperity gospel church worshipers thrive on are, as follows;
See Matt 17:20 “Faith” [your faith is weak, that’s why mountain not moving, need more faith]
Matthew 17:20 NASB 95
And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
See 1 Pet 4:8 “Love” [as long as you love, sin is covered]
1 Peter 4:8 NASB 95
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
See Mal 3:10 “Believe” [good verse to grow into Maga Church]
Malachi 3:10 NASB 95
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
Matt 25:14-30 “Parable of the Talents” especially [give us your money]
See Matt 25:29-30 “Giving”
Matthew 25:29–30 NASB 95
“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
See Phil 4:19 “God riches” [don’t worry God will provide]
Philippians 4:19 NASB 95
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
See John 10:10 “Jesus came so that you can have it all”
John 10:10 NASB 95
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
These are some of the go to verse’s and a good reason why people fall prey to the prosperity gospel theology. I mean, yes,
these verse’s are in the bible!
these verse’s do speak truth
Now the big question is, if the bible says these thing’s, then why not follow such this movement? You can have it all and go to heaven? All you need is, Faith, Love, Believe, Give, God’s endless supply of riches, and to know, Jesus death on the cross was for you to have it and all that is in the world, abundantly-and besides, get into heaven!
Further more, Here’s what Wikipedia says about the prosperity gospel, as follows;
Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health-and-wealth gospel, the gospel of success, or seed faith)[A] is a religious belief among some Protestant Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one's health and material wealth.[1] Material and especially financial success is seen as a sign of divine favor.
Doesn’t this say it all? So, what’s wrong with having it all? Good health, wealth and a faith that can move mountain’s. All you need to do is believe it to be so, and shazam, instant health, wealth and a faith that, all you need to do is ask God for it, and He will do it! Wow,like a genie in a bottle, rub it and your wish will come true.
Is it really that easy? Apparently, the bible seems to say that all this prosperity is available? The Scripture’s do not lie, every word of the Bible, is God inspired.
See 2 Pet 1:21
2 Peter 1:21 NASB 95
for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
So, tell me, why doesn’t it feel right? Why aren’t we hearing the full truth of the scripture’s when a prosperity preacher preaches on Sunday morning? Where’s the rest of the scriptures? What does it mean the Satan comes as an angel of light?
See 2 Cor 11:14
2 Corinthians 11:14 NASB 95
No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Lets look at at this Prosperity gospel much closer. The bible is clear, not to believe everything we hear
See Acts 17:11
Acts 17:11 NASB 95
Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
OK, what happens when we weight the Prosperity belief system up against what the Bible actually says.
When reading my bible, I try to follow the golden rules of bible study, as follows;
What does it say? “Observation”
What does it mean? “Interpretation”
What does it mean to me? “Application”
This rule of study keeps us from taking a verse out of context, then misinterpret it, which can only lead yourself and others down a wrong path. Worst yet, could mean the difference between where you might spend eternity?
So, very important part of bible study, is to study to show yourself approved
See 2 Tim 2:15
2 Timothy 2:15 NASB 95
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
I like, the quote on Mal 3:10 from the master of preachers, himself say;
Often in this present world, the most wicked men are the most prosperous, while the most holy are the most afflicted.
Charles Spurgeon
This is a true statement. Especially in our world today.
Let’s face it, who wants to feel sickly, be poor or not be able to move mountains! We are here, but for a moment and gone the next. Life is filled with so much uncertainty, why not be happy and filled with worldly prosperity? Why not be financially set in this life? Why not have the biggest boat or house, even be the most popular on your block, in your town, bigger yet, the whole world could be yours for the asking! Just ask God, He said all we need to do is ask and you will receive-Right?
See John 16:24
John 16:24 NASB 95
Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
Wow, just ask! That all I need to do, see, the bible said so!
I’m not sure if you understand where I’m going with this? When reading God’s Word out of context and isolate a verse to say what you want it to mean, then your application will be depending on your interpretation of that verse.
This is a large problem. To read God’s Word and make it say what fits your itching ears
See 2 Tim 4:3
2 Timothy 4:3 NASB 95
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
That’s the feeling I get when hearing the prosperity preaching. It preaches what the people want to hear.
See Matt 7:26-27
Matthew 7:26–27 NASB 95
Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
Vs The Preacher who studies and Preaches what a man needs to hear
See Luke 6:48
Luke 6:48 NASB 95
he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
Let’s dive deeper into this. If we follow the golden rule;
What does it say? “Observation”
What does it mean? “Interpretation”
What does it mean to me? “Application”
We will better understand the process of good bible study habits. Example, anyone of the chosen verse’s that a prosperity gospel movement will read from----lets say; here in John 16:24
John 16:24 NASB 95
Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
Prosperity verse’s are generally, feel good verse’s taken out of context. Their goal, generally seem to like chasing after and rubbing the bottle theology, then appears the genie, at some point of the Sermon, for the instant wish given thinking.
A good go to verse to show what’s missing in their practices, here in John 16:24 is basically, telling me, “all I need to do, is ask in Jesus’ name, and I will receive what ever I ask”
Hum? Is that really what this verse is saying? Here’s where good interpretation skills comes into play.
At quick glance, yes, John makes it seem as if it’s as easy as that! But, in a more diligent study of the scriptures, we will clearly see what John Means by asking and receiving in Jesus’name?
I think it, very important to grasp with me, how important it really is to keep what we read in context.
Bear with me a little longer, as I get to the point.
The prosperity gospel followers take this verse and say, “see, all you need to do, ask in the name of Jesus and your joy will be complete “ and it will happen, and the feel good gospel gets preached and you will be joyful. So movement grows, gaining more and more followers, because it feels good and easy [give more money and be even more happier]
Now, sorry to rock the boat, but when we put this verse John 16:16 in the light of it’s whole context. We will see, much more clearly, as we start the process of interpretation to find it’s full meaning. Now, by following the golden rule, we will in fact, show what this verse, is not saying, if we just isolated the vers.
The Golden rule, tells us what the verse, is saying, we call that, the Observation stage and first step.
Now, the second step, is where the work begins. This is the harder part of bible study Here’s where the rubber meets the road, is to investigate the meaning behind of the text. This is called, the interpretation stage.
Let’s begin. What does John 16:16 actually mean? Looking at the context around John 16:16, we read;
1-Jesus is trying to tell His disciples that soon He will be brutally beaten, crucified and laid to rest for 3 days , so they won’t see Him. Then at the end of the 3 days, He will be resurrected and they will see Him again
See John 16:16
John 16:16 NASB 95
“A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.”
2-Then Jesus goes on to say, during this time, while I’m brutally beaten , crucified and laid to rest, you will weep, be filled with grief and heart ache, while the world, repeat, the world will rejoice over my crucifixion and death. [This is the very world, prosperity gospels want to gain, promise of personal gains, wealth and prosperity; this is the very world that crucified our Lord Jesus, then rejoiced in it]
See John 16:20
John 16:20 NASB 95
Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.
As a side note, I’m thinking of the two witnesses in Rev 11 who the Antichrist killed, and the world rejoiced, like here over the death of Jesus, sending gifts to one another throughout the world that the two witnesses are dead. Then 3 days latter [like the Lord Jesus Matt 28:7] they came back to life, and God took them up into in a cloud [just like Jesus Acts 1:11] I thought this interesting, how the two events have similarities!
3-Sicking, how the world rejoices over the death of our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. [No wonder 1 John 2:15 says not to love the world.] But our King and Lord Jesus, the grave could not hold Him. And He reassure’s His Disciples that their grief will turn to joy, when He reappears, after His death. They will rejoice, once again, for He was dead and is alive forever more.
See John 16:22
John 16:22 NASB 95
Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
4-Jesus also tells them that a time is coming that anything they ask in His Name, the Father will give it to them. This is because the holy Spirit will be in them John 14:23 , guiding them not in their thinking as when he was with them in person. No, now the His spirit is in them, their heart, instead of them brain, their wisdom and insight, instead of how smart or knowledgeable they are. Their heart, over rides their thoughts. The Spirit of the Lord over rides their fallen nature!
See John 16:23
John 16:23 NASB 95
“In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
5-This is when the Disciple will receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost See Acts 2:1-13 here is when tongues of fire , the Holy Spirit was given to each of them and going forward, the rest of the church age up until His promised second coming!
See Acts 1:11
Acts 1:11 NASB 95
They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
6-Finally, only after reading John 16:23 in context we see Jesus cements the notion that, there is no prosperity gospel, but instead, if anyone desire’s to follow Jesus he will suffer lost and pain. That following him means to give up this world for His sake. That following Jesus means to love Him more then anything else that is in this world, family, material, anything! When following Jesus, in the days to come, you will be persecuted, imprisoned, killed by sword, killed for not receiving the Mark of the beast!
See John 16:33
John 16:33 NASB 95
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
See John 14:27
John 14:27 NASB 95
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
See Matt 19:21
Matthew 19:21 NASB 95
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
See 1 Thess 3:7
1 Thessalonians 3:7 NASB 95
for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith;
See Rev 2:10
Revelation 2:10 NASB 95
‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
See 2 Tim 3:12
2 Timothy 3:12 NASB 95
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
See 2 Tim 3:12
2 Timothy 3:12 NASB 95
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
See Phil 3:8
Philippians 3:8 NASB 95
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
Tell me, when called, to be a child of God. How then, is it possible, to have the world and be a christian? Can you be willing to suffer, lose everything, even die for Jesus, give it all to Jesus, live for Him [in a prosperity gospel setting]
How the heck, if so in grossed in this world, in it’s luxuries, it’s comforts, can we have the strength or ability, when faced with either choosing Satan by deny Jesus or choosing Jesus by denying Satan
see Rev 13:15-17
Revelation 13:15–17 NASB 95
And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.
No one can over come the beast, unless they are cover in the blood of the Lamb, truly invested in the Word, and not the world, can be victorious in Christ
See Rev 12:11
Revelation 12:11 NASB 95
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
When we put a verse that the prosperity gospel followers use for personal gain and then place this verse, in it’s original context, we read it so completely different.
Instead, the God you serve said to “not to love this world or anything in it” See 1 John 2:15
1 John 2:15 NASB 95
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
The God you serve says; See John 16:33
John 16:33 NASB 95
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
The God you serve says; See John 12:25
John 12:25 NASB 95
He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
OK, to be fair to those who take the prosperity gospel very serious, here’s another verse to support there reasoning of thinking why if they only confess & believe they will be saved. To support Acts 16:31 turn to Rom 10:9
Romans 10:9 NASB 95
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
OK, here in Rom 10:9 this verse, I must say, a little harder, here you need to believe in your heart. Believing in the heart is different from confusing with the mouth. Let me illustrate
Belief in the heart is the difference from being successful or not. When I race my motorcycle and hit big jumps, with large gaps between. Being successful or not is the difference from crashing or making the jump
This success come from a deep sense of trust. Belief is a deep sense called the heart. The heart acts different than the mind.
Here in Rom 10:9 is a heart thing. Not just a mind thing.
I like how in proverbs it says, “Out of the heart comes the issues of life”
See Prov 4:23
Proverbs 4:23 KJV 1900
Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life.
Another great Preacher, from our day quotes from this proverb says;
The key to godly living is godly thinking, as Solomon wisely observed: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov. 4:23)
John F. MacArthur
So, what is Godly thinking? John MacArthur also says in;
see Prov 23:7
Proverbs 23:7 NASB 95
For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you.
“As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7, KJV).
John F. MacArthur
The heart is of it’s self, the true nature with in a person. Notice, in this proverb, it says, “As a man [or women] thinketh in his heart”
You maybe asking yourself, How can we think in our heart? It explains in the rest of this verse says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” The verse goes on to say, “He says to you, eat and drink-but his heart is not with you.”
Lying, cheating, deceiving etc. all come from the heart. Saying one thing, but meaning another. These are called brush fires, that make you look at something else, mean while your being coned, deceived into believing the lie.
These are people who use you for their gain. They are hard to spot. They smile at you, tell you what you want to hear, promise you thing’s, mean while have other motives in their heart to hurt and abuse you.
The bible calls these people, antichrist as described in;

ANTICHRIST (ἀντίχριστος, antichristos). A figure empowered by Satan who functions as an enemy of Jesus Christ and the Church. In the context of apocalyptic literature, this figure performs false miracles, deceives many in order to discourage people from worshiping the true God, and persecutes God’s people.

John describes two types of antichist coming in the world. On the one hand, is Satan who in latter times, could be our day, the beast and the false prophet will appear in the times of the Tribulation, just after the Rapture d true church.
Then there’s the many antichrist, who John said were already in the world.
See 1 John 2:18
1 John 2:18 NASB 95
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
These are those who do not have their names written in the book of life, who do not believe in the Lord Jesus and are not of the true church.
Who are they, they are liars, deceivers and have set many brush fires against the people of God’s true church.
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