“Not Everyone Who Says To Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ Will Enter The Kingdom”

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Several recent articles and answers to questions have created a flurry of responses, not all of them friendly. By far the biggest reaction came from my opinion about the Florida Healing Outpouring. While most of the respondents agreed with me, a few didn’t and let me know in no uncertain terms. They said, in effect, that if I don’t watch it God will squash me like a bug for criticizing a work of His.

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Getting Baptized

Q. I have two questions on baptism. For those of us who can not find a true bible believing Church, how do we get baptised? My family and I would all love to be baptised, but don’t know any other Christians we can ask to do this….and we do not want to be baptized into a specific denomination…

My other question is this. Through the years I have attended many Churches and have seen alter calls yet they never offer to baptize new converts immediately afterwards….shouldn’t the two go hand in hand (understanding of course that baptisim doesn’t play a part in salvation)?

I don’t know where you live, but it’s hard for me to believe that you can’t find someone to baptize you. Contrary to what you may have been taught, it doesn’t require an ordained pastor and you don’t have to do it during a church service, or even in a church. Any baptized believer can help you with this. Are you in a Bible Study or small group? Ask the leader to baptize your husband and then your husband can baptize you and your children. Or how about a believing family member?

When Jesus told His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, (Matt. 28:19) He wasn’t just talking to the 11 men there with Him, nor only to the legions of clergymen who would come later. He was talking to all of us. If you need specific instructions on how to do it write to me and I’ll provide them.

Some churches don’t baptize people immediately after an altar call for convenience reasons. Others want new converts to have some discipleship first. And still others wrongly wait for the new convert to make a membership decision before scheduling a baptism.

Love Is A Verb

Commentary by Jack Kelley

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephes. 5:25)

This command is unique in that it has no parallel in human relationships. Wives are not commanded to love their husbands this way, or even at all. Children are not commanded to love their parents. But husbands are commanded to love their wives, and what’s more, this is not an ordinary love, but an extra-ordinary one. We’re to use the example of Christ and His Church as the standard. Think about that. The Lord came down off His throne, confined Himself to a human body, and offered that body as a love gift to the Church. Not because the Church had done anything to deserve it, but so the Church could see the extent of His love.

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Demonic Attachment?

My dad is a really bad alcoholic. He battled his addiction for many years while me and my siblings were younger, but he got sober after my mom left him. He stayed sober for a long time, then he starting drinking again. If my dad is saved, would he still have this demonic attachment?

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Are You Average Or Normal?

Tired of just being average? Discover how to become normal instead. Among all of mankind, only Christians have the potential to become normal, because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

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Am I Where God Wants Me?

Q. How can I tell that I am right where God wants me to be? I want to make sure that I am on fire for Him and doing His will. God bless and thank you. Continue reading…

What Did Jesus Teach?

Q. In the NT, Peter says we should not just hear the word but do what is says. I have read the NT and have a general understanding of all of Jesus’ teachings but I also know many where directed toward Jews in Israel and the Pharisees and Teacher of the law.. Do you have reference to a listing of what Jesus taught to those who would follow him…like love thy neighbor as thy self, love your God with all your heart and all your soul, etc. I know that belief in the one who was sent is the key to salvation but I know as Christians, we need to do what Jesus said. Many of the things Jesus discussed were about following him such as hating his mother, brother, etc where more allegory than direct teaching but I am trying to iron out what Jesus wants us to do to “do what he says” as Peter commented on.

A. I think that the teachings of Jesus can be boiled down into four very clear statements He made. You’ve already identified three of them.

1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind. (Matt. 22:37)

2. Believe in the One He has sent. (John 6:29)

3. Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:39)

4. Love each other (the church) as He loved us. (John 15:12)

Since we’ll be judged on the motives of our hearts, (1 Cor. 4:5) it’s fitting that these statements all reflect attitudes. By making sure that our actions are consistent with them, we’ll be doing what He told us to do.

To Vote Or Not To Vote?

Q. I have just loved your teachings, and have been spreading your website and downloaded teachings to many to also learn.

I do have a question that we were “discussing” yesterday with my father, who is a believer. He says we must vote, that failing to do so is giving “them” a win. I think, voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil. I have always maintained that when voting for a candidate, I cannot and will not ever vote for someone who does not oppose abortion. I understand that the President alone does not hold that power-but it is, to me, an indication of their true human character and lack of value for Life.

So, my question is this. Does opting out of voting because both candidates are bad go against biblical teachings? God clearly states that it is He that appoints leaders. Or, do we “compromise” on our values and pick the lesser of the two evils? My husband likened that to this: If you had to vote for Hitler or Stalin, would you vote?

Thank you so much for your biblical teachings, keep ‘em coming!!

A. You’ve asked for my opinion, so here goes. Your husband’s example is extreme to the point of being irrelevant to a typical US election. The thing that almost always diminishes the Christian influence in our government is that we have so many single issue voters. We can like everything about a certain candidate for President, and absolutely abhor all of his opponent’s views, but if our man is not pro-life we sit out the election, thereby making the victory of his opponent more likely. The net result is that abortion remains legal and a bunch of other things we don’t like become law as well. And the sad thing is that the president can’t change the abortion laws. Ronald Reagan was pro-life, and so is George Bush. But neither of them could get Roe v. Wade overturned.

The only thing that will bring about the reversal of abortion laws is the will of the people. Politicians want only one thing and they’ll abandon all their principles to get it. They want to be elected, because until they’re elected they can’t plug in to the incredible flow of money, power, and fame that members of congress enjoy. Why do you think they spend all those millions to get a job that pays only $150,000 or so and is only guaranteed for a few years? As soon as a politician has to be pro-life to be elected all politicians will be pro-life. But today, they don’t even bother to lie about their views, because they know it doesn’t matter.

Even among so-called Christians there is no unified voice calling for an end to abortion, because many of them are pro-choice. The Catholic Church is one of the largest and most vocal Christian organizations opposed to abortion. But President Bush only got a little over half of the Catholic vote, and was the first republican since Nixon to even get a majority. That means that over half of all Catholics have typically voted for pro-abortion candidates. And even though in 2004 over 75% of evangelicals who voted did so for Pres. Bush, abortion wasn’t their main issue.

A couple of months ago a Barna poll showed that over 40% of voters who call themselves born again intend to vote for one of the Democratic candidates this year, both of whom are pro-abortion.

We can say that there’s no hope for the world anyway, so why bother, but that’s not what the Lord called us to do. We’re supposed to be His voice while we’re here as well as His hands and feet. We are the “body” of Christ after all. If we can’t get the world’s attention about abortion, maybe we can influence the moral climate that has made abortion acceptable to so many. And come November, I believe there will be a strikingly clear alternative on that issue.

Time To Leave?

Q. I read your advice every day. It helps me when I doubt myself.

I have written you about my rural church, and the power struggles that were going on there. We had long-term members, who I would say are “traditionals”, and a new pastor that wanted to “update” our church with a contemporary service. The pastor systematically purged the church board of anybody that didn’t agree with him, even expelling some families from the congregation. Then, he sought out contemporary artists who played “modern Christian” music.

I asked him if he was transitioning the church to purpose-driven/emergent teachings, and he assured me he wasn’t. But when he “invited” new members to become board members, I grew concerned. These strangers started dictating how things were going to be run, even shouting at people, I felt compelled to leave that church.

Now, we are looking for a Bible-based church that preaches sound doctrine, but it’s alarming me that so many evangelical churches are conforming to the world. I’ve prayed about it, but no prospects yet. What would you advise?

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Forced To Worship In Secret, Follow-Up

I can not begin to imagine what the person who posted that question has to go through on a regular basis … having to hide your faith because your family will disown you or, for some, face death because of your love for Jesus. But my question is, isn’t it wrong as Christians to hide our faith?

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