The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Sin

Understanding Repentance

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TWO WAYS TO JUDGE

God judges you by your soul’s response to Him.  Once God establishes a relationship with you, you constantly make choices about how you will treat Him in that relationship, and those choices are what determine whether God is pleased or displeased with you.

Humans judge you by how you behave—especially by how you behave towards other humans.  Humans have strong opinions about how you ought to treat them, and if you don’t meet their expectations, then they dislike you.  Read more of this post

Confession, Penance & the Old Covenant Sacrificial System: Unlearn the Lies

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From the time of Moses to the death of Christ, Yahweh’s Old Covenant was in effect—a Covenant which the religion of Judaism claims to be based on, although in practice, modern day Judaism is a carnal mess.  During the days of the Old Covenant, there were many special rules about how sin was to be handled, and all Christians should have a basic understanding of what some of those rules were.  But here’s the problem: modern day Christian leaders are doing an abysmal job of educating people about how the Old Covenant worked.  The information we’re about to present to you is information that most of you will never hear taught in any church.  The Old Testament sacrificial system is one of those topics that Christian teachers avoid like a plague.  Why?  Well, most of them don’t understand how it works because they were never taught, and they just don’t care.  Among the few who do understand how the sacrificial system worked, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who wants you to make the connections we’re going to spell out for you in this post.  Why?  Because keeping you in the dark about the sacrificial system is extremely profitable for Christian teachers. Don’t believe it?  When’s the last time you fell for the fat lie that God commands Christians to tithe?  When’s the last time you actually paid some inflated ego money to share his knowledge with you because you were so impressed with the fact that he knew the Bible better than you did?  As long as you think your spiritual leaders have some huge advantage over you, you’ll adore them, obey them, pay them, and follow them.  If you think that kind of thing isn’t addictive, you need to think again (see Shady Shepherd Tactics: Gaining Rank).  Read more of this post

False Formulas for Salvation – 1 John 1:9

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“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

The same John who wrote the Gospel of John and Revelation also wrote the three epistles known as 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John.  While 2 and 3 John don’t get out much, 1 John has several famous one liners in it, including this frequently quoted statement about salvation being obtained through the confession of sin.  But is this really accurate?  Is merely listing off our sins enough to grant us salvation and cause use to be blameless in the sight of God?  No, it’s really not.  In fact, salvation doesn’t have anything to do with God considering us to be “blameless.”  We just think it does because, like the New Testament apostles, we’re focusing on the wrong things (see Jesus vs. the NT Jews: What it Means to Please God). Read more of this post

Are all sexual perverts going to Hell?

Are all sexual perverts going to Hell?

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There is something about the mention of sexual sins in the New Testament that triggers a selective memory response in Christians. We know there are certain verses which specifically say that all sexual perverts will go to Hell and we like to refer to them whenever the topic comes up. We don’t recite the actual verses, we just say something general like “God says all perverts will go to Hell.” We do this because we have forgotten what the verses really say. If we remembered them accurately, we’d stop quoting them so often because when they’re isolated from the rest of Scripture, these verses actually say that we are all going to Hell. Read more of this post

Understanding Conviction: Invitations to Engage

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You’re thinking about getting an abortion and God convicts you not to.  Is He worried that you’re going to snuff out a life prematurely?  No, because He hasn’t placed that power in your hands.  You can’t mess up God’s plans for another soul.  You can’t cheat them out of opportunities that He wanted them to have.  God isn’t convicting you because He’s worried that you’re about to mess up His universe.  He’s convicting you to force you to choose between obedience and rebellion.  He’s after engagement.  He doesn’t need your help. Read more of this post

Why We Shouldn’t Pray for Revival

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Praying for the lost to get saved.  Praying for the Gospel to be spread throughout the whole world.  Praying down that bad ole devil and praying for revival.  It all sounds so right, doesn’t it?  But what does God think about us praying for these kinds of things?  It turns out that He doesn’t like any of them.  In fact, He finds these kinds of requests downright insulting.  Of course He understands when we’re not trying to insult Him, and when He sees that we’re trying to please Him by praying for these things, He graciously credits us for our good intentions.  But the day must come when we stop letting other humans and the Church define who God is and give Him the chance to speak for Himself. When we do this, we’re going to start getting hit with one shocking revelation after another because it turns out that these teachers we’ve been counting on to explain God to us don’t really understand who He is.  In fact, trying to find folks who are well-acquainted with God is quite a challenging task because there just aren’t that many of them.  Why not?  Because humans have always done a lousy job of sincerely seeking God.  When they do seek Him, they’re usually so caught up in their own agendas that they simply aren’t interested in really learning about God’s perspective of things.  So while we claim to really know God, the reality is that we’re just recycling a bunch of manmade theories about Him which no one is bothering to ask God to authenticate.  It’s like you reading a bunch of articles about your favorite actor in the gossip rags and then saying that you really know the guy.  No, you don’t know him at all.  All you really know is what other people say about him, but what is that worth?  Until you actually sit down with the man himself and do some focused listening, you’re never going to know if any of the stories you’ve read about him have any truth to them.    Read more of this post

Horrible Repentance Songs: SOUL ON FIRE by Third Day

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How many professional Christian musicians does it take to write one bad song about repentance?  Well, in the case of Soul on Fire, it took six: Matt Maher, Brenton Brown, and four members of the Christian group Third Day.  So, really?  Six guys to write a song with so little to it?  Can you imagine that conversation?  “Hey, I put the G chord in the second verse, so I get my name on it.”   “Hey, I wrote that one line in the chorus, so I get my name on it, too.”  “Hey, I came up with the title, so I get a cut.”  We Christians really do get ridiculous in our lust for glory and fame, don’t we?

Now to understand why singing Soul on Fire is going to leave your soul feeling discouraged about ever getting into a good place with God, you need to get a correct understanding of how repentance works.  It’s time for some analogies. Read more of this post

Help for Stressing Christians: Is God punishing you?

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Believing that God is mad at you when He really isn’t results in all kinds of needless angst and misery. Believing that God is very difficult to  please is what drives many sincere souls to get stuck in endless confession sessions and cycles of self-persecution.  And yet the reality is that every serious Christian spends a lot of time fretting over problems that don’t really exist between them and God.  Why is this?  Because before you can accurately assess God’s current view of you, you must first understand some basic principles about how God relates to you, and those principles are rarely discussed by the Church. Read more of this post

Understanding Unpardonable Sins: Lies vs. Truth

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THE LIES

It is commonly assumed that there are certain kinds of sins which God absolutely will not forgive no matter what. The idea is that if you commit one of these sins one time, you’re eternally damned. Different Christian denominations and individuals put forth various candidates for the “unforgivable list.” Popular choices which are based on various passages of Scripture are publicly disowning Christ (Lk. 12:8-10), refusing to forgive someone else (Mt. 6:14-15), blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mt. 12:30-32, Mk. 3:28-30, Lk. 12:8-10), and intentionally sinning after salvation (Heb. 6:4-8, Heb. 10:26-29). Read more of this post

The Great Gift of Sin: Why Our Depravity Gives Us Hope

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Ever feel confused about the topic of sin? You should, because it is confusing. Ever feel like God is impossible to please? It’s only natural to arrive at that conclusion once you understand a few things about how He defines sin. In this post, we’re going to sort out the confusion that leads to you feeling depressed and hopeless about ever being good enough in God’s eyes and help you understand how easy He is to succeed with. We’ll also learn why salvation is a permanent deal, and not some flimsy thing that you have to worry about losing through bad behavior.

In the Church today, various Christian denominations take drastically different stands on the subjects of sin and salvation. Some insist that it’s possible for you to be sinless. Many teach that unless you continuously strive and strain to be good, God will revoke your salvation and disown you. Cruise around the internet and you’ll find some very hostile language getting used on both sides as everyone insists that their views are right and everyone else is speaking for Satan. If Christian leaders can’t agree with each other on such essential theology, how can you ever hope to find peace yourself? How can you ever gain a confident understanding about what God requires of you and when He’s pleased with you? The answer’s simple: you need to talk to God directly. Read more of this post