Listen to the popular missionaries and attend one of the “mega-church” masses and what do you hear?
All the wonderful things that God wants to do for you.
So, nu? What’s wrong with that? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with that- it is backward.
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Backward? What’s backward about the Lord doing wonderful things for us? Doesn’t he protect us? Didn’t he send the Messiah to save us? Doesn’t he heal? Doesn’t he work wonders? Doesn’t he do everything for us that we need?
Yes, he does, but despite what religion wants you to believe, when it comes down to who does what first, the Lord expects us to do our part before he does his part.
God made an unconditional covenant with Abraham, and when God told Isaac, that he is making the same promise that he made to his father, God said that it was because Abraham also did everything that God told him to do (Genesis 26:5).
In other words, even though the covenant was unconditional, Abraham was still obedient to God.
The covenant God made with the children of Israel through Moses is conditional: the laws and rules we are given in the Torah are required of us, and only after we do them will God do as he promises.
The truth is that although God will often do wonderful things just because he loves us, we are his children and must be obedient. God didn’t give us the Torah so that he could prove he was more important than we are, or because he likes to tell people what to do- he gave us the Torah so that we could know how to attain eternal life.
The lifestyle that God defines is the one that brings us into communion with him. The fact that no human being can live it perfectly is why he sent the Messiah, but salvation through the Messiah is NOT a “Get Out of Jail For Free” card.
In order to be blessed, we must do as God says, and he tells us so in Deuteronomy 28.
God never created a religion: he outlined a lifestyle. Religion is a man-made thing that has only one purpose, and that purpose is to give people power over other people. That is why there are so many different religions, all supposedly worshiping the same God! Once someone establishes his or her own rules for a religion, someone who wants that power for themself has to create a new set of rules, so if I am Catholic but decide I want to do things differently, I start my own sect and create a new religion.
And if I want this religion to be popular, I make it easier to follow and provide better promises of what God will do for those who do what I say he wants you to do.
It is amazing how people reject what God says so quickly, and just as quickly accept what some person tells them to do. And why is this?
If you ask me, it’s because God requires us to do something that is difficult but religion doesn’t really require anything difficult: instead, religion tells us all that God will do for us if we simply “believe”.
Be a good person, love everyone, and you will be saved forever. Your sins are forgiven if you believe in Jesus (whatever that is supposed to mean) and then you will never have to worry about damnation. Once you are saved no one can take it away and you will be forgiven automatically.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? It isn’t that hard to be a good person, especially if you get to be the one who defines what “good” means.
Yeshua said that no one is good except his father in heaven (Mark 10:18), but religion doesn’t want you to listen to him.
Yeshua observed the way to worship and live that we are instructed to do in the Torah, but religion says that after he died as the sacrifice required by the Torah, the Torah was no longer valid!
So religion says that doing what the Torah requires means you don’t have to do what the Torah requires.
How can anyone who has a functional brain resolve that? I mean, if Yeshua did everything that is required in the Torah, and we are supposed to do as Yeshua did, then how can anyone accept rejecting what Yeshua did is doing what Yeshua did?
How many times does your religious leader, whether Christian or Jewish, preach about how you must tithe?
How many times does your religious leader, whether Christian or Jewish, tell you that God requires your obedience in order for you to be blessed?
And, how many times does your religious leader, whether Christian or Jewish, tell you all the wonderful things God will do for you without ever mentioning obedience other than being a good person and loving others?
Yes, God is love, but that’s not all he is. He is also our creator, our supreme ruler, our judge, and our executioner. His holiness demands that he punish the guilty and not disobey his own rules.
Like it or not, God may love you, may want to forgive you, and may bless you even when you sin, but when it comes down to it, if we do not do as God wants us to do, which he tells us in the Torah, then we will be punished.
God HAS to punish those who are unrepentant, and if you think simply saying “I believe in Jesus” is repentance, you will be sorely disappointed.
Following God and Yeshua is not easy- we are warned by Yeshua that to be his disciple we have to give up everything and carry our own cross (Matthew 16:24), which means salvation may be a free gift, but it isn’t easy to keep.
Religion says once saved, always saved, but the Bible doesn’t agree. What God gives us no one can take away, but we can let it go.
I have read often that religion will tell you if someone who has been “saved” becomes apostate, then they were never really saved, to begin with. That’s a load of fertilizer: religion wants you to remain loyal to the religion, not to God or the Messiah, so they tell you what you love to hear- you are OK, you are loved, God will bless you, salvation is forever, once saved always saved, yadda…yadda…yadda.
Of course, you still have to do what the religion tells you to do, which is more often than not to ignore God’s laws and do as the religion’s leadership tells you to do.
God tells you what he wants from you in the Torah, and he also tells you what he will do for you when you obey him.
Religion tells you what it says God wants you to do, and they feed you wonderful tidbits of how God will always do everything for you when you do as the religion says.
The problem is that religion says to ignore God, even within Judaism! Did you know there are sects within Judaism that regard the Talmud as scripture and obey the Rabbi before they will obey the Torah?
Being “saved” isn’t easy, it isn’t a lifetime guarantee that you will never apostatize, or that you will always be blessed no matter what you do. Salvation is free to get, hard to keep, and easy to throw away because we are sinners by nature, and being obedient to God is not what our nature wants.
If you accept what I just said, then I think you will be OK as time goes on because you understand that righteousness is not easy. I feel sorry for those who reject the idea that salvation is really very hard to keep because they will be suckered into losing it by believing they can’t.
We have the manual on how to be righteous, it’s called the Torah, and we have Yeshua and the help of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to lead us and save us from ourselves.
It is hard work to be righteous, and you will never make it unless you try to be obedient to God- not men, but God. If you can do that, you are on the right track.
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I will be taking a week off for a break; everyone needs a rest, and I will see you all again next week.
Until then, l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!