Feelings, Nothing more than Feelings

Feelings are a key factor in “decisions for Christ.” Most public appeals for these decisions rest on emotion and don’t generally last. Ray Comfort says he found an 80% to 90% failure rate for decisions in one study. He cited a major denomination which in the early 90’s racked up 294,000 “decisions” but later could find only 14,000 in fellowship (95% failure).

Besides, have you ever tried to teach someone how to feel? Specifically, to “feel” like doing something? It can’t be done. Many things we have to do in spite of our feelings. We don’t pass on the Word of God to the next generation by getting them to ‘feel’ it. We pass it on by living it. When we back up the truth with our lives, then the kids get it.

Fear the Lord and be Treasured

Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. “They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. (Malachi 3:16–18, ESV)

“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. (Malachi 4:1–4, ESV)

Righteousness of God

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21–26, ESV)

God is in Our Midst

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. (Zephaniah 3:17–19, ESV)

God is in Our Midst

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. (Zephaniah 3:17–19, ESV)

Rejoice in the Lord though famine overtakes us

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. (Habakkuk 3:17–19, ESV)

Salvation by Love through Love

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 1 section on ‘Salvation by Love’

There are people who argue over ‘salvation by grace through faith’ as opposed to ‘salvation by faith plus works.’ ‘Salvation by faith’ focuses on man. Then you get into all kinds of debates about whether the will of man is “free” or whether it is too depraved to do anything. ‘Salvation by faith plus works’ puts the focus on merit. Then you get into all kinds of debates about which ‘works’ are going to get the job done, or what is a work of the flesh, or legalism versus God’s grace and the cross.

I propose what I think is the biblical alternative – ‘salvation by love.’ Perhaps we can even say salvation by love through love. Salvation by love means that God loved us and acted on it, and we love Him and act on His Word. It’s that simple. Debates ended. (Well, the debates aren’t ended, but it leaves a lot of people without a biblical basis for arguing). If we just read the Word (and do it) we would easily solve a lot of these types of theological issues.

Having Jesus

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 2 ‘Having Jesus’

Having Jesus, or salvation, is about regaining the intimacy with God that we lost in the Garden. It is not just about mouthing some words, or ‘going forward,’ or attending a meeting at least twice a year on Christmas and Easter. We simply do what He says in love. Fruit (all kinds) will come if we really have Him. It’s like, if we were to grab hold of a live electrical wire, we would certainly act differently than we would otherwise! (Disclaimer: do not try this at home.)

He is like a live electrical wire, and when we really get a hold of Him (or He gets hold of us) we are certain to act differently. If He gets a hold of us that means His life flows through us causing actions in line with His Word. By acting different, He doesn’t mean wearing the name Christian, going to church meetings, or being “emergent.” It’s not ‘speaking in tongues’ or healing services. Holy-looking actions, without His Word being present, are like empty songs.

32“Behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them. (Ezekiel 33:32 NASB95)

If we want true sensual and spiritual satisfaction, if we want to be truly Spirit filled, we need actions in keeping with His Law. We know Him because we keep all His commandments.

3By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (1 John 2:3-6 NASB95. Deuteronomy 10:12-13.)

The way to become saved is to repent of going our own way and go His way instead. We don’t need ‘four spiritual laws’ or ‘sinner’s prayer’ (neither of which is biblical). We don’t need membership in a club (church, synagogue). We don’t need to be accepted by any group for that matter. We don’t need approval from modern-day Pharisees and Sadducees.