The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Who's Your Enemy?

Look closely at the picture. Do you see the dog in the picture?

When they train bank tellers to be able to tell the difference between counterfeit and real money, they would give them a stack of real money and slip a counterfeit bill into the stack. They would then blindfold them and have them count the money. They would then learn to detect the fake money by touch. They didn’t give them a bunch of counterfeit money to examine. They gave them the real stuff to teach them what real money felt like. In other words, if you learn the truth, then anything outside of the truth is false.

There are probably several applications to this story, but I wanted to emphasize that everything isn’t as it seems. Today there are many religions out there and there are those who want us to accept those religions as part of the family. The “All roads lead to heaven” philosophy. The New Age religion promotes this idealism, and to say that the only road that leads to heaven is Jesus is being self-righteous, prejudice, judgmental, closed minded and it’s definitely not politically correct. If I reject their new age beliefs, then I guess I am all those things. A few years ago I learned something that was interesting and affirmation for my own faith. The New Age religion accepts all beliefs except for Christianity. Hmmm? Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said this and I guess I would rather listen to Him instead of those new age gurus.

Look again at the picture. Did you see the dog in the picture? Are you sure?

So who do you think is behind religion? First of all let’s determine what religion is. Religion says…

  • Jesus + Works = Salvation
  • Good Works = Salvation
  • Jesus + Giving = Salvation
  • Good Citizen = Salvation
  • Religious rituals = Salvation
  • Jesus + Baptism = Salvation
  • Religious Sacrifice = Salvation
  • Biblical Knowledge = Salvation
  • Going to Church = Salvation
  • Related to or knowing someone high in the “Church” = Salvation

I know there are many, many more. So who is behind religion? It’s not man, it’s Satan. He will be the one who profits ultimately from false religions. If anyone teaches a doctrine different from salvation only through Jesus Christ is a false prophet. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! Galatians 1:6-8 I guess this probably includes Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

There are many times we are 100% convinced of our belief in Jesus. Then Satan likes to come along and says, “Are you sure?” Maybe it’s this way OR could it be that way. He is the author of confusion and prince of doubt. He loves to throw in the “OR” into our beliefs. Why? So he can make us second guess ourselves and make us miserable. Are you really sure you’re going to heaven. God doesn’t do this. He says, “Here are the facts! You can either accept them or deny them.” I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13

There is no dog in the picture. At least I don’t know of any. I did it to prove a point. You looked and some of you looked hard. Then I casted doubt. For a short time you were sure, but when I casted doubt then you thought maybe you were missing something one way or the other.

This is a very old trick of Satan. In fact, he’s been doing it since the beginning of time. Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" Genesis 3:1 So why does he keep using it and try something new? Because it still works. If you got something that works, why change it?

I know this is long, but I also know that it is important especially during this day and time. False prophets and false religions are everywhere and they are trying to make Christians fill guilty and self-righteous because we exclude them. They want us to accept sin as if it was ok. There are many who want to help you feel good about yourself and not say much if any about sin because if they offend you then the size of their church may decrease. I don’t exclude them, but I will not buy into their sin and false beliefs.

You may want to read this section of scripture at your convenience. Matthew 7:13-23

Glimpse of God

So many times when I’m reading God’s word or perhaps meditating, or sometimes not even thinking about God at that particular time and all of a sudden I get a glimpse of God. What is a glimpse of God? The best way I can describe this is when everything about God, heaven, eternity, life or just a particular verse comes into focus and makes perfect sense. In other words, you see the big picture.

You could call it several things I guess, such as, insights, gifts, a taste of heaven, a special touch, a revelation. The main thing is that I enjoy these brief moments so much and I wish they would come more often. The only thing I don’t like about these special times is that they quickly fade away. I want to call someone up and tell them about it and before I get the chance, the glimpse is gone. You desperately try to recall the moment, but it’s just gone. Even if you wanted to share it with someone, you just can’t find the words to express what you’ve seen or understood.

Why can’t we hold on to these or why does God not let us? I believe that these are blessings and gifts that God gives us and they are just for us. He’s excited about giving us these gifts just as we just as we get excited about giving a special gift to someone. I know when I give someone a special gift just for them; it’s just for them and no one else.

Luke 11:13
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!