January 3, 2006

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Today's "On Track" Reading Began at
Matthew 16:24

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The Hard Sayings of Jesus
 
I haven't read the book, but since I began to recognize that Jesus wasn't always referring to the same times periods when he spoke, I haven't had a problem with too many of his sayings, even the hard ones (that many say he couldn't possibly have meant literally).
 
I believe he did mean exactly what he said, and when we learn to rightly divide the word of God, it is easy to see that he did.
 
Matthew 16:24-26 would have been a hard saying to those who followed Jesus while he walked the earth.
 
Modern Christians have spiritualized it to the point where we sing songs
about "taking up our cross" without giving it a single thought.
 
We have even romanticized it.
 
In Jesus' day, there was absolutely nothing romantic about it.
 
Dying on a cross was a horrific reality that no one would dream of singing about, romanticizing or spiritualizing.
 
I'm getting to the Bible prophecy part.
 
Question:
Is Romans 10:13 compatible with Matthew 24:13 if there are not different dispensations where God deals with men differently?
 
I say no.
 
In Matthew 16:24-27, Jesus is clearing speaking of a time period (dispensation) that is completely "incompatible" with the time period both Peter and Paul referred to in Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21 when they quoted the prophet Joel on the requirements of salvation.
 
Can a person be assured of salvation if they must endure to the end to be saved?
 
No. They absolutely cannot make the statement, "I am saved." Because they will not be saved until they endure "to the end" (Matthew 24:13).
 
Yet today, in this present dispensation, we can make the statement, "I am saved" (Ephesians 3:2). 
 
And we have scriptures that tell us we have the "assurance" that we are (right now) saved (1 John 5:11-13).
 
Calling on the Lord for salvation and enduring to the end for salvation are completely contradictory terms.
 
Unless...
 
They are referring to completely different time periods (ages/dispensations).
 
I believe, in Matthew 16:24-26, Jesus is speaking to the people about the time period just prior to his physical return (:27 "for" the son of man shall come in the glory... that one little word "for" connects verse 27 with verses 24-26, where Jesus is telling his followers that matyrdom will be the only way to salvation for
some of them).
 
I believe, in these verses, he is referencing the time when men and women will be asked to exchange their souls for the tangible benefits offered by the man of sin... or pay for their refusal with their lives (Revelation 13:15-17/Revelation 14:11-13 ).
 
Matthew 16:26:... what will a man give "in exchange" for his soul?

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The beliefs of Watchtower Society appear to be backed by scripture, but
in reality they are not.
 
I have spent many years contending with Jehovah's Witnesses concerning this and am very familiar with what they teach.
 
Here are a few examples:
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society teaches
that Jesus is a created being.

The scriptures say he is the source of all creation (Revelation).
 
Watchtower teaches that Jesus was Michael the Archangel before his incarnation as the Son of God.
 
The scriptures say, "to which of the angels did God say, 'this is my son...?'"
(Hebrews)
 
The scriptures are clear that Jesus Christ is God incarnate... In the beginning was the Word...and the Word "was" God... and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1,14).
 
The scriptures are clear that Jesus is the creator of "all" things(..."all" things were made by him and without him was not "anything" made that was made-John 1:3).
 
Watchtower Society created an incredibly corrupt translation of the scriptures based on corrupt source material (the Hort Westcott Greek which is based entirely on the Egyptian Minority family of texts which are relatively few in number and have little agreement among them).
 
They do not teach the truth and salvation cannot be found in their doctrine.

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Be careful what you eat...

               ... to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet

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