18. March 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Catholicism · Tags:

101_1380It saddens me that people would rather follow a certain “religion” than to research for themselves to find the truth.

God has given us the truth through the Holy Bible. When Jesus was praying to His Heavenly Father, He said:

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

It is up to us to read and study the Word of God so we can think for ourselves and make up our own minds – not rely on someone else to direct us. Your parents probably quoted you the old saying:

If your friends jump off a bridge, will you jump too?

It’s the same concept. Men boast of much knowledge. However, God says to study the Bible so you can approved by Him, not man.

~2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I would rather be wrong on this issue and have spent hours in the Bible because what have I lost?  I don’t want to be so pig headed that I have not studied it out for myself only to find out when it’s too late that I was wrong.

The bottom line is this:  What will we say when we stand before God? Will we give the excuse that we left the “spiritual” matters of life to our minister or priest? The Apostle Paul said in the above verse that we are to study for ourselves so we can be approved unto God.

What will your answer be when God asks you why you didn’t?

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Is the catholic doctrine of celibacy Scriptural? I have read verses that encourage one to be married but am hard pressed to find verses that encourage a person to be celibate. If celibacy is necessary for church leaders, it would certainly have been laid out in the Scriptures in the requirements for leadership. However, there is not one instruction to church leaders on celibacy found in God’s Holy Word.

So what is found in Scriptures?

~1 Timothy 4:1-3 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry”

~1 Timothy 3:1-4 This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

~Matthew 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.

Peter was a married man because verse 14 speaks of his mother-in-law. Many of the Apostles and first leaders of the early Church were married. God outlined the qualifications of the Bishop in His Word in 1 Timothy. A bishop must be the husband of one wife, must rule his own house well and must have his children in subjection.

How can a doctrine as important as marriage be removed from a bishop’s qualifications and given a 180 degree turn? The Word of God is final. God’s Word is forever settled in Heaven and, therefore, cannot be reversed by mere man here on earth!

~Psalm 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

God said the leaders of the Church should be a husband – one that rules his house well and has his children in subjection. Can a celibate priest do this? How can a priest effectively counsel a couple who is having marital problems? Think about it. This is just another unscriptural teaching for the catholic church. Sadly it is one that places undue hardships and burdens on a man’s shoulders.

© Kate Plourde 2009

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Can we achieve eternal life while on this earth? Jesus said we can:

~John 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

He taught us that if we search the Scriptures, we will be able to find the answers to the age old question, “How can I get to Heaven?” Furthermore, Jesus states in the latter part of the verse that eternal life is brought to us through Him. There are not many roads to Heaven – there is but one road and that is through Jesus Christ.

One can listen to a wise old guru or a seemingly spiritual minister, but how can one be sure they are being guided in the right direction? Does one simply assume that this person will lead them in the right direction?  Jesus said to “search the Scriptures,” not man. If we could find eternal life through a man, He would have said so. He could have told the people to follow after the Rabbis, John the Baptist, etc. After all, they knew the Law inside out.  But instead, He chose to point His listeners to the Scriptures.

So what is stopping you from searching the Scriptures? Are you afraid? Are you too lazy to search the matter out for yourself?  Are you so entrenched in your church’s doctrines that you would put them ahead of what Christ said? If you are, you are foolish.

~Proverbs 9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
~Psalm 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

© Kate Plourde 2009

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l_10000623c96e4b9cb269ef793fd7686f~John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is summed up in this short verse. Jesus tells Nicodemus that the Son of Man (verse 14) must be lifted up – a depiction of His death, burial and resurrection. Jesus was vague here because he knew Nicodemus was listening with his head and not his heart.

Most of us who were raised in the United States in the first half of the 1900’s can safely say that we heard of Jesus Christ. We either learned about Jesus Christ in church or His name was a curse word on the lips of our fathers. We “know” that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We “know” that He died on the cross for all sins. We “know” that He arose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God the Father. In fact, many of us have prayers we have memorized from childhood which recite these very facts. Jesus knew that Nicodemus knew his Bible. He knew that Nicodemus had much of the bible memorized. So Nicodemus had “head” knowledge of the coming Messiah just as we have head knowledge of Jesus Christ.

But what about the heart? Jesus says in John 3:15 that whosoever BELIEVES will not perish. It’s not just knowing “about” Jesus Christ, but it’s knowing Jesus Christ “personally.” You cannot say that you really know your spouse after just a few days of marriage. However, there’s nothing like a good dose of several years of marriage to help you learn about your spouse’s little habits, likes and dislikes.

You cannot know Jesus Christ just by hearing about Him in church or by reading about Him. One must be born again. At the very moment of your conversion, the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) enters in and begins to teach you.

~John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The Holy Spirit’s main job in a Christian’s life is to glorify Jesus Christ, teach the Christian about Jesus Christ and reveal the truths in the Word to the Christian.

~John 16:13-14 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (13) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (14)

Dear God…
Please help me to learn the truth
About Your Son Jesus Christ.
May Your Holy Spirit enlighten me
Direct me and open my eyes!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~Philippians 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

~Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The Bible says in Philippians 4:3 that our names can be in the Book of Life right now – while we are living.  The women that labored with Paul, Clement and Paul’s other fellow laborers’ names were all in the in Book of Life.  The Book of Life contains all the names of those who are born again and covered under the blood of Jesus Christ.

The catholic church, however, says it is a sin to presume that you are saved from God’s wrath and eternal damnation.  The catholic church teaches that after death, the catholic must go to purgatory to purge away any unconfessed sin before entering Heaven.   Therefore, the catholic does not have that assurance of when/if he will enter Heaven.

That’s not what Paul wrote in Philippians 4:3.  These believers’ names were already in the Book of Life.  There was no wondering with Paul.  It was stated as fact.  Dear catholic, please read your Bible.  It was given so that man could decide for himself where he will spend eternity.  The Bible was not left to the “knowledgeable and learned.”  It was left for all to read and come to the knowledge of salvation!  Don’t be one who leaves his eternal life in the Bible interpretations of another person.  Don’t have their knowledge but have your own.  God’s Word is truth – He will guide you to His truth.

~John 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

© Kate Plourde 2009

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The Bible says:

~John 3:3 Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

For a devout catholic to say that he is saved, he would be commiting the sin of presumption.  The catholic catechism says:

There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit.” Pg. 507, #2092

What a conundrum for the poor catholic member!  As you can see, to say you are saved but are yet a catholic is like combining oil and water.  They do not mix because the born again believer is born of the Spirit while the catholic religion is based on traditions and magisterium.  The catholic magisterium state that man cannot presume that he is saved but the Bible says that you can know that you are saved.

The poor catholic is led to believe that they are born again the day they are baptized because this is what is read at the baptism.

“By the sacrament of Baptism, whenever it is properly conferred in the way the Lord determined and received with the proper dispositions of soul, man becomes truly incorporated into the crucified and glorified Christ and is reborn to a sharing of the divine life” (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, chap. 3, II, 22, p. 427).

So the catholic sincerely believes that he is saved.  However, how can a baby repent of his sin?  How can a baby acknowledge that he is a sinner?  He cannot.  There is not one documented case in the Scriptures of a baby being baptized.  There is not even documentation that babies were ever dedicated to God in the New Testatment.

As a catholic, I knew about Christ but I did not know Him personally.  I always felt as though I was working my way to God.  But the Bible clearly states:

~Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.”

I can remember how good I felt after I did the Stations of the Cross, or went to confession and did my penance, or even gave money so I could light a candle.  All these things made me feel good but they never added one smidgen to my salvation.  Doing all these things made me feel good but I never had total peace and assurance that I was saved.  Why?  Because this assurance does not exist in catholicism – that would be guilty of the sin of presumption and, therefore, I was lost.

The catholic church did teach me about the Trinity, about Jesus’ life on earth, about His death on the cross and His resurrection.  However, I was never taught that I could be saved.  I was, however, taught that if I did all that was required of me (the sacraments, penance, the mass, etc.) I would go to purgatory and then I could enter Heaven.  In fact, not a priest could tell me how long I would remain in purgatory even if I died right after a good confession!  There is no assurance with the catholic church.  Therefore, how can a roman catholic be born-again and remain a roman catholic?

How can a catholic remain a catholic if he claims to be born again?  After all, the mass offers Christ up daily and He becomes their unbloody sacrifice.  But the Bible says in Hebrews 7:27 that Christ died once!  Hebrews 9:28 also says that He was offered once.  The catholic continues to go to confession but yet the Bible says that only God forgives sin.  The Bible says that only God can forgive sins (Mark 2:7 and Luke 5:21).  What about Mary?  1 Timothy 2:5 says that there is only one mediator between God and man and that is Christ!  The catholic church teaches that Mary is the mediatrix and they can go to her with their problems and prayers and she will petition God on our behalf.

So how can a catholic say he is saved but yet he remains in the catholic church?  He either denies the Bible because he trusts the catholic church or he will deny the catholic church because its teachings are not scriptural.  The Bible says that the born-again believer will have a new nature.  The Bible also says that we possess the Holy Spirit.  Would the Holy Spirit lie to us?  Absolutely not!  He would not teach us one thing in the Bible and then allow it to be different because the “church fathers” say so.  Jesus said,

~Matthew 12:25  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

God’s Word would not command us one way in the Scriptures and then turn around and contradict itself through the teachings of the magisterium.  Surely you can see this!  Open your eyes, dear catholic, and trust in the Lord with all your heart.  It is He who shows us the way to salvation and provides the way.  None other!

My friend, use the brain that God gave you. Do not leave your eternal destination in the hands of man or a church. Take responsibility and search out the Scriptures! The picture above is of a petrified log – I took this at the Petrified Forest outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. This wood is no longer living but is now petrified and is hard as solid rock. The catholic church is much like this petrified wood. It may have been living at its inception, but throughout the years its many compromises and heresies have caused it to become petrified. Jesus Christ brings life – a new life! Not a petrified one.

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: ( 8 ) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (9)

The definition of grace is “undeserved kindness.” God shows undeserved kindness toward us by offering us the gift of His Son. We accept this Gift through faith. There is nothing I can do to earn a gift. I can earn a prize by winning a race. But I cannot earn a gift. A gift is something I do not have to earn … it is freely given to me. However, a gift cannot be given to someone unless that person receives the gift in his hands. Otherwise, the gift has not been received.

For example, it’s your birthday and I come to your party. I put your birthday gift on the table along with the others. You open all the gifts except mine and you leave mine on the table, untouched and unopened. My gift remains untouched and unopened for days. Did you truly receive my gift? Of course not. You don’t even know what it is. You have not opened it. The same goes for God’s gift of His Son to us. If we do not receive Christ by faith, you have not accepted the gift.

What is stopping you from this simple step? Are you afraid because you have to repent from your sin? You can’t ask God to forgive you of your sins and continue down the same path. That is not repentance. Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God. If you say you are saved but your mind still dwells on sin and not on God, you have not had a change of mind at all. All you did was pray a useless prayer. As we look back to our story about the birthday gift, notice how there is an action that must be taken by you in order for you to open that gift. You have to pick that gift up in your hands. The same goes with the gift of salvation. You have to be willing to repent of your sin and accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour through faith.

~Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Dear God…
Repentance is not an easy thing
It is difficult to understand
But I pray You would guide me in my quest
To understanding Your Simple Plan.

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Are you struggling with the gospel messages you have read thus far? You struggle dear friend because you are in darkness. Your sin has created a spiritual “film” – a darkness over your eyes. Your heart cannot see the blessed light which is shed on the Gospel because you have long lived in this darkness. Ask God to lighten your way and help you with your unbelief. As was previously written, you are not alone in your unbelief.

~Mark 9:24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

There is no sin that has been sinned since creation of man that God cannot forgive. Jesus’ blood cleanses from ALL sin.

~1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

There is only one sin which will not be forgiven mankind and that is rejecting Christ as Saviour. The Holy Spirit’s job is to guide and direct us to the work of Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross.

~John 15:26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

If we deny the Holy Spirit’s guidance and do not accept Christ as our Saviour, this sin (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit) will not be forgiven and we bring upon ourselves condemnation and eternal life in the lake of fire.

~Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

Do not delay your decision. Today is the day you should get saved. God has led you to a point where you understand. Take heed before it is eternally too late.

~2 Corinthians 6:2b …behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Dear God…
Let not my head be darkened
With ideas and logic from friends
But let my heart seek truth and love
In Your Son’s precious nail-scarred hands.

© Kate Plourde 2009

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I love this photo of twins in the military! You just can’t tell them apart!

~John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Let’s say your twin daughters both run away from home to sow their wild oats. You discover where they are living and send your son, their brother, to talk some sense into them. Here you’ve created a beautiful home for them, complete with love and care. But now they have chosen to go against your wishes to live a life their lives the way they want. If they knew you would have approved of their lifestyle, they would not have run away. But they knew how you felt and that is why they went out on their own so they could continue in their sin without you knowing about it.

Your daughters no longer live in the comfort of your home nor are they protected by you. They are on their own. Your son begs the twins to turn from their wicked ways and to come home with him. He is able to reach one sister but the other is adamant. There’s nothing her brother can say – she does not want to return.

You rejoice greatly because one of your daughters has come home. However, you are heartbroken because the other daughter has chosen to stay away and continue to live in her sin. You do not love her any less but you are grieved beyond what words can say. She has chosen to sever the fellowship between the two of you. She has chosen to stay away. However, just because she has chosen not to have fellowship with you, it does not mean that she is no longer your daughter. In fact, your emotions are probably more “stirred” because of her choice.

Can you now imagine how God feels? His creation, Adam and Eve, chose to sin. They did not realize that their sin would bring the consequences of a broken relationship. Because God knows the future, He realizes that they will never be able to keep the whole Law. It grieves God that fellowship is broken so He makes a plan to send His Son to restore that fellowship. The Law requires that blood be shed for the remission of sins.

~Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Because God is Holy and cannot break the Law He created, He sends His Son (the Perfect Lamb) to shed His own blood for all man kind’s sin. What a beautiful picture of how much God loves us! God’s initial design was not to condemn the world. But because of the world’s sin, He sent His Son so that the world could be saved and that intimate fellowship could be restored.

Dear God…
Please help thou my unbelief.
Increase my mustard seed faith.
Open my eyes that I may see
The Gift Thou has sent my way!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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Dating … what a wonderful experience! You meet someone that you want to get to know better. At first, you know nothing about this person but after a few dates, you learn that he likes to ski – he went to college – his family lives in Maine, etc. You now know a little about this person. After a few months, you learn the more personal things about him – he loves children – he is good with finances, etc.

Once you are married, you can now say that you know this person intimately. You now know him the way you could not possibly have known him before. You now not only know about his dreams but you are sharing in those dreams. His goals in life have become your goals. You think alike – you finish each other’s sentences. When he is not available and an issue comes up, you are able to answer for him because you know his mind. The two of you have now become one.

It is no different with Christianity. Many say that they are a “Christian” but nothing could be further from the truth. These people know about God but they do not know God intimately. What do I mean by this? When one is truly born again, he is now a child of God.

~Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Once we are born again and are His children, we are able to go to Him as we did our earthly father. The fact that He is the perfect Almighty God makes Him the perfect Father. He knows our needs even before we ask Him. He knows our heart and the trials that we face.

Three times the words Abba, Father appear in the Word of God. They were put together like this for a reason. Why? Any time you read something for the first time in the Bible, the verse or those following usually describe what that word(s) means. These words were first spoken by Jesus Christ when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane and He needed comforting from His Father. Therefore, this shows an intimate relationship. One where a child runs to his father for comfort. The other two times, Paul teaches us that we, too, can come to the Heavenly Father in this intimate way and call God our Abba, Father!

~Mark 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

~Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

~Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Do you have that intimate relationship with God as you do with your own earthly father? Be honest. The catholic church teaches one is born again at baptism as a baby. However, a baby cannot experience true repentance from sin because he is not at the point where he knows the difference between right and wrong. When one understands he is a sinner deserving of hell’s punishment, then one can be born again. Once we are truly born again, we now have a different relationship with God. He now becomes our Heavenly Father and His love and care go beyond our earthly father’s abilities.

Can you say that God is your Abba, Father? You know in the pit of your heart that you are deceiving yourself. This relationship cannot be “mustered” up. You cannot conjure up a relationship. The Bible says that the one who is not truly born again cannot receive or understand the Bible or the things of God because they sound “foreign” or are foolish to him.

~1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

But God’s Word says that the born-again believer has the mind of Christ now and the Holy Spirit will instruct us in what God wishes for us to learn.

~1 Corinthians 2:15-16 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (15) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (16)

You cannot lie to yourself. You absolutely know if you have this type of relationship with God or not. Before I was born again, I knew about God. I tried to reach Him by doing what I was taught were the right things to do in order to reach Him. However, I only knew about God. I didn’t know Him intimately.

Do you really know God or do you just know of God? There is a big difference. Don’t you want to be able to turn to God as your Abba, Father? If you realize that you do not have this type of relationship with God, please go here and read how you can become a child of God!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

If you think yourself too good for hell, you are dearly mistaken. After we die, we must all stand before Christ.

~Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

The judgment of the unsaved is hell.

~Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Those who are born again are no longer under condemnation according to John 3:18. We have been set free from the punishment of hell because Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross of Calvary. Those who believe in the work of the cross must repent from their sins and believe it is so. JESUS said we must repent, not some man.

~Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Repentance AND Faith – the two sides of the coin of salvation; both must be together. Without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation (trusting in His shed blood and finished work on the cross of Calvary), grief for sin is just human reformation, trying to clean yourself up, trying to lift yourself up to Heaven by your own good works – by your own bootstraps – and it will never work! BUT without repentance for your sin – a desire to turn from it in the heart – without seeing your lost condition in the eyes of God – turning to Christ is just being religious, just saying a prayer, just getting your “fire insurance”, with no saving value! Both must be together: you must see your sin in the light of the Word of God and turn from it in your heart to the Saviour to save you from them and from the punishment due you because of those same sins – believing in your heart that Jesus can and will save you. THEN the Holy Spirit gives you eternal life, makes you a new creature in Christ Jesus, and begins to change you from the inside out.

~2 Corinthians Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Won’t you set aside any theology you have been taught up to now? Won’t you turn to the Bible where the truth is simply laid out for you? Allow the Holy Spirit of God to reveal the simplicity of the gospel to you. There is no other way to heaven. Neither Buddha nor Allah will get you there.

~Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Dear God…
Show me the way that leads to You
Let my path not be darkened with lies
Of those who choose to deceive and distract
But clearly guide me to eternal life!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shoul not perish, but have everlasting life.

This verse is probably the most popular Bible verse of mankind. The entire Gospel message of Jesus Christ is wrapped up in this one verse.

God’s love is so great that He gave up His Son for us. For those of you who have children, you can appreciate the love of a parent. You can also appreciate the extent of that love – even more so for you parents who have lost a son or daughter in the line of duty for their country. You gave up your child on behalf of your country. How clear is God the Father’s love to you now?

If war haters were to smear your son’s name or criticize the war, you would take it personally. You would be upset that these objectors could not look passed the war to see the fact that your son gave up his life for them.

Our Father in Heaven has given us an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as punishment for our sins. If we do not accept His payment for our penalty, we reject God. It is the same with your son. If the anti-war demonstrators curse your son and his efforts, they do not accept the wonderful freedom he fought so hard to keep for his country.

Our Father knew that we could not work our way to heaven by keeping the commandments. The Jews had not been able to keep the commandments and the Law because man is a sinner from birth. If we were able work our way to heaven on our own, why would God have to send His Son Jesus to die on the cross? What would have been the need? If there were no wars to be fought, why would your son have had to give his life for his country? Do you not see the wonderful comparison here?

The most relevant point in all this is that Jesus died for our sins while we were yet sinners. He knew that we could not “clean up our act” before accepting Him as Saviour.

~Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Dear God…
Please help me to believe by faith
The work of the Cross that day.
Your Only Son gave up His life
For our sin debt He died to pay!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

Jesus can see what is in Nicodemus’ heart at this point. He knows that if Nicodemus cannot believe those things which he can see with his own eyes, how can he possibly believe heavenly things which he cannot see! It appears that Nicodemus is lacking faith. That is why Jesus spoke of receiving salvation like a little child.

~Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

I think we can all agree that there’s no better description of faith than that which is displayed by a child.

Jesus does not allow Nicodemus any excuses. Nor will we have any excuse when we stand before the Throne to see if our name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

~Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Only those who have been born again will be found in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Once we are born again, we are sealed by the Father and we will be given everlasting life. The Word of God in the Bible is the “meat” that draws us to salvation.

~John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Dear God…
Please help Thou my unbelief!
Remove this veil from my eyes.
Show me the way that leads to Thee.
Only Thou art truthful and wise.

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

Jesus continues to reach Nicodemus in the heart of his religious beliefs. Nicodemus is not only a good Jew; he is a teacher; he is a leader; he is the ultimate Jew, a Pharisee. Yet Jesus does not allow Nicodemus’ prestige to gain him entrance to heaven. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Jesus emphatically tells Nicodemus that despite all his knowledge, Nicodemus still does not believe their witness and testimony!

Nicodemus suffered from what all very “religious” people suffer. He knows so much and has lived so long that he believes he can no longer be taught any truth. He relies on his religious knowledge to be enough to get him to heaven. Jesus reprimanded many Pharisees in the Book of Matthew and called them all hypocrites. Nicodemus was recognized as a leader by Jesus in our earlier reading. But Jesus goes further in this next verse by telling the Pharisees that not only were they not going to enter heaven but they were preventing their congregation from going to heaven as well! Oh my!!

~Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

WE are responsible for our OWN salvation, not a religious leader.

~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Dear God…
Please help me to see
Your truth and testimony.
Help me to receive by faith
Your salvation so full and free!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Jesus doesn’t let Nicodemus off the hook here. He holds him to task. In fact, Jesus questions Nicodemus and asks him why he doesn’t know these things being that he is a “master of Israel”! Religious leaders have so much more responsibility in God’s eyes. They are supposed to lead the spiritually blinded to the truth. This isn’t just with the Jewish religion but it is true with every religion on the face of this earth. Each has a leader of some kind, whether it is a Rabbi, a priest, a minister, etc.

Why do we need someone else to read, interpret and digest the Bible for us when God tells us that we are responsible for doing this ourselves? Do you allow someone to eat, chew and swallow your food for you? Of course not! Then why do you allow someone else to read the Bible, understand it and glean from it for you?

~John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Each one of us must eat for ourselves to keep our bodies alive. The same goes for our spiritual bodies. We must feed our own spiritual bodies with spiritual bread. No one else will stand before God and give an account for your life but you!

~John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Dear God…
Oh Jesus, Thou art the bread of life.
I seek the Truth, I’m sincere.
Guide me where I can find this bread
And draw You ever so near!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

Even after hearing what Jesus had to say, Nicodemus still returned to the logic of the mind. He was so religious and knew so much, yet he could not grasp even this simplest of truths.

Have you ever said “How can this be?” All of us have said this at one time or another. I always wondered how rockets could possibly launch a ship so it could reach the moon and back. But just because I don’t understand rockets does not make me believe they don’t exist.

You must commend Nicodemus for his tenacity. At least he kept asking. Some people just give up if they don’t understand something the first time around. Nicodemus kept right on asking questions as if to say, “Help me to understand!”

Won’t you ask God to help your unbelief today? Don’t let what you have been taught all these years to blind you. Don’t let the religion of your fathers stand in the way of seeking the truth.

“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

Dear God…
It’s not easy to change my ways.
I’m filled with much doubt and fear.
Cause my uncertainty and unbelief
To depart after so many years!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

What a wonderful example given by Jesus to explain what the Spirit is like. You can’t see the wind but you surely can hear it. You can see its movement in the trees but you cannot see the wind itself. The Spirit is the same. You cannot see the Spirit but you see the Spirit’s movement in the believer. He changes the damned soul into a life-everlasting soul. The Spirit lives within every born-again believer. The unsaved does not understand because he does not possess the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth.

If you were to buy a used car, you would want to know the truth about this car’s history … has it been involved in an accident? Does it have any hidden mechanical issues, etc. Don’t you want to know the truth about eternal life as well? Why would we want to know the truth about everything else in life but not about where we will spend eternity?  Do you really want to trust something as important as your eternity in the hands of a religious leader?

Don’t you want to have the Spirit of truth living within you? Don’t you want to have answers to questions you’ve been too afraid to ask? Don’t you want your soul to have life everlasting?

~John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Dear God…
Oh God, help me to understand
The truths within Your Word.
May Your Holy Spirit open my heart
And lead me continuously forward!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Jesus told Nicodemus “Don’t wonder that I’m saying, you have to be born again.” In other words, don’t try to put logic into it when it takes faith. Jesus was giving him the key here. Don’t try to put reason and logic into the plan of salvation. Why would Jesus say to receive the simple plan of salvation like a child?

~Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

Have you ever noticed how a child looks to his father and mother for answers? A father could give any answer at all and the child would believe him. The child trusts his father explicitly and believes with all his heart that his father will bring him no harm.

Do you believe like a child? Or do you allow deeply embedded doctrine from your past to cloud the simplicity of the Gospel? Ask God to remove any obstacles and to give you that child-like faith that is needed to be saved.

Dear God…
Oh Lord, I struggle to believe
What the Bible says I must do.
Help me to accept its words as
Final authority and truth!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

What a simple sentence spoken by Jesus here. Yet, here Jesus was speaking to a Jewish religious leader, a Pharisee. It shows that even those who appear to have all the truth and answers must be given a simple message. The message was so simple that even a child could understand it.

~Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

Jesus knew that it would take child-like faith for Nicodemus to be saved. Nicodemus would have to let go of all the religious knowledge he had crammed in his brain. He would have to let go of everything he had been taught and rely on this simple message to speak to his heart. All the laws and rules Nicodemus had learned would have to be set aside and he would have to rely on the Word of God to speak to his heart.

It is not rocket science … flesh begets flesh … dogs have puppies, cats have kittens, and humans have babies. But, if we accept the simple plan of salvation, we receive the Holy Spirit and are now born of the Spirit. It really is not difficult at all when God reveals the truth to your heart.

~John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Dear God…
I pray that I will never be
So heavenly minded yet blind.
Open my eyes with Your Truth.
Remove those chains that bind!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Again, Jesus doubles up on the word “verily”! It’s as if He is saying, “Nicodemus, I double emphatically say”! This was the custom of the day when someone wanted to drive a point home.

Jesus again says Nicodemus had to be born again. This time, Jesus uses a different term. He says that Nicodemus had to be born of water and of the Spirit. Many believe that this water is the water at baptism.  However, every baby that is born comes after a woman’s water has broken, therefor “born of water.”

When one is born again, one receives the Holy Spirit of God.

~Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Also,

~John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

This was such a simple directive from Jesus to this religious leader. It was not a complicated matter at all. Have you been convinced that the way to Heaven is a complicated one? It’s not complicated at all. There is only one way … Jesus is the way.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Dear God…

Oh how I searched to find the truth.
My quest was indeed sincere.
I asked the religiously learned ones,
But the Bible I failed to read!

I failed to turn to the one place
Where all truth is clearly penned.
Where sin is not made beautiful
Nor its pleasures does it defend!

This Bible led me to Your bleeding side
At the cross where my burden was laid.
You paid the price required for sin.
Your shed blood now the debt has paid!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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