What You Won't Find In A Christian Bookstore

If there is any personal message I could direct to those who visit this site, it is that it doesn’t matter to me (or God for that matter) what your background is, if you attend some religious meetings or not, if you are a pastor, a lay person, a Pentecostal or Baptist, if your young, old, whether your joyful, depressed or somewhere in between… God’s love and grace is equally extended to you and His desire is that you would draw close to His heart. He loves you and He wants to have a relationship with you! Think about that… It still blows my mind after all these years that God, the Creator of the whole world, wants to commune with us. Wow! And I can confidently say that if you will reach out to Him, He will embrace you! He already gave His life to pay for your sins, the sins that once prohibited you (and all of mankind) from the chance of ever getting close to Him. He could have made you suffer for them, but He didn’t. Instead He endured the worst punishment and suffered the greatest loss, assuming completely on His shoulders the penalty that would have been yours, just so He could be close to you and so that you could be with Him and know His love and joy for ever. That’s how much God loves us all!

It’s sad to me that most people don’t understand just how much God loves us. We look at the surface of things, seeing only small pieces of the puzzle, and we sometimes get confused about God and His purpose, why we are here, and what does it all mean. Often when confronted with pain, we presume that God could not posibly be love or perhaps we even conclude that He must not be real or else why would He allow us to suffer? Sometimes in our ignorance about God and His ways, we get angry with Him and often our pride assumes that we know better how to find peace and fulfillment in our lives. To make matters worse, there are plenty of folks out there teaching a watered-down gospel and some theologians have moved to a more humanistic, liberal position in their approach to what the Scripture teaches concerning God. Too often, when met with aspects of faith that are initially confusing, incomprehensible or uncomfortable, they immediately opt for a humanistic solution – rather than to seek Him for the answer or submit to the reality that the carnal nature of man stands at odds with His holiness. We are fallen creatures in need of the mercy and forgiveness of this holy God who loves us dearly and doesn’t want to give us what we deserve.

With all of the confusion being tossed around everywhere, it’s no wonder so many have such a severely distorted picture of the truth. But for the trillions who have traveled down these other roads over the centuries, every one I’ve ever read about, heard about, or known personally, all end up with essentially the same testimony; “I tried everything apart from God and ultimately found nothing that resolved the deepest longing of my heart.” If you are in that place, asking all the questions, maybe frustrated with the lack of answers, I only know one answer. This answer may not explain every detail about what all is happening in your life and why, but it will resolve that deep, deep issue that burns in the darkest, emptiest part of your soul. This answer will start to connect the pieces of the grand puzzle and bring lasting peace into your life, no matter what is going on around you. This answer isn’t more will power, it’s not a special herb or drug, it’s not a self-help book you should read, it’s not a cult’s method to help you gain enlightenment, and it’s not a watered-down gospel to make you feel good about your sins… This is answer is not religion, it’s not a 12-step program, it’s not attained by good deeds, money, status or even faithful church attendance. This answer is simply Jesus Christ; God! Sounds almost impossible, especially when most people think of God as being out there in space somewhere, distant, invisible, and incomprehensible. But here’s the kicker: He wants to make His literal dwelling place INSIDE YOU! Not in space, on a cloud, or in some 35th dimension of a parallel universe; BUT INSIDE YOUR HEART!!! Think about that? Might sound a little scary… Might sound completely exciting! But however it might sound, it’s absolutely the truth!! God wants to make his home inside your heart and stay with you always!

This isn’t some New Age truth that says “God is inside us all and all we have to do is unlock the hidden keys and realize how beautiful our inner self is.” No! That’s not the Gospel. The Gospel teaches that there’s nothing inherantly good in any of us. We all are scarred with sin (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10-18, 22-26); this sin separates us from God. There is absolutely no reason in the world that the perfect Creator of the Universe should waste a second of time with us (Romans 9:15-26)… except one; HE LOVES US! It was His compassion for us that led Him to lay the weight of our wretched sin on His shoulders and pay for it all (John 3:16-21). He forgave us and only asks that we believe what He’s done and turn to follow Him. We don’t have to clean ourselves up first. We don’t have to go to church. We don’t have to follow some list of do’s and don’ts to sustain His favor. We simply have to realize that it is His gift and there’s not a thing we can do to earn it. The Bible calls the Gospel a “mystery” (Ephesians 6:19). Unfortunately, many preachers today are twisting the Message and suggesting that the wonderful mystery of the Gospel is that we can simply accept the Lord into our hearts. I disagree! There’s nothing mysterious about a person who is guilty of sin, deserving death and hell “accepting” a perfect, gracious God who is awesome in everyway and who even gives His own life to save them from death and hell. What is mysterious and awesome is that the Creator of universe would love and accept us (instead of simply discarding us and starting over)! The Bible does not say that we “accept” Him but that He deliberately chooses to accept us into His family! That means God is seeking you! When you reach out your hand to Him it is because He is drawing you to Himself. The Gospel is all about God’s grace freely given, not about anything we have done. What a humbling and wonderful thought!

The more people begin to realize God’s love and are changed by it, the more the news of it will spread and this is the mark of true “revival”. Miracles, signs, wonders, and great joy are all possible when God presently manifests His love to people and His people respond from sincere hearts, not with religious endeavors. Revival is not what most people have been led to think… It’s not a two-week tent meeting with emotional services… nor is it an increase of numbers flooding into churches. “Revive” simply means to awaken that which has gone to sleep or is dead. Much of the institutional church system resides deep in this slumber, only many don’t know it because they mistake “the moving of God’s Spirit” for emotional services, lively programs and rote religion. They are largely deceived. Not that God never works among His people in this environment (for His grace extends to all who call upon Him with sincere hearts), but there is a subtle deception going around today whereby people confuse Christianity with the business of church function. Many of these people are just as dry and hungry for the Lord as those who never attend church services, but they are looking for revival in a church service (thus their focus is centered in the wrong thing; “church” rather than where it should be; JESUS HIMSELF). They wait for some new thing to happen to break up the monotony of their weely routine or some special guest speaker or some new “worship” songs to fire them up… but give them a few weeks (maybe months or a year or two at best) and they’ll be right back to a dead routine, looking for something new again.

Friends, I know this is true because I lived this way for 30 years! THIS IS NOT REVIVAL!!! When people realize they are doomed in total depravity because of the sin nature and then impacted by a revelation of God’s amazing grace (and the righteousness of Jesus who frees them from sin), it’s like adding a spark to gasolene! The response of love motivates such people to sincere action and God is right at home in the midst of this kind of faith. Revival isn’t coming. Revival isn’t some event. It’s what happens day by day when people come before their Maker in sincerity and humility, engaged in a living relationship that is not hindered by religiosity and legalism. Relationship with God simply actuates revival. It awakens the senses and breathes life to that which seemed to be dead.

If you are reading this and don’t yet know Jesus, there’s no magic formula to being included in the family of God. There’s no requirement to join a church, go to a special meeting, talk to a pastor, or anything like that. Simply realize that you are lost without Him and spiritually dead in your sins. Realize that life, apart from God, despite whatever temporal pleasures you may experience in the moment now, such will bring only an end of eternal separation from Him – not because He is against you, but because only you can refuse the free gift He’s given… So many of the things people engage in because they feel it’s their right and freewill choice to do whatever they want, later discover the adverse consequences that slowly have been eating away at their heart. Often those who say they’re not hurting anyone, deep inside know better – because there is a gaping hole and longing for God’s mercy and His touch of love. Pride, bitterness, and all manner of sins we have committed clamour with their deceptive aims to keep us from humbling ourselves and reaching up. God is not ignorant of the reality of this struggle. And even through the greatest darkness, He continues to reach out with love. There is a song by U2 called “Until The End of the World” where Bono (lead singer) is speaking as the voice of a Judas character who has done everything possible to run from God. In the end he says, “waves of regret, waves of joy… I reached out to the One I tried to destroy… YOU, You said You’d wait ’till the end of the world.” And there God is, hating the sin that progressively works death in you and drags you down into further and further chains of bondage – yet continually waiting for you to see His eyes of love and His outstreched arms, calling you to leave it all and embrace Him.

He paid the greatest price to save you. He made the way possible. Jesus laid down His very life to pay the sacrifice that your sins and mine deserved. God robed Himself in human flesh and shed innocent blood to justify you and me! Because of His freewill choice to pay what He did not have to pay, there is not a single thing we have ever done that can remove us from the open invitation to receive the grace He’s given! That’s why it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, you cannot be excluded from His desire to save you! And no matter the guilt you possess, there is also no good work you can do to earn His favor. HE ALREADY FAVORED YOU!!! You have one response……. Believe with all your heart that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead and is ready to make your heart His Temple, where He will abide with you forever. You can be made alive and totally washed clean, purified of all your sins RIGHT NOW by simply believing in His sacrifice on the cross. Take some time to count the cost of leaving behind your entire way of thinking before and ask Him to be the Lord of your life. There’s no rote prayer you have to pray. Use your own words and talk to Him as you would a friend. He is waiting, listening and He has been your whole life. If this call is touching your heart, it isn’t because I have any persuasive ability, but because God Himself is drawing you to Himself!

Once you have given your heart to Jesus, your journey into His life begins. He loves you so much and He will lead you and guide you by His Holy Spirit as you continue to trust Him. As you continue to grow in your relationship with Him, you may want to get yourself a Bible in a version that’s easy to read (such as the NIV or the NASB – I’d recommend starting with the New Testament) and don’t be afraid to reach out to other people in the Faith who can encourage you and walk with you along the way, but don’t be too anxious or too quick either about yielding all of your securities on other Christians. Many Christians are trapped in bondage to the slavery of religion and, though many have sincerely believed in Jesus, they have placed the majority of their trust in the religion they have subjected themselves to. You do not need this influence. You must guard your freedom in Christ and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Many church folks are well meaning but they may inevitably draw you into the same bondage that so many of them are trapped in. Place all of your dependency and hunger for truth on God. The Bible says that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6) – In fact, it says that all those that come to Him must believe this. The Bible says, “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:8-9) Some Christians, who are themselves slaves to a religious routine, may tell you that you need to find a pastor or get into some program or church group to establish yourself in the truth. While some programs may involve less legalism and can give some good instruction in the way of truth, many are laced with MUCH religion. If you place your full confidence on Christ who is, in fact, the One that drew you to Himself, He will NEVER leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

    1 John 2:26-27 – I have written these things to you because you need to be aware of those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true-it is not a lie. So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ.

In time, God will bring true friends into your life that are trustworthy followers of Jesus and who will not get in the way of your very direct and intimate relationship with God, but who will only encourage you in this direction. In time, you will also be able to discern truth from error and be strengthened by the Spirit of God with ability to find meat and spit out the bones. Guard you relationship with Jesus Christ carefully. Do not believe those who want to set themselves up as “spiritual fathers” over you. The closer you come to Jesus, the more discerning you will become and able to know which of those who claim to follow Him are sincere and which only seek to take advantage of you. Watch out for those who seek your money and want you to submit yourself to religious regiment. Be careful of those who enjoy titles and who think that “serving God” is a profession. The following passages from the Bible are lengthy but will encourage you in this new walk with Jesus.

    Colossians 2:16-23 – So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ. Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us. So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorroware worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.

    Colossians 3:1-17 – Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.

I love to respond to e-mails and always welcome new friends and especially new brothers and sisters in the Faith. This website also has some resources to help you keep focused on the one thing that matters; Christ Jesus. The Bible also talks about something called baptism. Baptism is an external action that Jesus commanded to follow as a declaration that the old life of sin in being put away for good and that we acknowledge that we believe that just as Jesus died for sin, our old nature died with Him and we are raised again into a new life in Him. Contrary to what a lot of church folks think, baptism doesn’t have to be performed by some elite clergy member and there is no special ceremony involved. A fellow Christian friend can baptise you anywhere there is water and… I’ve even heard of new believers baptising themselves. 🙂 The point is not that baptism is some kind of religious activity (and it won’t earn you brownie points with God or keep you out of heaven if you don’t do it), but there is a very strong spiritual representation of our new life in Christ and that we are not ashamed to follow Jesus. There is also the tangible sense of affirmation that He has washed us clean of the sins that once separated us from Him and made us whole and new. Jesus asked us to confess Him in this way, so why not? 🙂

I hope to add more such resources as this website continues to develop. Please write me though because I may be able to hook you up with some of my friends as well who you can write to and share your heart with. Fellowship in the family of God is important, but please don’t let it take the place of learning to rely on the Lord yourself. It takes time to learn to hear His voice and it’s not unusual to struggle in the beginning. It’s good to consider the counsel of others who have walked with the Lord for some time; however, there is no substitute for the Holy Spirit of God that LIVES INSIDE YOU!!! If you rely too heavily on what other Christians say, you will stumble and it will make it harder to recognize the Lord’s still small voice inside you. God will speak to you through His Word (the Bible) and also through the conscience He’s placed in your heart. Prayer is not something super-spiritual either. It’s simply communicating with God as you would a friend. Just talk to Him. There’s no formula. And spend time waiting in silence as well. He will speak to you in the quiet moments too. You have an advantage right now if you start off on the right foot. Many people who come to God through emotional church services are often immediately distracted by all the programs, liturature and voices of influence provided by the church group they are in. Few learn how to discern the voice of the Lord for themselves initially and are instead spoon fed with weekly sermons and all kinds of programs, books and people telling them what to do that they start to rely more on those things than the Lord. Many of them spend the rest of their days passively sitting in pews, distracted by all the sights and sounds of religious service and the constant direction of religious leaders. Many lose all the excitement and joy of walking with Jesus and eventually dry out and tune out until their concept of Christianity become little more than a weekly religious ritual called “attending church”. I beg you my friend, don’t let this happen to you!!! Some Christians will try to convince you that if you don’t get plugged into a church and start paying money tithes you can’t grow effectively. It’s a lie! It took me 30 years to awaken to the truth. There is not a single verse in the whole Bible that teaches people to join churches after they give their lives to Jesus. In fact, Jesus Himself simply told people, “go and sin no more.” Fellowship with other Christians is important and valuable, but don’t get caught into thinking that simply attending something called a “church” equals biblical fellowship! Jesus taught that when as few as TWO or THREE gather together, He is right there with them. Don’t be too hasty either. The Lord loves you and He will bring the right people into your life to walk with you on life’s road.

If you’re already a believer in Christ and stuck in a church waiting for “revival”, understand that what you are really admitting is that you have been dead and/or asleep (which is also probably the condition of virtually everyone else in the group you attend). I say this with all love and respect because I have been right there myself as well. The important thing for you to realize is that it is God who is trying to awaken your understanding (it could very well be that it was Him that led you to this page). If you are one who cries for revival, then realize what revival is and put away your former deception. Stop waiting for “it” to come to “your church” and start realizing that YOU ARE THE CHURCH! God does not dwell in buildings made with hands (the Scripture very clearly teaches this). God dwells in PEOPLE!!! People are His only Temple on this earth! Center every focus of your heart on Jesus Christ alone and let your relationship with the living God have its complete work. When a heart submits to the lordship of Jesus and is finally free from subservience to systems of men, THAT is when real revival happens!!!!

So get ready! Keep your heart open. Set your sights on Him only and get ready for a God attack! It is coming to you!!! TruthForFree.com is all about letting people know that God is real, not an idea, not a religious system, not a placebo, but a real person who longs to have intimate relationship with us!!! And what wonderful things may happen when this relationship is engaged! Oh, dear friend visiting this site, I hope you will look for Him. I pray you will call on Him. You will never regret it. I promise!

In His great love,

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