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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Romans by the Book (Lesson 51)

Home Bible Study
Established November 2008

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4

Romans by the Book                                                         Lesson 51

Hello and welcome to HBS.  I want to take the time to explain to the new visitors and remind the regular members what this website is about and why I am occupied with Bible teaching.  In short, I established this Bible study to advance God and His written Word and to help people develop their Bible study skills. 

I have devoted a significant portion of my life to Bible teaching and this for a few good reasons.  Biblical truth, rightly divided, is difficult to find in this day and age.
Devotion to Biblical studies is on the wane and apostasy is the rise – that’s one.

In 1958 the Supreme Court let stand a federal appeals court decision to remove the six-foot statue of the Ten Commandments which stood in front of the City Hall in Elkhart, Indiana.  Three conservative judges did disagree with the decision saying, “The Ten Commandments simply reflects the role in the development of our legal system.”  However, since then the Ten Commandments have been removed from the front of public buildings and from courtrooms across this land. 

For decades I have watched as the faith has been assaulted from all sides:  social, ideological, civil, and legal.  Fifty-one years ago, on June 25, 1963, the Supreme Court banned government-endorsed prayer from public schools.  That same year the Supreme Court banned Bible reading in public schools and overturned a state law which banned schools from teaching the theory of evolution. 

In God we trust has become a joke in this nation.  I’ve witnessed society move God’s “plumb line” away from the center of divine truth to a free-wheeling society where anything goes (Amos 5:11-12, 7:7-9).  Over the years I’ve seen society shift from believing in right vs wrong to a position of no absolutes.  The moral compass of America has rotated 180 degrees and now right is wrong and wrong is right. 

All this godless activity points to one thing only – the United States doesn’t want God! 

The family, as ordained by the Creator God, has been under Satanic attack since Cain killed Abel and the devil couldn’t be more pleased with the progress he’s making (Genesis 2:18-25). 

On June 26, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. 
It stopped short of saying the states cannot ban gay marriage. But in effect this ruling says states “cannot get in the way of gay couples who want to marry.”

On June 25, 2014 a federal district judge struck down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.  The ruling in effect says, “These couples when gender and sexual orientation are taken away are in all respects like the family down the street.” 

Really - is that so?  I disagree and so did the majority of the voters in Indiana who went to the polls so their voices could be heard and their votes recorded.  The majority decided that marriage is between one man and one woman.  Now that’s been thrown out by a minority. 

It’s interesting to note that in our Constitution marriage is not mentioned.  
The only righteous Judge says homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:24-32).  That’s that.

Mankind has been in rebellion against God since the first bite was taken from the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden.  The pace is picking up much like a toilet bowl being flushed… 

Our nation is deemed to be in an economic free fall.  But has anyone stopped to consider that this nation has been in a Spiritual free fall for a longer period of time? 

High on the list of reasons for America’s downturn is sexual immorality. 
Spinoff sins from this illicit activity are:  adultery, fornication, pornography, drunkenness, drug addiction, strife, envy, jealousy, greed, malice, murder, gossip, etc.

Our society is a cesspool and the clock is ticking…time is running out!

Considering Scripture accounts, whenever a nation has not only forgotten God, but has outright despised Him and His Word, God has dealt mercifully with them for a time
But when that condition continues unabated, divine grace ceases and judgment follows.  Even the nation of Israel was not excluded but stands as an example of how God’s judgment is for ALL. 

A man I highly respect said this, The world changes - circumstances change, we change - but God's Word never changes.”  Warren Wiersbe

God’s Word stands the test of time and the attacks from a godless society.

Isaiah 40

7: The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.

8: The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

Getting back to yours truly, for many years I was misled by church leaders as to what the Bible says and more importantly I was not saved.  I was led to believe I was saved but this was false. 

Now I have a passion to teach the Truth and to help people understand what the Bible says.  With this comes a tremendous responsibility (James 3:1; 2 Timothy 2:15).

Therefore, I’m not going to shy away from speaking or teaching the Truth to those who have an interest.  To that end, I have no intention of “watering” God’s Word down so the world-at-large will find it palatable.  There are far too many people doing this already and those with “itchy ears” are filling up their pews.   

This is why I do what I do.  Some people are passionate about their cooking skills, their sports, their painting, their hobbies, their music, and various other pursuits.  I’m passionate about God’s saving grace and time is running out.

Please open your Bibles to Romans at chapter 8.

Romans 8

6: For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life (eternal) and peace,

7: because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,

Read verse 7 again please.  Have you ever heard someone say, “I hate God?”  I have.
But you don’t have to say it to express hostility towards God.  Actions speak louder than words.

Perhaps no other verse in Scripture reveals the appallingly lost state of humanity, after the flesh, than this one.  We read back at Romans 5:10 where we were “reconciled” to God while we were His enemies but this did change the nature of our flesh. 

The flesh is hopelessly lost.  The apostle Paul understood this truth and conveyed the message to us quite clearly, “Wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:19-24). 

Romans 8

8: and (therefore) those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

This sweeping statement from God concerns all those who are not in Christ Jesus.

Those in the flesh even if they, like Cain, pause for a moment and consider God, who dare to come to God in their own way, on their own terms, God will not accept – the Spirit is not in them.  They are not His children.  They are without faith. 
Faith is:  God said it; I believe it.

Romans 8

9: However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

The mark of a true Believer is that the Spirit of God dwells within them. 
These folks are not enslaved by the flesh, driven by its lusts, instead they are Spirit led.   

Digging a little Deeper - People may be going about their lives with the notion that they are redeemed (saved) when in fact they are not.  For they have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  This truth applies to far too many people. 

One of the most used altar call phrases in the church today is, “Come forward and pray to receive Jesus into your heart.” 

First and foremost – this is a false doctrine, that in order to be saved, one must “accept Jesus as your personal Savior” and then say a “sinners prayer.”  Nowhere in the New Testament, and especially in the Apostle Paul’s writings, is a sinner authorized or instructed to ask Jesus to come into their heart and to pray for forgiveness so that they might be saved.

Where did this plan of redemption come from? 
This is a man-made system – with the help of Satan.  That’s right.  Satan has infiltrated the church.  Satan can promote both good things and bad things on this planet – he’s in control.  Satan knows if he can fool people into believing this “lie,” they will still be lost and will be keeping him company in the Lake of Fire for eternity (Revelation 20:15). 

 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Even if people are sincere in their beliefs, if what they put their faith in is not in harmony with God’s will and God’s plan of salvation, they will be lost. 

We are to follow God’s one and only plan.  Are you still with me?

Scripture says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Colossians 3:17); that is by His authority.  The Bible says forgiveness and salvation is only in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:10).

If a person does not fully understand (comprehend) the basic truths leading to their salvation they should not be considered saved.  If a person is not instructed that faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to the Scriptures, for their sins is the essential element in their salvation they are not saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 2:16).  Simply put, this is a false conversion. 

A picture is worth a thousand words.  If you’re interested, this link will take you to a YouTube video where people give powerful testimonies concerning their false conversions - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tcqu2WjSOJo and reveal the actions they took on their own to overcome.

I need to add a comment here despite the controversy surrounding this topic. 
If someone wants to be baptized, by submersion, sprinkling, etc, that’s entirely up to them, but water baptism has absolutely nothing to do with the salvation process. 
You are saved with it or without it (Ephesians 4:4-5).

If you took the time to review the Bible verses in the book of Ephesians please note,
Paul’s statement has all the elements of a doctrine:  one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father.  The common element in this statement is the word “one.”  Paul wrote there was one baptism.  
What baptism did he mean?

Considering all of Paul’s other teachings, we know that he meant Spiritual baptism.  
It should be obvious that Paul did not regard water baptism to be too important since he declared, “Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel.”

Furthermore, if there is only one baptism, what baptism is it–the baptism by man or the baptism by the Holy Spirit?  Considering all of Scripture, the baptism of the Holy Spirit overshadows baptism by man. 

We’ve gone over this topic multiple times but for the sake of the new visitors Scripture says that every Believer of the gospel is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23).  This is the one and only baptism that affects the Believer from a Spiritual aspect.

Most church groups require the ritual of baptism before membership in their organization is extended or they require you to demonstrate proof of baptism from some other church group.  There’s no harm in this, as long as you understand that your baptism has nothing to do with your salvation.  Water baptism is simply an outward sign (public demonstration) of an inward change of heart and mind. 

Digging Deeper Yet, and getting back to the subject of lost souls, others are busy building their own stairway to heaven (Genesis 11:1-9).  I’m talking about works-based religions.  Believers are saved by God’s grace.  Salvation is bestowed upon us through faith, not by what we do, but because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us. 

All other religions attempt to reach heaven by a person’s own efforts:  Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Judaism, Mormonism, Shinto, and Sikhism, to name a few. 

I intend to add Catholicism to this mix because although God’s grace is factored in, that grace is only an enabling function.  Catholics believe God’s grace makes it possible for a person to do good works and it is those good works by which they will be judged as worthy or not for heaven. 

The Pope recently announced to the world, and this was captured by the press, that Catholicism is the only God ordained religion in the world today and all other religions are hopelessly lost.  He wasn’t the first Pope to make this statement.  Pope John XXIII (1958-63), in his Papal Oath, proclaimed:  outside this true Catholic faith no one can be saved, so help me God! 

While Roman Catholic Adolf Hitler promoted the idea of Germans being the world's "Master Race", his church was promoting the idea of the Roman Catholic Church being the world's "Master Religion".

At the Council of Lateran (649 AD), whose canons were approved and confirmed by Pope Martin I (649-653 AD), it was solemnly declared:  if anyone does not profess in accordance with the holy Fathers, properly and truthfully all that has been handed down and taught publicly to the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of God, both by the same Fathers and by me approved universal Councils, to the last detail in word and intention: he is condemned, (canon 17)

At the Council of Trent (1545-63 AD) it was solemnly declared that one must hold that:
Our Catholic faith, without which it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), must remain in its purity, sound, unshaken, and free from errors. (Session V, Intro.)
At Trent it was solemnly declared concerning the doctrine of justification that:
this Catholic doctrine of justification -which, unless he faithfully and firmly accepts it, no one can be justified. (On Justification, 16)
No one can be justified if he rejects the Catholic teaching on justification.  Of course if someone isn't justified, then they cannot be saved (i.e. enter heaven), and non-Catholics reject the Catholic teaching on justification.  Thus, they cannot be saved as they are rejecting this creed, or any dogma of the Catholic Church.

I’ve spoken to many a catholic who is “hoping” to go to heaven!  I used to be a Roman Catholic.  Count me as one of those who used to follow all the orders that came from the Pope who believes he is Jesus Christ on this earth such as:  believe in Jesus Christ AND be baptized AND receive the Eucharist along with the other sacraments AND obey all the decrees of the Roman Catholic Church AND perform meritorious works AND do not die with any mortal sins AND etc… 

I had to bear all these burdens and then hope God would let me into His heaven. 
At present, there are approximately 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world who are “hoping to go to heaven.”    

Are you beginning to understand the scope of this problem?  If a person believes what the Catholic Church officially teaches, they will not be saved.   Simply put, any claim that works or rituals must be added to faith in order for salvation to be achieved is a claim that Jesus’ death was not sufficient to fully acquire our salvation.

Jesus said, “Do not be deceived (Matthew 24:4).

He also said,

Matthew 7

13: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.

14: “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Before I close please note this is not an attack on the Catholic Church or their beliefs.
I am a Bible teacher.  It is my responsibility to bring these things into the light.

(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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