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                                               BIBLE STUDY - HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN.

We read in the Bible in Acts 26:28, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian”. To become a Christian is our own decision. Being a Christian is to be saved. Saved from what? Saved from the wrath of God the Father, on His judgment day. “But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by the blood of Christ, we shall be saved from the wrath through Him”, Romans 5:8 - 9. Being saved is to become a believer. Jesus Himself said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into this world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”, John 3:16 - 18.

By the grace of God the Father; we have the Bible that we can read. Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:15 - 17, “The Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scriptures is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”. You are going to spend many hours in the Bible. Make sure you get a good translation of the Bible. I will definitely recommend the ‘New King James’ translation. The New King James does not have the ‘thee’ and ‘thows’ and is a modern translation. Some Bibles are not translations but are paraphrases. There are many omissions and even additions added to some verses, which are not original. Read the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation and underline the important verses. Go through the New Testament about three times and then start with the Old Testament. Make margin notes in your Bible. Read my Bible study on ‘The history of our Bible’.

1.       YOU MUST ACCEPT THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST:

The gospel of Jesus Christ is recorded in the New Testament of the Bible. Paul writes to the believers in 1 Corinthians 15:1 - 4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you - unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”.

2.       YOU MUST REPENT:

We must repent from sin. We all know what is right and what is wrong, do not bluff yourself. Romans 3:23, ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. We are all born sinners because of Adam and Eves sinful nature. If you repent and things go wrong start allover again. Do not allow Satan to get you under. Never give up. Pray and ask God the Father to give you strength.  Romans 5:8, ‘But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’. You will not be an angel all of a sudden we are human beings. Remember Satan hates us all. Romans 5:12 ‘Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned’. ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord’, Romans 6:23. You are a sinner condemned to eternal death and Hell if you do not accept Jesus Christ. How do we repent? ‘That if we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’, Romans 10:9. You must get to a point where you confess your sins with you mouth and accept Jesus. You do not have to do this in front of other people it can be a matter between you and God. ‘For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’, Romans 10:13.

3.       YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN:

‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new’, 2 Corinthians 5:17. Nicodemus was a ruler and a teacher of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night. Jesus told him about the new birth. As can be seen from, John 3:1 - 10, Jesus told Nicodemus that the new birth was the working of the Holy Spirit. They discussed the natural birth and the Spiritual birth. Jesus said to him that you must be born again before you can see the Kingdom of God. ’Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever’, 1 Peter 1:23. ‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God’, John 1:12 - 13. ’Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God’, 1 John 3:9. ‘Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God’, 1 John 5:1a. ‘We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him’, 1 John 5:18.

4.       DO NOT BELIEVE ANY SO CALLED MINISTER:

4.1  Jesus said, in Matthew 7:15 - 23, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Verse 21, "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" The Bible teaches that there are ways whereby all men can know who is right and who is wrong, who is for the truth and who is against it, who is a true Christian and who is not, and who is a true teacher and who is a false one. We all know preachers and false teachers looking after themselves, they rebel against the Bible truth and they look nice, refined, polite, well- mannered, polished, high toned, and poised until one would think they were gifts from Heaven, but they were in reality destitute off all truth and spiritual experience and bitter enemies of the truth as written in the Bible.

4.2  Many leaders of modern churches have a 'false' goal of getting as much money as possible out of their members, they even tell them that if they do not pay 'tithing' they can not serve on their council or board. They would preach prosperity, meaning, you must give then the Lord will bless you and return your money in multifold. This is not what the Bible teach, believe me. They would go as far as to teach their pastors that they must run their churches like a business, 'no money no church', read 2 Timothy 3:1 - 14, "They will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money". A church like that is built on wealth, not on Spiritual health. A work like that will have people coming and leaving constantly because they do not get what they want. It is no surprise that those members who will stay behind have a form of godliness and stay ignorant. No denomination has the right to change what the Bible teaches, to suit themselves. When you want to get active for the Lord, make sure that you fully understand what they teach and compare what they believe and preach, harmonize with the Scriptures, before you get involved. See what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1 - 5, ‘In the last days people will heap up for themselves false teachers and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to fables’.

4.3  Paul writes in Galatians 1:6 - 10, "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ". The Bible teach us that there will be a great falling away from the  true teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the last days. We read in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 - 12, that the falling away of the truth must come first before the coming of the Lord.

4.4 Peter writes in 2 Peter 2:1 - 22, "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction". Verse 3, "By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber", verse 18, "For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lust of the flesh, through licentiousness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error". Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:1 - 15, verse 4, "For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it." Jesus warned the people to watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, as can be seen in Matthew 16:6 and 12, He was talking about their false doctrine. Same as in Luke 12:1 - 3. If you bake bread you can not use 90% flower and 10% poison, the bread will not be very healthy that I can assure you.

4.5 The big problem we have today is that denominations are bound by tradition that prevents the true working of the Holy Spirit, not because they are not sincere, but because of lack of Scriptural knowledge of what God the Father expects from them as believers. Make sure that you read and study the right translation of the Bible. There are denominations translating the Bible to suit their own doctrine. They change certain verses and even add their own verses. It is not enough to know the Bible we must know the God of the Bible.

4.6 There is a saying, "One has to be cruel to be kind". I walked out of many churches in my younger days because of false teachings and doctrine. I will not stand for those that cling to false teaching, God forbid. People will say, "But your attitude is wrong", I do not have an attitude for myself, but I definitely have an attitude to fight for the truth as God sees it and is declared in the Scriptures. We are living in the New Testament dispensation. If Jesus did not teach anything then man has no right to teach anything about it as being taught in the New Testament. Anything that is not there should not be thought at all by a pastor or teacher, as being in there. If God did have something to say to us on a certain subject, it will be found in several places; so we will not be left in doubt as to certain teachings. All we have to do is to collect everything Jesus said about a subject, and it will be so clear that all we will have to do is to believe it. We must always make our ideas conform to the Scriptures and not the Scriptures to our ideas. It was once said that the road to Hell was paved with the 'sculls' of pastors and teachers that did not preach the truth. Fellowship and fall in at a church that preaches the Bible truth.  

                                                        Compiled by: Chris Mengel Snr.

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