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Tag Archives: ungodly beliefs

When You Think God is Done With You

Human nature has a way of viewing God like a strict disciplinarian who forbids any moments of having fun. According to the apostle Paul, this flawed mindset is hostile toward God, Romans 8:5-8. This is one of many ungodly beliefs that the father of all lies places into your thought life, John 8:44. Subsequently, when you blatantly since against the Lord in one form or another, you may come to the conclusion that God is done, finished with you. This is how Cain felt after killing his younger brother Abel.

And [the Lord] said, What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed by reason of the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s [shed] blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth [in perpetual exile, a degraded outcast], Genesis 4:10-12.

Besides dealing with the curse placed upon his father Adam in Genesis 3:17-19, Cain was forced to live as a vagabond, spending the remainder of his days on earth in perpetual exile as a social outcast. Surely, God was finished with Cain based upon his reckless act of disobedience to erase the source of his jealousy. However, this isn’t the end of this nightmare. According to Moses, Cain was allowed to marry and have children.

So Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod [wandering], east of Eden. 17 And Cain’s wife [one of Adam’s offspring] became pregnant and bore Enoch; and Cain built a [f]city and named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methusael, and Methusael the father of Lamech, Genesis 4:16-18.

Long the days before King Solomon who had 700 wives and 300 concubines, Cain didn’t need to write a book like Proverbs to warn his first son Enoch of all his careless mistakes of the past. Rather, Cain appears to have raised and taught Enoch to walk with God daily, Genesis 5:20-22. While Cain may have given up on himself, the Lord was not done with this sinner. Cain emulated Proverbs 22:6 before it was ever written. Although Cain wasn’t a perfect father, he must have done something right. Enoch became the first and only human being not to experience death, an ironic ending to the son of a convicted murderer.

by Jay Mankus

Finding Help in God’s Promises

Samuel Smiles published the first self-help book in 1859. The goal of Smiles book was to promote self-development in individuals who were struggling with confidence. In recent years, self-help books have increased in popularity. Yet, no book compares to the best seller of all time. The Bible is full of answers to life’s question as Christians weekly find help and hope in God’s promises within this book.

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you, Philippians 1:6.

Unfortunately, as human beings we all have experienced the pain of broken and unfulfilled promises. If you have been burned multiple times by someone you care about or look up to, you may reach a point in life when you stop trusting people. Perhaps, this is why many Christians fail to take God and Jesus up on their promises. Ungodly beliefs like “this sounds too good to be true” or “the Bible isn’t completely true” conceive doubt and years of unbelief.

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you], Romans 12:1-2.

Yet, anyone who has ever read Restoring the Foundations by Chester and Betsy Kylstra or attended one of their workshops, you will find help and power in the promises of the Bible. In a letter to the Church of Philippi, Paul encourages Christians not to give up hope as what God has started in your life will be brought to completion. Meanwhile, as believers begins to offer their bodies as living sacrifices, the spiritual climate is ripe to begin to grasp God’s will for your life. These two promises serve as steppingstones to dig deeper into God’s Word so you can begin to accept, believe in and claim these promises in a prayer daily.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 225: Never Felt Better

Back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, there was a belief among conservative Christian churches that any form of Rock music was of the Devil. This ungodly belief was formed by preachers who didn’t understand the events of the sexual revolution of the late 1960’s. Never Felt Better by Barnabas touches on how this group was ostracized at the time this song was written, but the band members felt like they were following God’s will for their lives.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will, Romans 12:1-2.

The apostle Paul addresses how to discover God’s will in the passage above. As Christians begin to develop and share their earthly talents and spiritual gifts, the Holy Spirit often places burdens on your heart in the form of a calling from God, Galatians 5:25. Whenever individuals are able to keep in step with the Spirit, spiritual blessings tend to follow. While Barnabas never received the attention of groups like Petra or Stryper, the members was faithful to God’s calling.

by Jay Mankus

Shutting the Door on Fear

Two first century authors use the imagery of a door to prove their point. The apostle Paul warns Christians against giving the Devil an open door to enter your life. This analogy suggests that you shouldn’t leave a crack or a gap. One of Jesus’ disciples focuses on the positive. This spiritual illustration uses God’s love as a source of superior power to snuff out fear by closing the door.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love [g]turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear [h]brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection], 1 John 4:18.

As I read the passage above recently, my mind turned to 2 Corinthians 10:5-6. Trying to confront the Devil alone is reckless. Yet, when you learn to take your thoughts captive by making them obedient to Christ, shutting the door on fear is possible. If fear feeds on weakened minds that become paralyzed by ungodly beliefs, you’re giving the Devil a foothold to use your fears against you.

When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. 27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him], Ephesians 4:26-27.

One of Jesus’ disciples compares the Devil to a predator that feeds on isolated and wounded Christians. When a door is left ajar or cracked open, fear will enter your dreams while you’re sleeping. Anyone who doesn’t shut the door on fear will allow nightmares to continue to fester. These threats will only intensify as time goes by. This is why shutting the door on fear is essential for all Christians to practice.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 74: Don’t Believe It

One of the first Christian rock bands that I found that was as good as popular secular music is Legend. The release of Legend’s debut album Legend Seven coincided with my senior year of college. I can recall a couple of Friday afternoons when I rolled down my windows and blasted Don’t Believe It as I drove down Main Street to unwind. Don’t Believe It was inspired by a warning from the apostle Paul.

Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere, Ephesians 6:11-12.

This song refers to ungodly beliefs, lies planted inside the thought life of human beings. One of the greatest weapons of the Devil is convincing individuals that other people are to blame. Yet, behind the scenes in the spiritual realm, the Devil is serving as the mastermind of all evil. Subsequently, the message of Don’t Believe It still applies today with a call to stop believing the liar and chief, the Devil.

by Jay Mankus

What Am I Supposed to Be?

As a member of Jesus’ inner circle along with Peter and James, John had V.I.P. access. One of the expressions John appears to have picked up from private conversations with Jesus is “conforming to the Father’s will in purpose, thought, and action.” After ending one letter with this phrase, John alludes to the waiting process before God’s will is made clear. As Christians lift up daily concerns to the Lord, one prayer request should focus on what you shall be.

Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [[b]as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him [c]just as He [really] is, 1 John 3:2.

Shall is one of those termed used in self-fulfilling prophecies. If you tend to be negative, ungodly beliefs will fill your mind with thoughts of failure that often come to fruition. Yet, if you learn to take your thoughts captive by implementing Paul’s advice in 2 Corinthians 10:5, what you shall be improves. Philippians 4:8-9 is a great verse to meditate upon to shift your attention to the positive aspects in life. As your perspective changes, so does the prospect of a brighter future.

If you know (perceive and are sure) that He [Christ] is [absolutely] righteous [conforming to the Father’s will in purpose, thought, and action], you may also know (be sure) that everyone who does righteously [and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will] is born (begotten) of Him [[r]God], 1 John 2:29.

Belief in one’s abilities in a step in the right direction. However, John suggests your degree of certainty that Jesus is the Christ is crucial to conforming to God’s will. When doubt or uncertainty creeps into your mind, your conviction and purpose in life will waver. If confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit to improve your life is restored, you will become closer to the person that God wants you to be. In the end, what you shall be is determined by the choices and decisions that you make daily.

by Jay Mankus

All That is in the World

One of Jesus’ disciples makes an interesting observation about the world. John points out three temporary pleasures that the world offers: the lust of the flesh, the lust of your eyes, and the pride of life. These words appear to be a continuation of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:19-24. These earthly treasures speak to human beings through enticement and lust. This is all that is in the world.

For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself], 1 John 2:16.

The concept that sex sells appeals to the lust of the flesh. Whether this is in the form of advertising. commercials, or scenes from a movie, these images are designed to entice your cravings for sensual gratification. The second form of lust coincides with Jesus’ third temptation in Matthew 4:8-10. The Devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for his worship. The lust of the eyes plants a seed in minds for seeking control and power on earth.

And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever, 1 John 2:17.

The final temporary pleasure that the world offers is the pride of life. This ungodly belief makes some people think that you can control your own destiny. This desire is what has caused some in Hollywood to believe that they are God. Unfortunately, the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, 2 Corinthians 4:4. You may try to fill the void in your heart with all that is in the world, but only Jesus satisfies, John 10:10.

by Jay Mankus

The Delusion

Delusions occur when a false belief is accepted, or a judgment is made about an external reality. Author Chester Kylstra refers to this as ungodly beliefs in his book Restoring the Foundations. One of the best illustrations of a delusion happens in the film Rudy. Waiting for a bus to take him to Notre Dame, Rudy’s father tries to stop Rudy from chasing his childhood dream. According to Rudy’s father, he’s not smart and talented enough. This delusion prevented Rudy’s father from ever achieving his full potential in life.

If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts], 1 John 1:8.

Ungodly beliefs are not the only delusion that human beings endure. As sin enters your life in the form of enticement or lust, when the seed of sin is planted in your minds it’s only a matter of time before you will give into temptation, James 1:13-15. Unfortunately, to make yourself feel better, you might compare yourself with other people to conceal your own spiritual condition, Romans 2:1. This delusion comes in the form of justification and rationalization like the apostle Paul’s own struggle in Romans 7:15.

And by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved. 11 Therefore God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11.

The apostle Paul alludes to full blown sin in the passage above, James 1:15. Like an addict struggling to unhook their lives from an unhealthy substance, seduction is another delusion that you must confront. Anyone who has failed to break a bad habit understands the helpless feeling of compromise, asking God for forgiveness before indulging sinful passions. One of the lies of the Devil is that you’ll never change. Yet, if you follow Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 10:13, God does provide a way out of temptation as long as you are willing to break free from sinful delusions.

by Jay Mankus

Blots and Blemishes

In this age of wokeness, every word you say is policed by social media. Various sites have now hired truth detectors to determine right from wrong, fact from fiction, and the truth from lies. While talking about sinful behaviors, one of Jesus’ disciples refers to blots and blemishes. Like a bad grease stain on a brand-new shirt, this careless error in judgment can ruin an article of clothing. Yet, the Bible is more concerned about what’s going on deep inside of you before it’s too late to change.

Being destined to receive [punishment as] the reward of [their] unrighteousness [suffering wrong as the hire for their wrongdoing]. They count it a delight to revel in the daytime [living luxuriously and delicately]. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their [a]deceptions and carousing together [even] as they feast with you, 2 Peter 2:14.

The context of the passage above is to prepare Christians for Jesus’ second coming detailed in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3. Several first century writers use fear to address personal blots and blemishes. The apostle Paul and Peter both use similar methods to warn Christians of falling back into the sinful ways of their past prior to entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you can develop the mindset that Jesus is coming back today, you’ll be less likely give into temptation that lie in wait for you daily.

But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized), 1 Timothy 4:1-2.

One of the biggest issues of overcoming the blots and blemishes of your past is learning to forgive yourself. Meanwhile, ungodly beliefs that you have picked up over the course of your life will make you feel less worthy of God’s mercy. When you add these factors to prodigals who have lost the ability to think rationally, common sense is asleep until you hit rock bottom. When Jesus’ earthly brother refused to believe his own sibling was the Messiah, he believes it’s never too late for confession so that God’s sanctifying grace will take care of your future blots and blemishes, James 5:16.

by Jay Mankus

When the Love of Money Goes Too Far

As a former seminary student and Bible teacher, I cringe every time ill-informed politicians take the Bible out of context. Rather than correct these errors, journalists and television commentator’s often gloss over these ungodly beliefs to avoid confrontation or criticism. Perhaps this explains why some people believe that you can’t be a Christian and wealthy at the same time. However, the root of all evil is when the love of money goes too far.

For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many [e]acute [mental] pangs, 1 Timothy 6:10.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus refers to money in Matthew 6:19-24 and Matthew 6:32-34. The first passage alludes to treasures that your heart can’t stop thinking about. When trust in God is replaced by money, souls become consumed by anxiety and worry. As long as individuals supplement money in exchange for faith in God, panic attacks will wear down troubled and weary souls. This unhealthy craving for money continues today as a sign that the love of money has gone too far.

Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself], 1 John 2:15-16.

One of Jesus’ disciples combines acts of the sinful nature with a love for earthly treasures. The answer to reversing sensual gratifications, greedy longings and the pride of self-reliance is found in Galatians 5:16-25. This internal wrestling match goes on daily between the flesh and God’s Spirit. Yet, according to Jesus the only way to break away is through turning your attention towards seeking first God’s righteousness. Until your spiritual priorities change, you’re at risk at letting the love of money go too far.

by Jay Mankus

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