Contact 0 Flares Filament.io 0 Flares × Chris is happy to connect with you and serve you, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org Share this:TweetEmailPrintLike this:Like Loading... 45 Comments Daniel May 31, 2015 at 6:36 am hi chris really enjoy your website and your post just had 2 issues im dealing with I was saved here just a while back and been trying to get a view on these in Romans it says God will repay each person according to what they have done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism. (Romans 2:6–11) what does it mean when they say God will repay each according to what they have done ? Im trying to get the meaning 🙂 and i am a big Gamer been playing them for the better part of my life and as such I have played many many diff types and one of those is Grand Theft Auto I am sure you have heard of it. well I have friends that are gamers as well but after I got saved they tend to talk down to me because I still play games and enjoy them and like GTA it has cussing and killing and so on like many games and movies do and they tell me that playing a game with that stuff in it is sinful and even though I don’t do any of it nor have the want to do any of what is in the game in real life they say that I am not saved because I enjoy games that have sinful acts in them and it makes me feel bad and makes me feel like I need to just give up on gaming and movies because of what they say. so I would just like to know how would you view video games like GTA because like unlike a lot of people that play it I don’t go on non stop killing sprees in the game I play and beat the story misson’s then the thing I really enjoy is just driving around and checking out the city and the view but ofc to get cars in the game you steal them and such. so I just wanted to know would god care about a video game I mean its not real its not real people or nothing there just pixles I mean I could see if you let a game change you and who you are and you start trying to act it out in real life then yeh that is a big promb but as long as you keep it for what it is a video game and just use it as a escape from real life for just a few hours and nothing more would god see that as bad ? Reply ckratzer (Post author) May 31, 2015 at 9:05 pm Daniel, so thankful for your post and you reading my blog. Romans 2 is written in the context of those seeking righteousness through obeying the Law. Here, Paul is laying ground work for Romans 3+ where he says, 3:23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory [b]which God bestows and receives. 24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus. This is the essence of your life, you have been made righteous by His performance, not yours. Anyone who tells you differently has been “bewitched” by a different Gospel, and issue Paul dealt with as well. As far as your Gaming. Gods has given you freedom in Christ. Obviously, if this freedom is affecting you and others through you in a truly negative way, you may want to think about that. However, trying to please religious people and their conditions and rules for what is faithful and what is not, will be a forever, uphill battle. I say, “God’s purpose for your life is to enjoy Jesus and to do what you love to do in ways that honors God.” Let, and look to the Holy Spirit, and Him alone, to help you figure out what that looks like. Hope this helps! Reply Daniel May 31, 2015 at 11:03 pm thank you very much for your replay Chris very helpful and yeh my gaming don’t effect me I keep it has a hobby and nothing more and its just people I know they love to judge and point fingers like so many do but gaming for me it don’t change who I am how I treat people or how I act in real life now for people that is does effect like that yeh I think it would be best as well to not do it if you have that much of a promb with it much like drinking or anything else but yeh I understand where you are coming from and thank you for the info on the part in Romans I thought that was what it ment just wanted to see if others shared the same view on it 🙂 god bless and thank you again Reply Louise January 10, 2017 at 12:30 am I honestly think you are saving lives…thank you thank you thank you Reply daniel June 16, 2015 at 9:39 pm hi chris hey just had something I wanted to ask im sure you know the part in the bible when it says Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Jesus made it very clear in these statements that the doers of God’s will, not just the professors, enter into the kingdom of heaven. We are saved by grace through faith alone (Eph 2:8-9 and Tit 3:4-7), but saving faith is never alone (Jas 2:26). Just as gold can be distinguished from other look-alike metals by examining its physical properties, so true faith can be distinguished from mere profession by examining fruit (Mt 7:16-20). so this has put a ton of fear in me because I feel like that if I don’t see any Works in my life whatever they may be and that if I don’t do something god wants me to do everyday of my life then I feel like my faith in jesus was not true saving faith even though I seen a big change in myself and others seen a big change in me but for the past few weeks I have kinda fallen back into my old life just a bit and I struggle and fight with it ofc but by that saying it makes me feel that even though I trust jesus and what he did for me that because I have not been seeing a lot of good works or works in my life that I am in big trouble so any help you could shed on that would mean a lot. god bless and thanks Reply ckratzer (Post author) June 16, 2015 at 11:42 pm Jesus said, “the work of God is to believe” Paul said, “It is He who works in you to will and act according to His pleasure” The truth is, you cannot produce good works, only God can and does. What is a “work” anyways? Who gets to judge that? Do you love? Yes. Do you believe? Yes. Are you kind? Yes. All of these are fruits of the Spirit; works of God in and through you. God produces the fruit, not you. Don’t fall from Grace and try to produce in your life. This is the appeal of the flesh, to strive to do something; to legitimize, prove, validate, or earn what God already has given freely. Remember the context of Jesus’ words, the Jews who thought that faith was merely an intellectual, religious assent. He was not speaking about the cry of faith “Lord” but the religious pursuit of “Lord.” Don’t exchange the Grace you have been given for a life of fear, always wondering if you have done enough. Choose the life that comes from the free Giver, not the conditions Accuser. Stop selfishly focusing on your behavior, which is inconsistent at best, and focus on the work of Jesus, which is complete and has completely made you holy, righteous, justified, and sanctified, not matter what you do or don’t do. Reply daniel June 17, 2015 at 2:16 am thank you very much for that chris 🙂 i get fearful at times and scared that im not doing enough or doing the will of god even though i desire to with all my heart and i love him more then anything in this world so i just always try to remind myself of his love and mercy and just thank him everyday for his gifts in my life 🙂 god bless and thank you very much for the replay Reply daniel June 17, 2015 at 9:22 pm Hey chris 🙂 I was reading in in Revelation 22:14 today and it says Blessed are those who do his commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city and I was just trying to get a better understanding cause it says jesus is the end of the law and that would include the 10 commandments I would think so if we are free from the law in jesus then why would it say that ? Reply ckratzer (Post author) June 17, 2015 at 11:15 pm I would challenge you to study this passage out for yourself, looking at it through the lens of the New Covenant and rightly dividing the Word thereof. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in all truth and put on your Grace goggles as you read and study. Study the original words/greek and different translations. Read the entire context of the passage. Happy studying! Reply daniel June 18, 2015 at 8:51 am from what I have read up on and thought of this is what I have come up with 14. do his commandments—so B, Syriac, Coptic, and Cyprian. But A, Aleph, and Vulgate read, “(Blessed are they that) wash their robes,” namely, in the blood of the Lamb (compare Re 7:14). This reading takes away the pretext for the notion of salvation by works. But even English Version reading is quite compatible with salvation by grace; for God’s first and grand Gospel “commandment” is to believe on Jesus. Thus our “right” to (Greek, “privilege” or “lawful authority over”) the tree of life is due not to our doings, but to what He has done for us. The right, or privilege, is founded, not on our merits, but on God’s grace. through—Greek, “by the gates.” does that make sense on that part of Revelation ? Reply ckratzer (Post author) June 18, 2015 at 1:40 pm This is sound conclusion in my estimation. God work! God’s Grace is deep at work in and through you! Reply ckratzer (Post author) June 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm Don’t be afraid to trust Grace, He is our only Hope. Reply daniel June 18, 2015 at 9:01 am and i also found this while doing some research Blessed are they that do his commandments,…. Either the commandments of God, Revelation 12:17 the precepts of the moral law, which are the whole duty of man; which are done either legally in order to obtain life, and then they must be perfectly done, which no man can do; hence none live, and are justified by the deeds of it, and consequently are not blessed, but cursed; or evangelically, when they are done in the strength of Christ, from love to God, in the exercise of faith upon him, with a view to his glory, and without dependence on them, acknowledging the imperfection of them, and looking unto Jesus for righteousness and life, in whom such find both, and so are blessed persons: or else the commandments of Jesus are intended, who is speaking in the context, Revelation 22:12 and is speaking of himself, and his, as the angel does in Revelation 22:6 Christ’s commandments are his new commandment of love, and the ordinances of baptism, and the Lord’s supper; which are to be observed in the same evangelical manner as the commandments of God, and to be kept exactly as they are delivered, without any alteration, addition, or diminution; and they are to be attended to immediately, and without delay; and such as regard them in a right way and manner are blessed; they have much pleasure and delight in the observance of them; these commandments are not grievous, especially when they have the presence of Christ, the discoveries of his love, and are under the gracious influences of his Spirit: or it may be rather the commandments in this book are designed, for it may be rendered, “that do its commandments”; keep the sayings of this book, as in Revelation 22:7 such as relate to the worship of God, and forbid the worship of the beast, which caution against idolatry, and exhort to come out of Babylon, and direct to follow the Lamb, and charge not to add or take from anything written in this prophecy; and such persons as keep the words of it are pronounced blessed, Revelation 1:3. The Alexandrian copy reads, “that wash their garments”; and so the Ethiopic version, and also the Vulgate Latin, which adds, “in the blood of the Lamb”, agreeably to Revelation 7:13 and such whose persons and garments are washed in the blood of Christ are blessed indeed; they are justified by it, pardoned through it, and both they and their services are accepted on account of it. The instances of their happiness follow, that they may have right to the tree of life; or “power over the tree of life”; that is, Christ, not of government over him, but of enjoyment of him; a liberty of eating of the fruit of this tree, having interest in it, and so a right to partake of it; which right, or liberty, is not obtained by obedience to the commands of God, or Christ, or of this book, for this is what is due to God, and obligatory on men; and which, when done, is but their duty, and can merit nothing; though a cheerful and evangelical obedience to the divine will makes such appear to have a right to such a privilege, as the disciples of Christ are not made so, but appear to be such by bringing forth fruit, John 15:8 but to have interest in Christ, the tree of life, and a right, power, and liberty to eat thereof, is a free grace gift, Revelation 2:7 and happy are those who enjoy such a privilege! Proverbs 3:18. And may enter in through the gates into the city: the Ethiopic version reads, “into this holy city”: and which intends not entrance into a particular church of Christ, the way into which is faith in Christ, and a profession of it, and submission to the ordinance of baptism; nor entrance into heaven, which, as a Gospel church, is often called a city, and into which none shall enter, but such who are justified by the righteousness of Christ, and are regenerated by his Spirit, the gates of it are Christ and his grace; but the holy city, the new Jerusalem, is meant, and entrance into that, which is so largely described in the preceding chapter, and particularly its gates; and they must be happy persons, indeed, who enter there; and their right to it is from, and lies in Christ, his blood, righteousness, and grace, under a sense of which they yield a ready obedience to his will, which makes their right to appear. Frequent mention is made of the gates of this city in the book of Zohar; and, says R. Isaac (i), “when the soul , “is fit” (or worthy, or has a right) “to enter through the gates of Jerusalem” that is above, Michael the great prince goes with it, who anticipates for it the peace of the ministering angels, wondering at him, and inquiring concerning it, saying, “who is this that comes out of the wilderness”, &c. Sol 3:6.” but when it talks about this Christ’s commandments are his new commandment of love, and the ordinances of baptism, and the Lord’s supper; which are to be observed in the same evangelical manner as the commandments of God, and to be kept exactly as they are delivered, without any alteration, addition, or diminution; and they are to be attended to immediately, and without delay; and such as regard them in a right way and manner are blessed; they have much pleasure and delight in the observance of them; these commandments are not grievous, especially when they have the presence of Christ, the discoveries of his love, and are under the gracious influences of his Spirit: that sounds like a whole lot of law mixing like if you don’t get baptism and by that i am sure he means water baptism then the lords supper? does jesus say we must do those things to be saved ? Reply daniel June 18, 2015 at 9:11 am some of my friends that have seen me researching Revelation 22:14 had this to say and wow they have put the fear of god in me. In 22:14, John writes, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.” This final blessing in Revelation announces God’s favor on those who cleanse themselves by confessing their sins. The word “wash” is in the present tense and is referring to daily confession for the purpose of experiencing intimate fellowship with Christ (cf. John 13:1-10; 1 John 1:9). The robe one wears is a figure for one’s works, which others see (19:8). People who wash their robes will have access to the Tree of Life (i.e., they will live forever in the new creation). They will also enter the New Jerusalem by its gates (i.e., they will be able to enjoy intimate fellowship with God). Note: The word “blessed” (makiros) occurs 50 times in the NT, seven of those occurrences in the book of Revelation. See Matt 5:3-11; 11:6; 13:16; 16:17; 24:46; Luke 1:45; 6:20, 21 [twice], 22; 7:23; 10:23; 11:27-28; 12:37-38, 43; 14:14-15; 23:29; John 13:17; 20:29; Acts 20:35; 26:2; Rom 4:7-8; 14:22; 1 Cor 7:40; 1 Tim 1:11; 6:15; Titus 2:13; Jas 1:12, 25; 1 Pet 3:14; 4:14; Rev 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14. “Some translations read ‘who do His commandments’ instead of ‘who wash their robes,’ but the older manuscripts have the reading of the NASB and NIV. This is also the most accurate theologically. The reference here is to those who qualify for entrance into the city where they have the right to the Tree of Life. Though obedience to the commandments of the Lord should be a characteristic of believers, and may even give evidence of one’s faith, entrance into eternity is obtained by faith alone, in the person and work of Christ, not by obedience or works (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; John 3:16).” Keathley III, Studies in Revelation, 390 Is there any sin between you and the Lord? Are you keeping short accounts with God? When you sin in word, thought, or deed, do you immediately confess? (Confess: “To say the same thing as, to agree with God”). If you regularly confess your sins, you will experience rich fellowship with Christ on earth and you will be blessed with a rich kingdom entrance (2 Pet 1:10-11). Only those anointed Christians who truly “wash their robes” so as to be clean in Jehovah’s eyes are privileged to “go to the trees of life.” That is, they receive the right and title to immortal life in their heavenly position. Compare Genesis 3:22-24; Rev 2:7; 3:4-5 After their death as humans, they gain entrance into New Jerusalem by resurrection. The 12 angels allow them in, while keeping out any who practice lies or uncleanness thought claiming to have heavenly hope. The great crowd on earth also have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the the lamb” and need to maintain their clean standing. This they can do by avoiding the vices that Jehovah here warns against, as well as by taking to heart Jesus’ admonition in his seven messages to the congregations. Rev 7:14; chapters 2 and 3. Reply daniel June 19, 2015 at 4:38 am hey chris I was thinking does the bible anywhere say water baptism then the lords supper as in how people do it today as part of his commandment’s or is jesus commandment’s just what I thought they was where he says to love god with all your mind body etc and then to Love your Neighbor The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF ? Reply daniel June 19, 2015 at 6:16 am and also trying to understand that by this “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:3,4. and it tends to make me think that if you fail or do not keep all of Jesus commandments not just some but all then you are in big trouble by the way it sounds Reply daniel July 13, 2015 at 11:45 pm hi chris in the last few days ive had a lot of people telling me that is water baptism a requirement for salvation and that when the bible says that when you beliv in your heart and confess with your mouth that jesus is lord that it is made onto salvation and they say that you have to do it in front of people other wise it does not count like if you do it at your home or even by yourself is there any truth to those teachings ? Reply daniel July 23, 2015 at 7:19 am Hey Chris I love your post about Gays and how people treat them 100% and check this out this is a post that I think you will enjoy. its called You’re Disgusting! Burn in Hell! “ You’re disgusting! Burn in hell! burn in hellHow would you like it if someone said that to you? You probably wouldn’t like it. Do we have the right to tell anyone that they should burn in hell? Do we have the right to say it to people who march in Gay Pride parades? To women who have had an abortion? To prostitutes? To child molesters? To murderers? Especially when we realize that, in the minds of most, “hell” is a place where people get tortured and tormented for all eternity. Telling someone they should burn in hell is announcing your desire that they suffer in agonizing pain forever and ever. Is telling someone they should burn in hell really Christlike love? Maybe people who say such a thing should be arrested, as Bill O’Reilly, Fox news host, suggested on his show. What would you do if someone got in your face about something they didn’t like about you, about who you are, what you believe, what you have done, or how you live, and told you that you will burn in hell for those things? Is telling someone to burn in hell commendable Christian behavior or condemnable Christian behavior? Love in the Margins All of my life I’ve had friends who many have considered on the margins, the outer edges of society – LGBTs, homeless, prostitutes, addicts, murderers and other criminals, and you-name-it. I love these people. I mingle with them. I talk with them. I hug them. I walk arm-in-arm with them. burn in hellBecause of my close association with people on the margins, people who don’t know me often assume I’m one of them. There have been times when my friends and I have been sitting and talking, when someone approached us with their Bible verses and called us disgusting. We’ve been walking arm-in-arm when we were told we’d burn in hell. We’ve been bullied because people thought we were gay. We’ve been threatened with physical harm because of who or what people thought we were. We’ve experienced hatred directed at us by people who do not know us. We‘ve seen anger, red faces, bulging blood veins, and waving fists. We’ve experienced fear for our safety. All of this behavior was frequently accompanied with Bible verses and numerous references to Jesus. What would you do in such a situation? Would you go home, or spend more time with your homeless friends? Would you avoid Gay Pride day or march in the parade with your gay friends? Or would you join the people holding enormous signs telling everyone else they’re going to burn in hell? Don’t Tell Me to Burn in Hell If you’re Hindu and think godly people shouldn’t eat beef, then you should live that way. But I’m not Hindu and don’t care and don’t agree. If you have any sense, you’ll keep your religious opinions to yourself and not tell me I am going to burn in hell because I eat beef. If you’re vegan and think people shouldn’t eat animal products, then you should live that way. But I’m not vegan and don’t care and don’t agree. If you have any sense, you’ll keep your opinions to yourself, and not tell me I am going to burn in hell because I eat meat. If you believe I’m lazy and good-for-nothing because you think I live on the sidewalk downtown, then keep your opinions to yourself. I do not need to know what you think. If you can’t show me Jesus by saying a kind word, giving me a sandwich or a hug or helping me in some way, keep your Bible verses and religious opinions to yourself. I don’t care what you think and don’t want to hear it. Consider the possibility that in a few years the situation may be reversed and I’ll have a good job and you’ll be sitting in front of me asking for a job. If you think your holy book says I’m an abomination because you think I’m gay, and that I’m going to burn in hell forever, please keep your opinions to yourself. If you can’t show me Jesus by getting to know me, saying a kind word, hugging me, and loving me, then please, please go to your religious meetings with people like you and leave the rest of us alone. If you can’t show me Jesus by the way you act, by the way you treat me and others like me, go away. Go hide behind the walls of some building, sing your silly songs, and read your holy book. Please stay there and leave the rest of us alone. There is no need for you to come out from behind your walls, wave your signs, and shout curses upon us to go burn in hell. You don’t know me. Until you spend time with me – lots of time – and walk with me, sit with me, love me, understand me, you should not try to tell me anything about what I should do or how you think I should live. You will think what I am about to say is irreverent, but here goes – Fix yourself first. Fix your own screwed-up life, your own messed-up family. Look in the mirror. Who you see is the person you need to fix. Leave the rest of us alone. I think Jesus said it this way: “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” You have no right to try to fix us, to try to change us. You have no right to assume anything about us. You have no right to judge us or condemn us. You definitely have not right to tell us to burn in hell. Who do you think you are – God? That position is already filled and not by you. Read your holy book and see what Jesus really did, how he really treated people. Treat me like that. Once I know you care about me and love me, maybe I’ll ask why, since your kind have never cared about me or loved me. I’ve been spit on, called names, threatened with eternal burning, threatened with your fists, and threatened that your god is going to do terrible things to me. I know you hate me and you think your god hates me too. I don’t want anything to do with you or your god. Both of you are mean, evil, and nasty. Hanging out with Jesus Jesus friend of sinnersJesus I like. I want to see him. I want to sit with him, and talk with him. But you – you repel me. Go away. Leave me alone. Until you’re ready to love me, Goodbye Mr. Christian, Mr. Bible-verse-quoter, Mr. “You’re disgusting. You’ll burn in hell.” Goodbye and good riddance from all of us. This Jesus fellow says that if you believe him you’ll do what he says. That’s in your Bible. You missed that part, huh? Jesus was such a good friend to the people in the margins, to the “sinners” – the traitorous tax collectors, the terrorist zealots, the promiscuous prostitutes, the drunks, the thieves, the liars, and murders – that those religious people who hated these “sinners” also hated Jesus. Have you ever thought that by telling the people you think are sinners to go burn in hell, you are telling the same thing to Jesus? Because he’s one of us. No, he’s not a sinner, but he hangs out with us. He loves us. He sits and talks with us, hugs us, and dances with us. And you, because you never got to know us, didn’t realize Jesus was among us when you told us all to go burn in hell. I won’t say the same thing back to you. I won’t tell you to go burn in hell. I wouldn’t pronounce that curse on anyone. You may think I am an abomination, but notice that I don’t think the same thing about you. this was written by Jeremy Myers and this is his website http://redeeminggod.com check it out sometime but this post really hits home for me and how Christains treat others and think Jesus would be happy with it. Reply Yi March 12, 2016 at 10:45 pm Jesus told the women who was caught in the adulterous act to “sin no more” John 8:11. He did not cast the stone but he didn’t say what she did was okay. what she did was sin. He didn’t redefine sin in order to accept the woman. also, she listened to Jesus and changed her way. In the same way, Jesus will not cast the stone to gay, but He will say, sin no more. Reply Stefani Madison March 16, 2016 at 8:32 pm If I may make a response to Daniel’s questions on “works” and his obvious worry about the matter. First, Daniel, I believe is was Shaul (Paul) who enjoined us to keep as habit these three fundamental principles which are to love mercy, do justice and walk humbly with the Lord. The multitude of dos and don’ts are important – they determine the strength of your obedience – and should not by any means be ignored or done half-heartedly. But Shaul said basically, to love mercy, do justice and walk humbly with the Lord are of utmost importance. Why? Because first, you’re showing obedience to the Word, second, each of those three statements – call the rules or commandments if you wish – are Christ-like attributes. Yeshua (Jesus) demonsreated the first when He kept Miryam Magdalene from being stoned to death. The second was one which Yeshua taught over and over again: Do justice. When he rampaged through the temple courtyard scattering the money men, the wheeler dealers, money exchangers, sparrow sellers, tax collectors, etc., He was showing a pretty obvious version of doing justice by causing all these greedy, lying crooks what justice looked like. Third, well we know that the man Yeshua was a humble man throughout His life, but His greatest act of humility was to carry the patibulum (the horizontal part of the cross which would later, after Yeshua’s wrists were nailed to it) be dropped down onto the stipes, the vertical part of the cross. Golgota (Golgotha) was a permanent, frequently used execution ground, so several stipes were already stood upright and were made steady to hold up the condemned. Yeshua was demonstrating perhaps the most humble moments of His life during the terrible scourging He received, when He could have changed His mind, called upon legions of angels and said “Forget it! I’m not going through this”. But He said not a word, not even a whimper from the incredibly brutal treatment He had been through. That was His greatest act of humility, to silently suffer hideous brutality and ridicule by His own creations without once saying a word. Humility and obedience. The Tanakh (Bible) makes it clear that those three attributes are the basis of “works”. You can volunteer to work in a nursing home, give money to homeless people, take in a foster child or fetch a cat from a tree, but those aren’t necessarily “works”. The level of your obedience, love of mercy and justice – especially if you’re the one who wronged someone else and you go to them to confess – and walking humbly with the Lord are works that count. Giving your love for the unloved, letting your actions declare you a Believer, working unceasingly to read the Word to get deeper and deeper into the nuances of what it says – those kinds of things are the works that count. Exercising leadership by example is a good form of works. You don’t need to wear a foot-long golden cross around your neck or proclaim the Good News from a street corner. You only need to demonstrate the three principles Shaul spoke of. People will see that and you may never need speak a word of scripture, but your actions will speak much louder than anything you say. I was standing on a street corner once in Seattle, waiting for the light to change. Up comes a young woman some years younger than I, and without a single word of greeting, she declared, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?” I was pretty amazed. “Yes, I am.” She nodded and replied “I thought so. I could tell just by looking.” She told me she was a pagan, then sauntered off. Once in San Francisco, I was walking along the wharf when I passed a table with two women seated behind it. A sign advertised palm reading and psychic readings. I was perhaps six feet away when one of the women asked if I wanted my palm read. The part of the Bible that condemns witches is pretty plainly laid out and the results of Shauls’s (Saul) using a witch were pretty ugly, so I avoid anything that smacks of the occult. I smiled and said, “No thank you, Ma’am”. She smiled a big, beautiful smile and says, “You’re a good person. I can tell by your eyes. They show what’s in your heart.” Another smile and I answered, “I’ve got Jesus (this was before I became a Messianic) in my heart.” “I thought so,” she answered. “You’re surrounded by a huge golden aura.” I know what someone’s aura is, and I’ve yet to see one, but apparently lots of other people do because I’ve had numerous women tell me about my aura. It’s not ‘my’ aura, it’s the glory of the Ruach HaKodesh – the Holy Spirit. I’m boring you stupid with all this in order to make a point, which is that any endeavor you undertake thinking you’re doing good works may be wortless. Those things that you do for the Lord have value. Obey. That’s the secret. Be obedient to the Lord in all things and you will be doing “good works”. Just remember, it isn’t by good works that someone gets to Heaven, it’s by believing and obeying. One more point I wanted to make and then I’ll stop pestering you. You’re worried about your gaming, and believe it or not, what you bring into your home can create peace or it can create chaos. Long ago I had a small green jade statuette of Buddha. Within a couple of days I began to have horrible nightmares, almost all of them featuring a demon. Or maybe it was HaSatan himself, I don’t know. But I wound up going through several weeks of almost nightly nightmares abot HaSatan. I’d awaken in the night and this huge humanoid in a black monk’s robe, hood on his head and glowing red eyes would be standing at the foot of my bed. I’d been a fair-weather Christian for years, didn’t really pay much mind about it, but now I knew something of the consequences of a life as a part-time, lazy form of Christianty. I spoke about the situation with my brother, a very strong Believer and a man who knows the nitty gritty behing everything in the scriptures. So through a process of elimination, we decided this little Buddha was inhabited by a demon or demons. See, Buddha is obviously not a Christian, and the demons were probably attached to it before I brought it home. I got rid of the Buddha and the hauntings stopped, too. The point here is that if you go through your home and pray away any demons inhabiting the room or something in the room. But if you cleanse your whole house with prayer, it’s no longer a place that HaSatan or his demons can enter. By prayer and blessing your home, you’ve legally (scripturally legal) made your home off-limits to HaSatan and his minions. Then one day you bring home a game called “Ouija”. You saw some friends playing it once and it looked like fun, so you brought the game home. The problem is, you didn’t know Ouija is more than just a fun game; it’s also an occult divination device and now you’ve given HaSatan legal grounds, through the occult game, to come back into your home. And you can bet he’ll grateful for the unintentional invitation. I have no idea if GTA has any occult attachments at all, I’ve never played it. But it sounds like it could at least harbor a demon or two because of the extreme violence and cursing. I love Thailand, so I’ve got some Thai figurines. Buddha, and a Thai ‘god’ named Garuda that protects you from snakes, an elephant with it’s trunk high in the air, which means he’s a happy pachyderm and there’ll be good luck in whatever home he’s in. I knew full well when I brought those items home that I had made it ‘legal’ for demons to inhabit one or more of those objects. So as soon as I unpacked one, I would pray over it, rebuking HaSatan and forbidding him or any of his demons, in Yeshua’s name, from inhabiting the object. I did that with every Thai ‘god’ and other objects, then prayerfully went from room to room, cleansing it with prayer. I’ve been in this apartment since mid-August and have never had any demonic interaction at all. So, you might choose to do that with your games and anything else violent, sexual, hateful – whatever – object you might have. I tell you this not only because it works, but to tell you how to protect yourself. I apologizing for chewing on your ear for so long, in a manner of speaking, but far, far too many Christians forgot, or never knew, or don’t care that we, you and I and every Believer has power over HaSatan. We can chase him out of homes and belongings by simply holding the object, rebuking him in Yeshua’s name, then ordering to go away, out of your home. Yeshua’s name is the most powerful tool you and I have free access to any time we need it, so don’t be afraid to use it. I thought that might help feel better about you quandary over your games. Be safe and well, and may Adonai bless you. Shalom! Reply Elizabeth March 29, 2016 at 11:01 pm Chris, I just read an article you wrote about the Law vs. Grace that was posted by The Christian Left. I was truly moved by your thoughts. Can you explain to me how you define sin without the Law? Thanks, Elizabeth Reply ckratzer (Post author) March 30, 2016 at 12:41 pm Elizabeth, would be honored to explain, what article specifically are you referring to? Reply Elizabeth McLean March 30, 2016 at 7:08 pm Chris, The article I read (which was my first introduction to your blog) was entitled “Is Evangelical Christianity the Wizard behind the Curtain of America’s Moral and Spiritual Decline?”. For years now, I have been almost embarrassed to profess my Christianity to non-believers as their only reference for Christ and the Christian faith is the loud voice of intolerance, judgment and hate that is spewed from our televisions and in print in the name of Christ. Thus, I was so excited to see such an article written by a pastor. I’m sort of new to the Law vs. Grace issue as it was never really touched on in my church. The question I have after reading your article is just one of clarity for my part. When I think of sin, I think of the Law. If the Law is no longer, then how do you define sin? Thanks for taking the time to get back to me. Reply ckratzer (Post author) March 31, 2016 at 4:59 pm Great question Elizabeth! In my view, the Law is not just a way that sin gets revealed, but a system of personal performance to atone for sin. When Paul declares that we are not under Law, but under Grace, this is the essence of his declaration. Since we are under Grace, not Law, sin management is no longer our hopeless plight and sin consciousness is no longer our spiritual posture. In fact, it is the Law that entices us to sin more, not less. The more you are conscious of sin and this system of the Law, the more you will sin. Only when we focus on Jesus and His Grace does sin lose its grip. Paul stated that it is in fact “the Grace of God that teaches us to live rightly” and “God’s grace leads us to repentance.” Grace has the capacity to reveal our primary sin (and others as well)… unbelief in Jesus. It also teaches us our identity in Christ, which is our only hope to overcome areas of sinfulness in our lives. The unawareness of sin is not people’s biggest problem, it is a sense of condemnation that holds the most destructive power. Find me a person who has a sin problem and I will have found you a person who first, has a deeper condemnation problem. Only Grace can heal a condemned heart and transform behaviors away from sin. God’s concern for sin in our lives isn’t that it offends Him or goes outside of His Grace, but rather what it does to our lives negatively. Grace has the power to not only reveal and define sin, but is in fact, the only solution for it in our lives. Reply Stefani Madison March 31, 2016 at 11:54 pm Hi, Chris; Greetings in the name of our Savior and King, Yeshua HaMashiach! I hope this note finds you well. I read your reply to Elizabeth regarding her concern about the Law versus Grace and just wanted to add a personal kind of non sequitur to your answer. I agree with your reply and found myself considering my own ‘method’, if you will, of atonement for my sins. Perhaps ‘atonement’ isn’t the best word I could use in this context; I think ‘regret’ may be more to the point. I regret my sins, some much more deeply than others, and regret has compelled me at that point to pray for forgiveness. Yeshua’s sacrifice was the atonement; we needn’t any more wear sackcloth and pour ashes on our heads – although there have been times when my regret was so sharp that I think I’d have gone the sackcloth and ashes route just to assuage the shame. What truly goads me to walk the straight and narrow, as best I can, is my immense love for our Lord. When I sin, I regret that I have hurt my Lord. I regret that I may have offended or even simply let Him down by my transgression. Over the years I have been blessed in that my previous fear of condemnation has evolved into a deep and ever growing sense of friendship with Yeshua. If I offend a friend, I feel regret and my distaste for offending a friend is the same, but much magnified, as offending or disappointing my Lord. I hope that such a declaration doesn’t sound flippant or shallow because that would convey an entirely erroneous message. My sincerity and respect for Yeshua simply allows no room for flippancy and there is nothing in existence that means more to me than my relationship with Him. In fact, there are times, usually when I am weeping with a truly broken heart, that I express my love for Yeshua by calling Him Abba; I know no more honest and from-the-soul manner of expressing my love for Him than to refer to Him as ‘Dad’. Ergo my regret and shame at ‘disappointing’ Him when I act human and sin. I no longer fear the Lord, although I fear the consequences of renouncing Him, but I do feel like an obstreperous child now and again when things aren’t going my way or when life is so utterly confusing and depressing at times that I lose my temper and throw a good old fashioned tantrum. And, of course, I always feel ashamed of having done so and apologize. To close the circle of my thoughts, I just want to say that theological legalism has probably hurt a lot more Believers than it has ever helped. I believe that our relationship with Yeshua should be based less on whether an issue is one of Law versus Grace and more on a father-child friendship basis. Among Yeshua’s many messages was one which He repeated over and over again: Love is the foundation of everything we are, have and hope to have. I love my Lord more than is possible for me to express and that love is not only what His act of atonement was all about, but the very bedrock of our relationship – and our obedience – with Him should be. Thanks for being there, my Brother. Thanks for your guidance and wisdom. I pray the Lord’s blessings upon you and your family. Shalom Aleichem! Stefani Madison Reply hmsskittlez3 September 12, 2016 at 6:36 am Whatever it is that brought me here to read your blog, I am forever greatful!! Reply Rick October 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm Hi Chris, In one of your previous replies you mentioned “rightly dividing the word”. Do you believe this applies to the message given to Peter by Jesus and the message given to Paul by Christ? In other words two separate gospels. Peter’s primarily for the Jews, and Paul’s primarily for the gentiles. Also, given your stance on grace, do you believe that God is saving everyone? Reply Cody Baker October 27, 2016 at 10:56 pm Chris, Just read “I’m Done…” a moment ago (I’m late to the party. Sorry!). Throughout my life (39 years now), having been consistently inconsistent in adhering to the verse, “Do not forsake the gathering of yourselves,” I’ve increasingly considered myself to be ‘a man without a church.’ I now know the Complete Truth, however, having my eyes opened to see well beyond my own “considerations.” The specific details about this moment of spiritual clarity are for me and my own Walk, not you and your own Walk. Nonetheless, I share the gist of this revelation with you (and anyone reading) so that we may hear an affirmation of reality, and know that each one of us is not alone in our own very specific union with God, through Christ: we are altogether, each one of us, completely One in the Spirit of our Father. Truly, the Kingdom of God is here on earth, as much as it is in heaven, as these words are being read at this very moment. May we each wield the Sword of the Spirit with us daily, and strike out together against the enemy, so long as it is called ‘Today!’ Reply Charles Banda December 14, 2016 at 12:35 am Thanks for the message of grace, forward me more teaching Reply Connie Hansen January 3, 2017 at 5:16 pm I sent my sister “Why evangelical Christianity is the worst evil …”. Here are her replies: There is no perfect religion. All religions have been perverted at one time or another. Statistics show that right now there have been more Christian deaths and that Christianity is being attacked more than any other religion across the world. Google it. This should make people very happy. And it has been foretold. Not all evangelicals are judgemental assholes. Not all muslims are radical assholes. The world is a mess. I can’t blame it on one group of people. The people I know are not racists nor do they have all the phobias listed . If all evangelicals were eradicated from the earth would things better? I responded: the title is a little shocking but I do agree with everything he wrote. She responded: I agree about the grace part. But this man is as full of hate as anybody else. Please pray for me. I have never been so far apart from my family as I am in these days. And it’s very lonely. I’d probably be like them except I have a son who was a serious christian and he converted to Islam. He’s intelligent and has been my only spiritual friend for years. While I can’t agree with his faith, I have to respect him and be accepting. I have two grandchildren from him. I’ve had to learn from this experience that has caused me so much pain. I have to defend my loved ones when family and friends trash Islam and insinuate they are all evil people and should be on some register of Donald trump’s making. Reply ckratzer (Post author) January 4, 2017 at 12:39 am Connie, thanks so much for sharing this. I understand and stand with you in the struggle. I am praying for you, and extend myself to you in any way I can help, a phone call or Skype, feel free to reach out to me… email@example.com Reply Charles Banda January 12, 2017 at 7:46 am Thanks very much for word of God , ıı would love if can send more teaching o grace so that we can help our bible school in zambia Reply Jeremy Marks May 22, 2017 at 3:54 pm Hi Chris Thanks so much for writing your article, which I discovered on Facebook. You articulate so very well many things I have been thinking and feeling over the last 20 years or so. Indeed I would love to put it up on my own website with a recommendation and comment to this effect (see http://www.courage.org.uk if you were willing to give your permission to do so? With warmest regards, Jeremy Marks Reply ckratzer (Post author) May 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm Jeremy, thanks so much for reaching out to me. I would be honored for you to share the article. If you wouldn’t mind including a link to my blog at http://www.chriskratzer.com that would great, and/or a direct link back to this article http://chriskratzer.com/im-sorry-conservative-christianity-i-just-cant-do-it-anymore/ Thanks for your ministry! Reply Angie Young November 17, 2017 at 6:39 pm Love and truth! Thank you Chris for being a humble servant of Christ and speaking truth with love. How refreshing it is to finally read truth. Have taught with the religious system for more than 15 years. Then I was lead by the Spirit to read the Bible on my own. That was when things didn’t add up! Revelations started to make sense in a way I could never imagine. I started to match up the people’s hearts with it and when my husband and I seen the truth we were shocked beyond words! We stepped out of the boat and onto the water with Jesus. Everyday is a struggle for peace because people from church try to lite us back in. Their was never any true love ever. When my sister committed suicide, no one from church contacted me. They sent me flowers a card and said they we’re praying for me. No one came to see me or called me. Had a few texts that said they were praying for me was it. This hurt me deeply. When I went back to church the subject of course was suicide and why people do it. The reason they concluded was my sister was running from God. When I read and studied on my own I found the true answer was lack of love. From being around all of them at church I started to be unloving to my own family. Not only at that time did my sister commit suicide but also my oldest sister tried and a niece and nephew. I was so involved in church ministries, I abandoned my own family and took my love from them and have it all to the church. I honestly believe in Revelations it’s referring the Harlot to churches who are stealing love from God and everyone. We have been told that when we leave a church it is a divorce. They were right, it almost caused me my marriage. I could not complete without the church for love. It created a huge hurt on my marriage. So we constantly lived in fear of being judged and rejected. When in truth it is all lies. So thankful for Jesus who lead always in truth. So thankful Jesus lead you to share truth. Reply ckratzer (Post author) November 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm Angie, thanks so much for braving the vulnerability to share your story. I can assure you, you are not alone. Sadly, your experience is shared by countless other. Fortunately, many like you, are waking up and stepping away, discovering God who is Love and sharing Him alone. Reply Milton May 15, 2018 at 10:48 pm Rev. Kratzer…. Let me begin by saying how freshly inspiring your writings are. I write asking for advice. I attend a Methodist church where the congregants are largely 20 to 30 years my senior and are conservative, old fashioned, “Americans” who are all right wing. I am probably the only left leaning person in this church. I am a lay speaker and occasionally deliver sermons. I sometimes wonder if I am reaching the hearts of those I deliver God’s word to. Suffice it to say that I wholeheartedly agree with you and find that we are like minded. I fear my efforts to convey the truth may be taken as an affront to the long held beliefs of the congregants. I realize that the truth is the truth, but I need to preach it in love. Since my goal is on par with yours, do you have any advice on reaching those whose faith is the right wing conservative that you expose so eloquently? Thank you. Reply ckratzer (Post author) May 15, 2018 at 11:18 pm Thanks so much Milton!! Reply ckratzer (Post author) May 15, 2018 at 11:20 pm My advice would be to be yourself and speak your truth. Those who have ears will hear, those who don’t, won’t. Be as gracious as you can, but do not shrink back from living and reflecting your truth. Reply Zalo Wilson November 7, 2018 at 7:02 pm “Leatherbound Terrorism”? Fabulous! Buying copies to share. Loved the book. My husband and I are an evangelical trained gay couple with a lot of religious hate and hurt in our history. He is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene College. We live in a Republican red state, indiana, with a history of bigotry. We own three small town funeral homes. The community loves our funeral service we provide,but they dont want us at their churches. We are hungry for fellowship. We are very in tune to your beliefs. Do you live stream your services? Love the blogs too… Zalo Reply ckratzer (Post author) November 7, 2018 at 8:35 pm Zalo, thanks so much for the encouraging words, such an honor to have you read the book! If you are willing, I sure would love for you to write a review on Amazon! That really helps others connect with the book. Reply Sue Beardsley March 4, 2019 at 3:23 am You’re writings bring me hope A balm if sorts. My heart is broken in re to UMC Trying to combine the warm generous loving accepting affirming congregation i grew up in To whats happening today within UMC Thank you for your ray of light in thes dark toubled times. Sue Reply ckratzer (Post author) March 4, 2019 at 8:47 pm Thanks Sue, it’s an honor to be on this journey with you! Reply Mark Garcia June 3, 2020 at 1:54 am I just wanted to say thank you for helping confirm that I’m not alone in my journey as a progressive non-conservative Christian. I thank God you are here for “us”. Reply ckratzer (Post author) June 3, 2020 at 1:04 pm Thanks so much for these encouraging words!! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Notify me of new posts by email.