There are two Christianities. One is real. One is fake. The following will help you tell them apart:
The reason Unreal Christianity is a big bulky non-innovative high-dollar extremely low bang-for-your-buck non-New Testament intractable overly bureaucratic religious sluggish slow-moving massive blob dictated to by institutional seminary-trained boshheads, cold-minded clerics, and charged-up dense denominators endlessly parroting the centuries-dead Ichabod gloryless company line is because, principally, the Lord Jesus is not in charge.
That is a problem.
When one reads the New Covenant writings with a clear head and pure heart without all the mind-numbed artery-clogging casuistic falsely-interpretive nonsense nomenclature and grossly obese religiosity and churchianity content, one discovers an incredible streamlined living and loving Community of Called-Out Ones exhibiting cleanliness, quickness, Spirit of God-fueled power needing next to zero overhead and fitting into any and all cultures with a life-giving new-life Gospel message for anyone anywhere on the planet.
It is fast. It is mobile. It is loving. It is caring. It is merciful. It is self-effacing. It is filled with joy. It is creative, fruitful, and productive. It is easily financed. It never requires large money outlays to be powerfully effective. The members love each other, always support each other, and always develop quickly into strong mature and secure disciples. Rather than pour everything into a building with one guy preaching there is often no building and a hundred guys preaching. They go anywhere demanded, do anything commanded, suffer any hardship, overcome evil with good, and battle raging hate with pure love.
And it can’t be stopped. Kill one member and ten more pop up. Try to eliminate it and it only grows larger. Try to destroy it and Great Awakenings break forth. Persecution only makes it more powerful. When the devil jabs he gets knocked over the ropes with a ferocious left hook. When he fights dirty he gets pounded into the ground. When he uses lies and gossip he and his entire operation is revealed for all the world to see. When he tries to hide he gets outed. When he brings darkness he is exposed with a million mega watt game spotter.
There is thus no comparison between real Christians and the fake pretentious pretenders. One is led by the Lord Jesus and the other is not. One is filled with His Spirit and the other is not. One can move mountains and the other cannot. One can raise the dead and the other is the dead. One believes and the other disbelieves. One obeys and the other rebels. One is faithful and the other is a cynical denier of spiritual reality. One will inherit the Kingdom and gain eternal life and the other will …not.
SHEEP AND GOATS
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’
“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” [Matthew 25:31-46] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. [John 3:19-21]
We live in a perverse, rebellious, bizarre, and fallen world. It is a planet teeming with mutinous lovers of sin, like maggots on rotting meat.
Why do I have such an opinion? It’s very simple: Look what it did to the Creator of the Universe.
He showed up here in human form. But it wasn’t just “form.” He was an actual human being. And He remains an actual human being, though in a glorified state. And this world did everything it possibly could to destroy Him, and had actually thought at that time that it did destroy Him.
He loved everybody. He forgave everybody. He went about doing good. He never did anything wrong. He never committed a single sin. He honored the Torah and kept every part of the Torah and never, ever violated a single commandment. He was as innocent as innocent could be, yet most people still hated Him.
For not even His brothers were believing in Him. So Jesus said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.” [John 7:5-7]
After all the good He did and the love He expressed, the hateful people of this evil world savagely beat Him up, nailed Him to a rough wooden cross, and raised it up with Him attached like a trophy so all could see and behold its dirty, dirty deed.
“Look what we did to God, man! Who’s the boss?!
Not only did the people of this rotten world kill Him, they wanted the whole world to see that they killed Him. If such rotten people that currently breathe air murdered Him they would instantly broadcast it on international television and plaster it all over the internet. They would want everyone to know what they did. Two thousand years ago the idiots were very, very proud of what they did and every generation since has been proud of what they did and supported what they did.
How do I know?
Isn’t it obvious?
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” [Matthew 4:8-9]
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. [1 John 5:19]
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2 Corinthians 4:3-4]
But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. [2 Timothy 3:13]
As evil as the world was then, it has grown increasingly more evil since. The world is presently more evil than it has ever been. How many people actually know or care that more people were murdered in the last century, for example, than had ever been killed in a single century before?
The numbers are staggering. War, disease, genocide, and the most sinister of all sins perpetrated by humans—the outright butchering of defenseless, innocent babies by the multi-millions—made the twentieth century the Century of Death with somewhere in the vicinity of 200 million casualties. Stalin killed 30 million. Mao killed 40 million. The United States of America has killed over 50 million… babies.
But most do not care. Most do not know. Most do not recognize the gross sin in this place or even their own sin. If God wanted to He would be absolutely justified in destroying this entire planet in a onetime big bang for what the corrupt and rotten race of humans have brought into an otherwise pure universe.
Instead, because He is a Person of love and peace, He came for a visit to help show us the way and get us back on track. Though some think He’s a big meanie for being forced to clean the place up once before, His purpose was to rid the planet of vermin before the vermin destroyed it all. We thanked Him for His love and peace and concern and hope and belief in us by killing Him in perhaps the worst way possible.
Thank you very much, God. And don’t let the screen door hit you on your hinder parts when you leave. And if you ever come back you’ll get more of the same. You hear!? This is our world now!
Thank the Lord that He didn’t listen to such vile idiots. He did leave, of course, but not because of their threats. And it was only for a short time. He said the Holy Spirit would never come unless He first departed. Why does it seem that the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus could not be here at the same time? It reminds me of one of those movies when one actor is playing dual parts and always has to leave the scene as one character in order to return as the second. The answer is alluded to by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians:
But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. [1 Corinthians 15:35-37]
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” [John 16:7]
So the Lord had to leave. But He promised to return. For all of those who have been taught that the Lord left this world 2,000 years ago, has been gone since, and will return to it one day in the future, you have been taught wrong. The Second Coming (not a Biblical term) is not necessarily a future event only. In Hellenistic Greek, the word parousia is the general term used to denote the event, but in common secular terms of that time, it often meant the arrival of a ruler at a place. In other words, when the Lord returns, it is to take charge.
The first “Second Coming” took place ten days after the Lord ascended to heaven:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. [Acts 2:1-4]
It was the extraordinary return of the Lord Jesus in the form of His Holy Spirit.
“…that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:17-18]
And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. [Mark 16:20]
My intention is not to split theological hairs here but shed some light on the fact that the Lord Jesus did not retire to “heaven” awaiting a day centuries in the future to return to earth. Besides that, “heaven” is usually a place defined by our own imaginations. And thirdly, how did the Lord return to His disciples, not leaving them “as orphans” without a Father or guardian, and work with them doing miracles while also retiring to heaven for two thousand plus years?
Of course, there will definitely be a Second Coming regarding the Lord Jesus returning to this planet in physical form also, and that is a future event. But until then, He not only resides “at the right hand of God,” but also right here with His people, as He has taken charge in the hearts of willing real believers, the exact same way He entered into the hearts of the 120 on the original Day of Pentecost.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” [Revelation 3:20]
But if nobody on this planet wanted Him He would not have returned even then.
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. [1 Peter 3:18-20]
Only a mere 8 people on the entire planet wanted Him then, which gives perfect perspective to what this article is about, and reveals exactly what a sorry, rotten place this planet has become because of its evil human occupants.
Only 120 wanted Him on the Day of Pentecost. Of all the tens of thousands who had heard Him teach and saw Him perform miracles, only 120 waited for His return in the upper room.
This remains the same with the vast majority of Christian groups today, in that only a mere minor percentage wants anything to do with Pentecost or is willing to pay the price to “wait in the upper room.” Most Christians will fight against anything Pentecost or Book of Acts related until their dying day. They don’t want their perfect little Christian country clubs messed up with the actual presence of Jesus. They all put on a good show, but when push comes to shove most always shout, “Hell no!” They don’t want Him in charge. They want to be in charge.
They have reputations to be concerned about and money to be made and social climbing to do and everyone knows you can’t have a good rep or make any money or climb the ranks in social circles if the people in your community think you’re a religious nut. It would be interesting to hear all the contorted explanations of those who denied the actual presence and authority of Jesus in their “churches” when they stand before Him at the judgment. All such people will have no chance at that point to fix what they did with their lives. It will be too late. But for anyone still breathing, there is still a chance to get it right.
The following is a general list of dire warnings and prophetic statements (great preaching) spoken by the Lord Himself that all believers should keep in mind and apply when applicable:
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.” [Revelation 2:4-5]
“Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” [Revelation 2:10]
“But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.” [Revelation 2:14-16]
“But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” [Revelation 2:20-23]
“I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.” [Revelation 3:1-3]
“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” [Revelation 3:11]
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” [Revelation 3:15-19]
The above statements prove this world is an evil place. It is fallen in sin. It is a world of deception and illusion. Temptation and wickedness are all around, as is the specter of death. And all these things can invade the hearts of those in the Lord’s community.
It is why the Lord constantly teaches His people to stay awake, to remain alert, to get strong and remain strong, to adhere to His teachings, to stay close to Him, to attend to our callings, to give no quarter to the enemy, to not allow any place for evil or sin or unforgiveness in our hearts, to repent and be cleansed if we fall, to be a powerful offensive force against the devil and his evil kingdom, to give it everything we have lest we grow weak and be deceived, and to always walk in the light and constantly believe in the “all things are possible with God” credo. Real Christians are behind enemy lines and are greatly outnumbered.
But God’s kingdom is also here, as is the King of that kingdom. It exists wherever we allow and desire the Lord Jesus to be in charge. It starts in our hearts as individuals, and it grows as such individuals are knit together in true spiritual community.
This community has stretched all over the planet in the last two thousand years and continues to expand. It is not dead, dull, boring, fake, and wimpy like counterfeit Christian communities, but, like the Lord, is ALIVE and VIBRANT and VERY POWERFUL, so powerful “the evil one” gets his butt kicked. It has the exact characteristics it did in the first century when it all began, and is still all about “RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE and JOY in the HOLY SPIRIT.” [Romans 14:17] 
And as it is today, there was too much of the above for the taste of some, apparently, on that first Day of Pentecost:
“They are full of new wine!” [Acts 2:13]
On a Sunday morning?
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
The word popular is defined by Merriam-Webster as : (1) Of or relating to the general public, (2) Suited to the means of the majority, (3) Frequently encountered or widely accepted, and (4) Commonly liked or approved. 
According to this definition, the real Lord Jesus is not popular. His message is not popular. And his followers are not popular.
As a result of His non-popularity, it can be argued that what His enemies did to Him 2000 years ago would be done to Him again in any place at any time in world history.
Those who have given their lives to Him and are attempting with all their heart to live according to His full curriculum know this, because they are being treated by non-followers as He was treated. During His sojourn here as one of us, some loved Him, but most hated Him. That is just a fact, and it is the same regarding real Christians.
The Lord’s real teachings appear so foreign to unreal Christians that the following such pronouncements are often downplayed or rejected out of hand as the words of a religious nut:
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” [Matthew 10:34-38]
Regardless of constant pronouncements to the contrary, there is and always has been a wide gulf between the real and the unreal. The real teachings of the Lord demand totality, while the various watered-down versions of counterfeit Christianity demand the opposite, and are always on the lookout for ways to make living for God easier and more inclusive. At the heart of the false teachings are two prominent pillars of non-separation that unreal Christians refuse to eliminate:
(1) “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Matthew 6:24]
(2) He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” [John 8:23-24 NAB]
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” [John 15:18-19]
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. [1John 2:15-16]
So who is to blame for the current state of America?
If America is a Christian nation, who elected all the presidents, senators, and members of congress over the last century and gave them charge of the country?
If America is a Christian nation, who is the real guilty party concerning our current state of affairs, being that “Christians” have always represented the majority?
If America is a Christian nation, why have 55 million innocent babies been butchered over the last forty years, and why does the slaughter of innocents continue?
If America is a Christian nation, why was a central bank created one hundred years ago that rules over all our financial affairs?
If America is a Christian nation, why are spiritual awakenings and the bringing forth of greater spiritual and Biblical truth always fought against, and primarily by other Christians?
If America is a Christian nation, why has national judgment been steadily increasing, and why is it now increasing exponentially?
And if America is a Christian nation, why are most of those who refer to themselves as Christians in this nation acting not like their powerful Lord and Savior, but apparently afraid to be more like Him for fear of monetary or legal retribution? Or blowback from their leaders? Or the threat of disfellowship? And instead spend their Sunday mornings acting out their Christianity exactly like the little ones in Sunday School walled off from the world in false safety? This is not the separation God is talking about. Where is the great presence, real love, and spiritual effectiveness of those who turned the entire Roman Empire upside down?
It should be obvious by now that institutional American Christianity in general has been dehorned and feminized like the rest of the country.
Words alone are meaningless. The effect of our words is what matters. The fruit, or evidence, of the Spirit of God in one’s life is what separates him or her from the pack. Because the Lord Jesus said only few would discover and walk out the path of life, the community of real Christians will forever be a distinct minority in the world at large, but great numbers have never mattered to God.
In fact, the Lord has always managed to do great things with a separated but unified few. 
You are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. [1 Peter 2:9-12] 
The Great Awakening is coming forth!
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 2]
 © Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition
 Consider the story of Gideon’s battle with the Midianites… [Judges 6-7]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
At the great judgment there will be a steady stream of non-penitents going before the Lord. They will be the ones who justified themselves in life despite their sin. The most guilty will be unreal Christians.
Over the last 2000 years, unreal Christians have rewritten the pure teachings of Messiah Jesus. And for this, like the hypocritical Pharisees of old, they will receive the greater judgment.
As the world wonders what has happened to Western society, especially in America, everyone has someone or some group to blame. The progressives are blamed for introducing an anti-Christian purely secular blueprint for society that rewrites the culture, for example. But long before the emergence of the all-encompassing agenda that faces us at present, filled with anti-Christian rhetoric and the establishment of new laws to form a new culture, another group had done the same.
And the former group was much more successful. Rather than the in-your-face tactics of the present purveyors of the current gathering storm, the former group used a low-key approach. It took full advantage of willingly ignorant Christians who refused to follow the Lord but were conditioned to follow religious leaders and whatever they may teach. These Christians never checked to see if their leaders were standing on the Word of God, or cared to. They never checked to see if their leaders even followed the Lord. It was a mass assumption that their favorite clergyites were acting at the behest of God and relaying His pure Word.
Boy Howdy, were they ever wrong. Whether these so-called Christian leaders were Protestant or Catholic or Charismatic or whatever, America in general took their words and actions as true and correct. American Christians did not bother to see whether any deception was involved. In fact, the very idea that they were being lied to and led astray was verboten. The religious higher-ups had such a powerful hold on the minds of American Christians that said Christians would flatten anyone for even thinking their brand of Christian religion was incorrect.
They made the fatal mistake of not separating themselves from the false world of Christian counterfeits. They chose to have their names, lives, and reputations recorded in a different registry other than the one commanded by the Lord:
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. [Revelation 20:15]
America was brawnier then. There was more animosity and open hostility between denominations and religious groupings. Biblically illiterate “Christians” were prone to fight physically to protect their turf. They had no idea they were brainwashed by pretenders. Unreal Christianity ruled through threat and pure hatred against any and all reformers.
Speaking of which, if America has always been a Christian nation, why was there ever any need of reform? Why was there a Great Awakening in the 1730’s and 40’s? Why did other great revival and reform efforts come forth since then? And why were the greatest resisters in these powerful and undeniable moves of God other Christians?
It has always been this way. Rather than actually obey the Lord Jesus and follow Him, unreal Christians create their own brand of Christianity that is much easier than the full curriculum of the Lord. And rather than crucifying the flesh as Jesus commanded, unreal Christians crucify real Christians.
So, back to the judgment. Jesus will judge the fakers, be they deceived or not, based on their adherence to a different gospel and the leaders thereof. He will say things like:
“I never knew you; ‘DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’” [Matthew 7:23]
A lot of Christians may realize right then and there for the first time that they got it wrong. They will see that their insistence on following someone or something other than the Lord Jesus for the sake of social or religious standing doomed their souls.
And, of course, it will be too late. An untold number of unreal Christians who have already passed on are awaiting their inevitable fate. Though they will try to plead their case it will not matter.
While time remains on our side, those of us on this side of eternity might want to make sure we’re getting it right.
Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.”
Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.
Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. [1 Corinthians 10:5-12]
No one of us is above the teachings of the Lord. Every one of us needs a Savior, and by God’s grace a Savior has been provided. But that doesn’t mean we can simply pick and choose our own Christian beliefs. The Word of God is an all-or-nothing document. Following the Lord and obeying His teachings and commandments is an all-or-nothing proposition. And though we may do some great things on this planet and help many people selflessly and sacrificially, we are not saved by our works. Human virtue is not a ticket to heaven. No matter how righteous we are we will still be proven to be unrighteous by God’s holy standard unless His standard is applied.
Be encouraged by this opening section of Peter’s second letter. It is an excellent discourse regarding God’s standard of righteousness, separation from the world of sin and deception, and true discipleship unto the Lord:
Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. [2 Peter 1:1-11] 
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 2]
Where is Perry Mason when you need him?
Well, the real Perry Mason who always wins His cases through justice and honor, who defends the innocent and proves their innocence, and who reveals as well the guilty parties, serves not in our courtrooms but in His own. He is not watching everything we do by using spy satellites and a million other means, but He did create a way to keep a perfect record — an eternal dossier on everything we will ever do in this life. He will use it to discover one’s innocence or guilt at the final judgment. Of course, if one does not believe in such stuff and reject it all outright, his guilt will condemn him with no cure, since he will have rejected the only advocate to plead his case.
Imagine that. You have been brought up on serious sin charges and Perry Mason himself is willing to take your case to help you out. Anyone with a measurable IQ would jump at such a chance because Perry never loses. Yet Mr. Brainiac rejects Mr. Mason and consequently goes to hell. Nice. Real good.
Here we have the Lord God Himself taking it on the chin for us and most reject Him? It is either because they are flat stupid or God’s people have done a sorry job of representing Him (or some combination thereof).
Nevertheless, everyone is guilty. Everyone requires the sacrifice the Lord made. Even those who have never heard the Gospel and have no clue who the Lord Jesus is know what sin is. A three year-old sins in secret, or thinks he does, and then lies when getting caught. The human conscience does a terrific job of sin conviction until said conscience is repeatedly overruled. But even eighty year-old career criminals on their death bed know their life of crime is wrong. They do not deny that. They simply love sin. They would hate heaven. They will not be so fond of hell either, but will fit better there.
God’s surveillance is therefore a very good thing. He will play back our lives at the judgment and, barring our personal repentance before we died, will explain why sinful behavior stems from a sinful heart unworthy of His kingdom. He will have the goods on us. It is only fair. His court will only render perfect judgments.
But what about the few who actually make it to heaven? If they have sinned as well as the unrepentant bad guys, why should they be allowed to have eternal life? It is as simple as this:
Their King died in their place.
They submitted to His Lordship. They chose to do their best to do right instead of wrong, but when they failed, they desired and allowed the blood of their Savior to cleanse them. They know they are not and will never be worthy of the presence of God in and of themselves or by their own efforts. All of this will show up on their surveillance video. Their personal movie will reveal their heart as well, but will find a contrite heart changed by God’s grace through their own repentance and love for the Lord.
So the next time you think about being surveilled almost everywhere you go by little or large video cameras and electronic eavesdropping, consider the eternal surveillance tape being recorded on your behalf. It will assist in giving you a perfectly fair verdict when standing before the King.
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. [Revelation 20:11-15] 
The first and most important goal in this short and temporary life is to make sure one’s name is written in that book. Nothing else will otherwise matter. Also, if we allow the Lord Jesus to be the Author and Perfecter of our faith, it will bring Him unimaginable joy. Why?
Because every story He writes has a happy ending.
© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 2]