Come as you are


What does it mean when Christians say “Come as you are?”  Many of the unbelievers  have the wrong notion thinking that they have to change their habits and lifestyle etc. before they can come to Jesus and ask Him for forgiveness.  They think, well I am an alcoholic or a drug user, I am angry or I have too many issues. They think that Jesus will not receive them in their current condition and that they need to clean up their act before asking Jesus for help and forgiveness.  Jesus does not see it that way. He had dinner with sinners. He sought out the sinners,  just look at the disciples, they were sinners just like everybody else.  He chose them in their current  sinful condition.

Look at the woman who was caught in the act of adultery or the Samaritan woman at the well who had 5 husbands and was living now with a her boyfriend. He did not condemn them, He ministered and reached out to them in their current sinful condition. There are many more examples of Jesus reaching out to the lost, something the religious leaders of the time did not. The religious leaders looked on the outside and not at the heart. They judged purely on appearance, and instead of welcoming them, they cast them out. 

Many Churches today cast out people simply by their appearance which is a shame and not very “Christ-like”.  In the late 60’s and early 70’s many of the Hippies came to faith in Christ and they came to a little country church in Santa Ana Ca. They were long-haired “dirty looking” people and not what some might expect coming to church on a Sunday morning. It was small church, and the Pastor was Chuck Smith. The small congregation at the time was upset with Pastor Chuck because they had just installed new carpeting and these long-haired hippies were messing up the carpet. Pastor Chuck assured the complaining members of the Church that he would take care of it. They sensed victory and thought that Pastor Chuck Smith would just cast them out.

Little did they know, when they saw Pastor Chuck  ripping out the carpet and welcomed the hippies with open arms. They came by the thousands and were called “Jesus people” or “Jesus Freaks”. The church known as Calvary Chapel has grown into a fellowship of over 2000 churches world-wide. Because of one man who did not look upon the outside, many of these broken people who had believed the lie that peace and happiness can be found in sex, drugs and Rock’n Roll, found true peace, happiness and salvation in Jesus Christ. He transformed a generation. Jesus never told anybody, “clean up your act and then come back to me”,  He received them just as the were.  Jesus is the One that transforms lives, He changes people. There are millions of testimonies around the world of transformed lives.  Drug addicts, alcoholics, broken people,  you name it, they all have a testimony and story to tell about how Jesus changed them when they surrendered their lives to Him.

That’s what we need to remember when witnessing to unbelievers, no matter what their condition is, no matter what they have done, no matter how grave the sin,  Jesus wants to forgive them and save them from a life of sin that leads into destruction and eternal damnation. Jesus wants them to “Come as they are”.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”Mat 11:28-30

The Buddhist Dilemma


Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world, although technically it is not a religion but a philosophy.  Buddhism attracts about 376 million followers worldwide and was founded in Northern India between 553 BC and 460 BC. Buddhism is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhism has many different traditions, but share a common set of fundamental beliefs. One fundamental belief of Buddhism is reincarnation. The concept is basically that people are reborn after dying. The Buddhist believes that most individuals go through many cycles of birth, living, death and rebirth. The person that dies may not ever return to the earth as the same entity, they may be similar but not the same. After many such cycles, if a person releases their attachment to desire and the self, they can attain Nirvana. This is a state of liberation and freedom from suffering. Besides that, there are many other practices a Buddhist adhere to.

I will list just a few short examples: The three trainings or practice: 1. Sila: virtue, good conduct, morality. 2. Samadhi: Concentration, meditation, mental development. Developing one’s mind the Buddhist believe, is the path to wisdom which in turn leads to personal freedom. Mental development also strengthens and controls our mind; this helps us maintain good conduct. 3. Pranja: Discernment, insight, wisdom, enlightenment. This according to Buddhist is the real heart of Buddhism. Wisdom will emerge if your mind is pure and calm. Buddhist also follow the eightfold path, in order to reach Nirvana.  But in order to reach that enlightenment a Buddhist must master the eightfold path. The Buddhist must also follow rules, such as the five precepts. 1.”Do not kill” 2. Do not steal” 3. “Do not lie” 4. “Do not misuse sex” 5. Do not consume alcohol or other drugs”. The Eightfold path consist of Panna: Discernment, wisdom: 1. Samma ditthi Right Understanding of the Four Noble Truths.  2. Samma sankappa: Right thinking; following the right path in life. Sila: Virtue and morality: 3) Samma vaca: Right speech: no lying, criticism, condemning, gossip, harsh language. 4 Samma kammanta Right conduct by following the Five Precepts. 5. Samma ajiva: Right livelihood; support yourself without harming others. Samadhi: Concentration, meditation: 6. Samma vayama Right Effort: promote good thoughts; conquer evil thoughts. 7. Samma sati Right Mindfulness: Become aware of your body, mind and feelings. 8. Samma samadhi Right Concentration: Meditate to achieve a higher state of consciousness i.e.Nirvana. And I am sure there is much more a Buddhist has to do in order to achieve a higher consciousness.

This to me looks like a lot of work,  to archive the ultimate goal of eternal bliss. Just as many other religions, Buddhism is a man centered religion/philosophy. It is man’s vain attempt to reach perfection or a higher consciousness, i.e. a higher state of mind. It is another attempt of man to be either a god or god like, archiving this by a set of rules, by rules that were implemented by man. The dilemma to me with Buddhism is that the teachers tell the people to live a certain way and if they do and follow all the rules, they will reach Nirvana. It’s like somebody telling you, here is Mount Everest, when you reach the top you will have Nirvana. But Buddha and his teachings does not give them any kind of equipment to climb Mount Everest and so people slip and fall, trying desperately to reach the top. I guess that’s where the reincarnation comes into play. If you don’t make it in this lifetime, try it in the next. If that fails, keep on trying and one day you will arrive.  Buddhism is man’s attempt to become a higher enlightened person by their own strength and set of rules, just as other religions wanna come on their own merit to God, making their own version of god. A god that caters to them, a god that no one needs to be accountable to. They have a made themselves a Burger King god, “have it your way.”

Christianity teaches the opposite of what many Buddhist believe. The Bible declares that there is only one true and living God and that is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Creator of all things. There is only one absolute truth and that is the truth that comes from God. There are many that will claim to be a good person, but by whose standards?  Man’s standards or God’s standards? God has declared everyone guilty, we have all violated His Holiness and perfect standard.

In God’s eyes no one is good: “Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.” Psalm 53:3.

In the eyes of God there is none righteous: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.” Rom 3:10, 11.

People seek all kinds of ways to be spiritual and many claim to be spiritual or enlightened. They are either following a man-made religion or attempt to reach God on their own merit. The problem is that man is spiritually separated from God because of sin and there is not one that has not sinned before God. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23.

It is the sin nature that everyone inherited that keeps man from fellowship with the true God. We are spiritually separated from God because of sin.  God is a Holy God and in Him there is no darkness at all. Mankind apart from God is in darkness and the heart of man is the problem: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Jer 17:9. People are deceiving themselves by following teachers, philosophies and religions that promise them eternal life if they do certain things. People wanna come on the own righteousness before God, but no matter how hard someone may try to reach Him or to achieve a higher consciousness, it is in vain, because they are all man driven and self-centered.

The Buddhist tries to achieve a higher consciousness, Nirvana the ultimate goal, eternal bliss. The problem with that thinking is that the Bible does not teach about reincarnation, that people can come back and try over and over again until they get it right. Quite the opposite is true: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment..” Heb 9:27.

There is only one life to live and death will come to everyone sooner or later. The Bible also tells us that there is either eternal life or eternal damnation. Humans have a spirit, in fact we consist of  the flesh i.e. the body, a soul which is our consciousness and a spirit. The spirit of a person will not die after the death of the flesh and there are only two places for the spirit to go, either eternity in heaven or eternity in hell.  Since God has declared everyone guilty it would seem that all go to one destination, Hell. But wait, there is good news, God in His mercy and His grace has provided a way to be reconciled to Him. That way is through Jesus Christ, He died and rose from the dead,  so that those who would believe in Him by faith would be saved from the wrath and judgment of God to come upon sinful man. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

By believing and trusting in Him alone as Lord and Savior, people are born again of the Spirit and there is now no more gap between them and God the Father. God has reconciled those who believe and trust in the finished work of Christ on their behalf, it is the righteousness of Christ that the Father looks at, not the righteousness of man. The righteousness of Christ is imputed onto all who believe by faith. That to me is so much better than trying to transform myself into a higher consciousness.  God did for me what I could not do for myself, a true transformation through His Son Jesus Christ. Buddha, Krishna, Allah cannot truly transform a person, people may try to better themselves, to become good, but in the end they will fall short of God’s glory. Jesus is the only one that truly transforms the life’s of people. I thank God for His revelation, His mercy and His grace. I thank Jesus Who became one of us, that loved me so much that He laid down His life for me, so that I can be with Him for eternity.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mat 11:28-30.

Only Jesus can give us rest and it is only through Jesus that anyone can be at peace with the Father. Jesus is the only way to heaven and eternal life. Buddha is dead, Jesus lives, He is the true an living God.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.John 14:6.

Peaceful Christianity?


DrRowan-WilliamsThroughout Church history there have been times of peace. The early apostolic church suffered from very heavy persecutions under Nero, who was trying to wipe out the church and killed many, but instead of wiping out the church, the church grew. The early church continued suffering persecution until Constantine embraced Christianity. Unfortunately Constantine compromised with the world and kept many of the pagan symbols and customs of various religions in order to unite all people under the banner of Christianity.

At that time there was relative peace in the Empire and the known world. When the Roman Catholic church came into existence in the 4th century, there was relative peace, but they also lorded over the people and kept them in darkness. People didn’t have Bibles on their own to read and they followed whatever the Pope and the Priest would tell them, many things that had and have no biblical grounds and it was taught in Latin. In the pre- reformation period, the Roman Catholic Church persecuted and killed those who translated the Bible into English.

Later with the reformation at the time of Luther, many suffered persecution and death. The reformation gave the word of God back to the people into their own hands. People were finally able to read the Bible in their own language and they learned from it that salvation is by God’s mercy and Grace. Luther re-introduced the biblical teaching that was lost, that “the just shall live by faith.” Something that the Roman Catholic Church did not teach then and even until today. They still teach that salvation is based on works, good behavior and continues membership in the Roman Catholic Church.

There always have been some kind of persecutions throughout the history of the church. In the 20th century alone, more Christians have been persecuted and killed worldwide then in the 19 previous centuries. Christian are persecuted in the Middle East, Africa, China and many other places. In the US for example there is relative peace to worship and live as a Christian at this time, which may change in the future. The problem with “peaceful Christianity” is that it can lead some Christian’s to become complacent and comfortable.

The believers that are persecuted worldwide, live out their faith, even unto death. The church has always grown under persecution. For example here in the US we have Bibles, we have technology to reach the world, but for whatever reason, there are still many unreached people. Why is that? Have we become comfortable and complacent? Unless someone goes into those unreached areas and preaches the gospel, how will they know about Jesus and the free gift of salvation?  Many sit in the pews on Sunday’s and think, well, that was my service for the Lord and they go on with their busy lives during the week.

That maybe peaceful but at the same time very comfortable and complacent.  Jesus Himself said this: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33.

There can be peace for a Christian, but that also means that they may have compromised with the world. If anyone anywhere in the world lives and proclaims the name of Jesus and teaches biblical principles, he or she will face some kind of persecution on way or another,  either from the government, religious leader and people in general.

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2Timothy 3:12.
Here is a so-called Christian (I chose him just as an example) that has compromised the Gospel and compromised with the world: The Archbishop of Canterbury. “Dr Rowan Williams also criticized Christianity’s history for its violence, its use of harsh punishments and its betrayal of its peaceful principles.” That in part is true, I can not make any excuse for the history of the Church, some terrible things were done in the name of the Lord.

But were those crusaders real biblical Christians? Or the inquisitions led by the Roman Catholic church, real biblical Christianity? I think not. Many horrible things have been done throughout the history by the organized church. Just because someone or a denomination calls themselves Christian, does not necessary make it so. Jesus never told His followers to kill and overthrow governments or persecute those who do not agree with certain dogmas. He said: “love your enemy, do good to those who hate you”.

Dr Rowan Williams also said the Christian belief in the Trinity; “that God is Father, Son and Holy Ghost at the same time – “is difficult, sometimes offensive, to Muslims”.
“Trinitarian doctrine conflicts with the Islamic view that there is just one all-powerful God.”

Considering his influence as a church leader, maybe he could reach out to the Muslim leadership and community and explain why Christians believe in a triune Godhead i.e. the Trinity. The concept of the triune nature of God is found in the very first page of the Bible in the book of Genesis. We as Christians believe in One God, we are monotheist. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation through Him alone is offensive to many, including Islam, Atheist who really are Anti-theist and many that do not want to believe or are blinded by the god of this age.  

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1Cr 1:18.

We can either compromise with the world, being quiet trying not to offend anyone, or we can speak the truth in love to those who will perish without the Son. Let us pray that many around the world would have their eyes opened through the love of Christ. It is all about Jesus, not a church or denomination, we follow Jesus, not the teachings and opinions of man.

Abiding in Christ


The Christian walk is not always easy and from time time we may stumble and fall, but we have Jesus to see us through every situation that may come.  We have the power of the Holy Spirit living within us and through His power we also can overcome the world and it’s lust.

We can resist the temptations of this world just as Jesus did in the wilderness when Satan tempted Him with the very same things that we face today, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

If we abide in Jesus, we can do all things. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phl 4:13.

Let us cling to Jesus, abide in Him and seek the kingdom and all things will be possible. Thank you Jesus for Your love and compassion, patience and long-suffering .  Thank You that through You we can overcome and be victorious.

You, unlike the world has told us to bring our burdens before You and that You will give us true rest.


”Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mat 11:28-30.

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