How to Navigate the Many Ways to Heaven

FeaturedHow to Navigate the Many Ways to Heaven

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at How to Navigate the Many Ways to Heaven.
In today’s world it is widely believed that there are many ways to Heaven. Instead of denying this belief let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways, see what God says, and determine if they’ll get you to Heaven.
Baha’i

The Bahá’í view of God is essentially monotheistic. God is the imperishable, uncreated being who is the source of all existence. He is described as “a personal God, unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and almighty“.
Bahá‘ís believe in Muhammad as a prophet of God, and in the Qur’an as the word of God. Baha‘i teachings ‘affirm that Islam is a true religion revealed by Allah‘; accordingly, members of the faith can give full assent to the traditional words of the Shahadah.
The Bahá’í teachings state that there is no such physical place as heaven or hell, and emphasize the eternal journey of the soul towards perfection. They explain that references to “heaven” and “hell” in the Holy Scriptures of other religions are to be understood symbolically, describing states of nearness to and distance from God in this world and in the realms beyond.
Thus if heaven doesn’t exist it stands to reason you can’t go there.

Buddhism

Buddhists seek to reach a state of nirvana, following the path of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who went on a quest for Enlightenment around the sixth century BC. There is no belief in a personal god. Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible.
Buddhism refers to the theory of rebirth and “cyclicality of all life, matter, existence”, a fundamental assumption of Buddhism, as with all major Indian religions. Samsara in Buddhism is considered to be dukkha, unsatisfactory and painful, perpetuated by desire and avidya (ignorance), and the resulting karma.
Thus, there is no belief in a Heaven.

Hinduism

Major principles or beliefs in Hinduism include the four Purusartha (aim of human life) namely, Dharma(duties/ethics), Artha (prosperity, work, wealth), Kama(desires/passions) and Moksha(liberation/freedom) along with Karma, Samsara and Yogas.
 Core Beliefs of Hindus

  • Truth is eternal. Hindus pursue knowledge and understanding of the Truth: the very essence of the universe and the only Reality. …
  • Brahman is Truth and Reality. …
  • The Vedas are the ultimate authority. …
  • Everyone should strive to achieve dharma. …
  • Individual souls are immortal. …
  • The goal of the individual soul is moksha.

Like Buddhism there is no belief in Heaven, however they do believe in many gods.

Islam

Islam (Arabic: الإسلام, Al-Islam (Submission)‎) is a religion that believes in one God (Allah). All of its teachings and beliefs are written out in the Quran (also spelled Qur’an or Koran), the holy scripture of Islam. Believers of Islam are called Muslims.
Faith (iman) is generally outlined using the six articles of faith:

  • Belief in Allah, The Only God.
  • Belief in the Angels.
  • Belief in Holy Books.
  • Belief in the Prophets.
  • Belief in the Day of Judgment.
  • Belief in God’s predestination.

(Note: While Wikipedia gives a rather wide explanation of Allah’s roots, it is believed that Mohammed adapted the name Allah from a minor tribal god. Wikipedia mistakenly identifies Allah as just another name for God, but there is no comparison between the God of the Christians/Jews and Muslims.)
Islam rejects the divinity of Jesus and teaches that Jesus was not God incarnate, nor the Son of God, and—according to some interpretations of the Quran—the crucifixion, death and resurrection is not believed to have occurred, and rather that God saved him.
Paradise is the term used by Muslims for Heaven. Muhammad is reported to have said, “Allah will bring out people from the Fire and admit them into Paradise.” Different branches of Islam believe differently about Heaven however they believe most of humanity will not get to Heaven.

Judaism

Judaism (originally from Hebrew יהודה, Yehudah, “Judah”; via Latin and Greek) is the religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people.
The Jewish religion is closely related to Christianity. At present they reject the Deity of Jesus, His being the Son of God, and His being the Messiah. However, according to the Bible they will someday receive Him.
The Jewish people have been and still are a people that God separated unto Himself and loves dearly. Anti-Semitism is incompatible with Christian worship. While the Jewish people are temporarily set aside, their day is coming!
In the meantime we Christians are to pray for the Jewish people and their land. True Christianity never ascribes to Anti-Semitic behavior.
The Jewish belief in Heaven is centered upon the Old Testament Paradise. Today Modern Judaism differentiates from the historical Jewish view. It seems complicated and works driven to me, so I won’t comment on that. But historically speaking, the Jewish people have believed in God (Jehovah) and in the prospect of going to Paradise. The concept of Paradise having been lifted up to be with God is foreign to many Jewish people today; that is an event that happened in the New Testament at the Crucifixion.

Christianity

The central tenet of Christianity is the belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah (Christ). Christians believe that Jesus, as the Messiah, was anointed by God as Savior of humanity and hold that Jesus’ coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.
A literal view of the Bible teaches that when Jesus was crucified and rose from the grave He took the Old Testament Paradise with Him into Heaven. This is where all the Old Testament saints and prophets are today.
To get to Heaven Christians believe you must be “Born again.” That term has lost some of its luster because it is used frequently to describe a sports figure’s rekindled career or a change of life involving career, money, etc. But in the Bible “Born again” refers to the fact that we are born spiritually dead in the flesh and born again spiritually when we receive Christ as our Savior.

So there aren’t many ways to Heaven?

That’s correct. When Thomas questioned how to be where He was going, Jesus responded, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
There is only One Way and That is Jesus!

The above blog used Wikipedia for much of the material. This by no means represents an endorsement of Wikipedia. I only used that which was pertinent and accurate.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Insights: Perished The World That Was

FeaturedInsights: Perished The World That Was

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Tuesday’s I try to focus on Insights. This week I am taking another look at Perished The World That Was.

As the roar of the Falls fell upon their ears, they stood. Eve reached up and wiped the tears from Adam’s face while ignoring her own. Adam started to say something and froze.
She turned to see what he was staring at. Only a few feet away they saw the finger of God writing upon the flat side of a large rock. Stunned, they watched.
When the writing stopped and the finger disappeared, Adam drew closer and read the words aloud.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
He looked backed at Eve, smiling radiantly.
“Eve, this is God’s Word, His very own writing. It tells of the creation!”

The above is taken from the book Perished The World That Was right after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. They had left the Garden in tears bearing the burden of their sin. Moreover they weren’t certain that God would still love and care for them. While the method of God’s revelation to them of the first chapter of Genesis is fictional the fact that He wrote the first chapter is now known.
How Can You Know That God Wrote the First Chapter?
Because of his signature.
God actually wrote Genesis 1:1 to 2:4. In the early chapters of Genesis the writers identified themselves in what is called a Toledoth. While there is still some debate generally it is believed that these Toledoths were to identify who the writer was of the preceding passage. In other words they served as subscripts.
In Genesis 2:4a it is believed that “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created” is the signature of God. If you study it out through the book of Genesis you discover that this is strongly supported.
Why Is This Important?
Because knowing who the Author of the first chapter is clears up some confusion. For instance, some people think of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are two different accounts about Creation. But this shows (as does the context if one bothers to actually read it) that these are not two different accounts. Chapter two is complimentary to chapter one and shows creation more from Adam’s perspective.
In chapter one only the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are present. In that chapter God tells us what He did (think of it like a painter with broad strokes) while in chapter two Adam is present and writes in the finer details of the creation of man (think of thin strokes within the broad strokes).
It is in chapter two that we get a description of the Garden of Eden, Adam’s first home, the naming of the animals, and the creation of Eve. To put it in modern vernacular it would go like this:
[Chapter 1] God created man in His image
[Chapter 2] And this is how God created man, placed him in a home fit for him, and created a wife for him.
Obviously there is more to those chapters that what I just wrote, but it gives you the overall picture of how to view the two chapters. Back when I was in school, we learned to start with an overall statement, then provide the statement and finally to recap the statement.
Understanding these two chapters is important because the rest of the Bible is based on them (along with chapter 3) and is referred to by the prophets as well as Jesus Christ. It leaves no room for evolution, the gap theory, or any other man-made theory. It clearly shows that God created the heavens and the Earth, the hills, vegetation, trees, fish, animals, and finally man.
It is the Word of God.
Moses had access to the written history of man which was passed from father to son over many generations. These were written not oral. Adam and Eve were created perfect and thus had mental acuity that we have yet to achieve. I believe they were genius’ and would still be considered that if they walked the Earth today. They didn’t know their writings would find a way into the Bible, but they faithfully recorded the facts as they were revealed by God to them.
When Moses got hold of these writings (from his father-in-law?) God the Holy Spirit guided him into copying only that which God wanted him to record. It is an amazing example of God both Inspiring the Word and Preserving the Word. We have a completed Bible we can trust explicitly!
VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Church Splits

FeaturedChurch Splits

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Church Splits.
One of the tragedies in Christianity is church splits. I’ve heard of churches splitting over where the organ sits, the color of the carpet, personal reasons, and more. But there is only one Biblical reason for a church split: doctrine.
We are to be true to the Bible. It is the Word of God. The Bible is the authority upon which a church exists and ministers. When a church departs from doctrine it loses its authenticity.
What Should We Do When Our Church Leaves Biblical Doctrine?
The first thing to do is to try to stop the church from going that way. If you wait until after the church has already moved, then you’ve probably waited too long. The time to correct a church’s slide from the Bible is before it slides.
If the church has already moved then it is time for you to look for a church that still upholds the Bible as the Word of God.
How Do I Know If The Church is Leaving Bible Doctrine?
First of all you need to learn Bible doctrine. Your pastor should be teaching and preaching doctrine. But there are reliable resources outside your church. Then you compare what the preacher is preaching to what the Bible says.
What Reliable Resources Are There?
One is the Sword of the Lord which is a reliable resource. This is a publication founded by the late Dr. John R. Rice and it still upholds the Bible after decades of existing. There are others but this is one of the best. Solid, fundamental doctrine is important. So be sure of your resource. There are outfits that claim that they teach correct doctrine but when you examine them you discover that they don’t.
Here are some critical doctrines:

  • Divinity of Jesus Christ
  • Christ the foundation of the church
  • Salvation by Grace alone
  • Baptism by immersion
  • Church government
  • Rapture before Tribulation
  • Security of the Believer
  • and more

Another Sign of Leaving Good Doctrine
One of the interesting things I’ve seen over the years is a pastor leaves the KJV Bible yet continues to preach the doctrines he learned from the KJV. Now everyone has the right to use the “Bible” of their choice. But Bibles that are not translated from the Texus Receptus are corrupted right from the start. You could call them commentaries rather than Bibles because they only contain portions of the Word of God. The KJV Bible can trace its heritage all the way back to the 1st Century, while the other versions that claim to be older don’t have a continuous record for their text. Instead they compare copies to copies (there are no originals today) to prove their claims and ignore history.
While the history of the Bible can be an exhausting study there are books that detail both the history of the Textus Receptus and the other texts (such as the Alexandrian and the Westcott and Hort). But the primary point I’m making here is that doctrine is based on the Word of God. When you start substituting inaccurate versions, which omit portions of Scripture, for the true version you end up with error. We see this play out frequently.
So if your church moves to a modern version of the Bible you should be alarmed.
Does That Mean They’ve Left Good Doctrine Already?
In one sense, yes they have. Because these newer versions leave out key words and verses they are considered in “Error.” The Bible used in the pulpit is itself a doctrinal issue. That said, other doctrines may remain true for some time. I know of one church (unnamed) where the pastor no longer uses the KJV and uses a different version, yet he still preaches the same solid doctrines that he learned from the KJV. The problem there is that it is a step in the wrong direction. It may take a short time or a long time before the next step is taken, but the way has been paved. And when that pastor leaves he will leave a church that no longer has the whole Word of God and is therefore vulnerable to error.
What if All My Friends Remain?
That is their choice. Each of us is responsible for our own lives. I was in a church that departed from the tenets of the Bible. In their case they were getting rid of a pastor who preached the Word of God faithfully and led a strong moral, Christian life. They had no Biblical basis for this (although they claimed to have Biblical backing, yet never revealed it). I fought it and lost. I not only had friends in the church but I had positions within the church. Some of my friends stayed though they agreed with me. But I left it all and God gave it all, and more, back to me!
It Will Hurt
Yes it will. When the church split first began I didn’t know what to do. It bothered me so much it affected me at work. I finally broke and told God that if He wanted me to leave I would do so. The moment I told Him that I felt the Peace of God upon me! That lessened the hurt and enabled me to leave, but it still hurt. Especially when they called me names. By the way, that church is no longer an independent Baptist church.
Church splits are harmful not only to our testimony to the world but to the individuals involved. In the end you must choose what you believe is the right thing for you to do. That is between you and God. So pray hard about it.
VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Is Jesus the Son of God?

FeaturedIs Jesus the Son of God?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Is Jesus the Son of God?
I read a really ignorant twitter a few minutes ago where the writer states that Jesus was nothing more than a carpenter and not God.
Why is it Ignorant?
Because even secular history identifies Jesus as more than a carpenter. Even the man-made religions of the world admit He existed and was more than a carpenter. Even His greatest enemies admit He was more than a carpenter.
It is also ignorant because the man who tweeted this message obviously never read the Bible. The Old Testament prophecies identified His characteristics and in the New Testament He fulfilled them to a ‘T.’
Denying that Jesus is the Son of God requires blinders. It requires that you ignore His miracles, ignore the fulfilled prophecies, and ignore His own claims. People have been trying for centuries to disprove His claims, all to no avail. They try to find ‘errors’ in the Word but such claims are quickly and thoroughly destroyed.
In other words it is not just ignorance but willful ignorance.
So What Prophecies were Fulfilled?
The Old Testament prophesied where He would be born. There were two Bethlehems existing in His day, but in Micah 5:2 we read, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Jesus was born in Bethlehem Ephratah.
In Psalm 22:16 (right in the middle of a graphic description of crucifixion) we read, “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.”
This describes the fact He was nailed to the cross and that His bones were not broken; two prophecies fulfilled.
In Isaiah 53 we find another prophecy (or prophecies) and in verse 9 we read, “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.”
Here we find that He was buried with the rich and in fact he was buried in the tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea. Read the passage Mark 15:43, 46, “Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. … And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.”
Though it was highly dangerous to be identified with Jesus, Joseph asked for the body and it was given to him. He then buried Jesus in his new, unused tomb.
These are but a few prophecies that were fulfilled in detail. The evidence is overwhelming that Jesus is the Son of God. A person literally has to lie to himself/herself to claim otherwise.
What about Jesus’ Claims?
Some Bible ‘scholars’ claim Jesus never said He was God. But take a look:
Luke 10:22: “All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”
John 12:34: “The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth
for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?”
Notice the use of “I Am” that Jesus uses below. His listeners knew that the name Jehovah means “I am that I am.” They understood exactly what Jesus was claiming.
John 8:18: “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.”
John 10:36: “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world,
Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?”
Or how about outright claims that even an unbeliever can understand?
John 10:38: “But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may
know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.”
I have barely touched the surface, but a reasonable person will admit that history identifies Him as at least a prophet, the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Him, and that Jesus Himself claimed to be God.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Church and the Family of God

The Church and the Family of God

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at The Church and the Family of God.
Is the Church and the Family of God the same?
There are some differences depending on your view of the church. The Family of God consists only of born-again Christians, whereas the church is an assembly of like-minded worshippers.
The Spiritual Church
The Spiritual Church refers to all believers down through the ages. It definitely is the same as the Family of God. When you receive Christ as your Savior, you immediately become a part of the family of God and are part of the church of God.
The Local Church
This is an organized church made up of professing Christians. Only God knows if they are all saved. It is possible that some are not saved and therefore not a part of the family of God.
What’s the Bride of Christ?
Actually this is another name for the Church and for the Family of God. The Bible speaks of us (all born-again believers) as the Bride of Christ.
What about the Body of Christ?
That’s another descriptive phrase pertaining to the Church.
Look at it this way, All born-again believers, despite denomination, are members of the Family of God which is called the Bride of Christ and the Body of Christ. The Local Church is the visible manifestation of the Church, but it often has both the tares (unbelievers) and the wheat (believers) within it which won’t necessarily be revealed until the Rapture.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Insight from World of Abraham

FeaturedInsight from World of Abraham

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Tuesday’s I try to focus on Insights. This week I am taking another look at World of Abraham.
“Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
Abram listened in shock. A great nation? Bless them that bless me? Curse them that curse me? (excerpt from World of Abraham based on Genesis 12:1)
While it is true we don’t hear an audible voice from God He still impresses upon our hearts His call. And I am safe to say that if you are a born-again Christian then at some point you have or will hear the call of God.
All Christians Get Called of God?
Yes. Not like Abraham but just as life changing. You could say that He calls on everyone at least once. Of course that is the call to salvation. That call is visible and audible. You see it in the Bible and hear it from the pulpit where the Bible is preached.
Once you’ve responded to that call and received Jesus Christ as your Savior you have joined His family and you are plugged into His communication system. I’ve always liked the song Turn Your Radio On. It speaks not of a radio made by man but to man’s spiritual ability to listen to God.
So How Does God Communicate to Me?
There are many ways and I am sure I will fail to mention them all. But one thing is common to them all, every one of them agrees with the Bible. For example, a man walks in and shoots people then claims God told Him to do that. It’s played up big in the news media and all too often it seems to indicate that believers are like him. But no, that man did not receive a call from God to murder anyone; it is contrary to the teaching of the Bible!
God will only call us to do that which is in agreement with His Word.
Another example is right from the Bible. When God created Adam He told him what he could and could not “eat” in the Garden. Adam would have then related that to Eve after her creation. But along came Satan in the form of a serpent and he immediately questioned God’s Word. Eve, seeking to justify God, said that “Ye shall not eat of it, [Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil] neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” She actually added to God’s word. (Nowhere in the Bible does God ever say that.) She didn’t say it with evil intent but it was wrong anyhow. In this case it was God’s spoken word to Adam and then relayed to Eve.
Here are some of the ways God communicates to us:

  • From the pages of the Bible
  • From the pulpit
  • From Christian counseling that is Bible based
  • From Christian books based on Bible
  • From godly advice by friends
  • From the Holy Spirit who indwells you

As stated before all of these have to be in accordance with God’s Word. A personal example from our lives was when we were moving. We had hit a wall. We didn’t know what to do. But God spoke to me during the night to be more open minded while He mentioned to Teresa a certain place. But were they really from God? Well, first of all they didn’t violate God’s Word. Secondly, God opened doors that made it all come together. Which is actually another method God uses, namely open doors. (Just because the door is open doesn’t make it God’s will. If you’ve been praying about something you are not required to go through the door but it would be a good practice to see what is on the other side of that door before going in or shutting it.)
Here are ways in which God does not communicate to us:

  • Our experience
  • From a dream
  • From a friend’s experience
  • From a friend’s wisdom
  • From a movie
  • From a song
  • From the newspaper (unless a Bible based article)
  • From your circumstances
  • From your need

Actually all of these could be used of God but only if in agreement with His Word. A Hollywood movie is unlikely to portray God’s Will, but yet God could impress upon your heart something you saw in the movie. But that would be His action not the director’s nor the actors.
So the Bible is the Authority?
Yes. And I would go further. I would not rely upon just any old version of the Bible. The King James Version is the only proven Bible. Other versions rely on corrupted text and therefore are corrupted themselves. The King James Version has rightfully been called the Bible for English speaking people.
But It’s Difficult to Read.
Poppycock! Even little boys and girls can be taught to read and understand the KJV. My wife grew up with the KJV. She learned to read it, understand it, and use it at an early age. We adults have to learn new languages (not just foreign languages, but technical and job related). You can learn it if you want to learn it.
What About Errors?
The only errors in the KJV Bible are the errors of your understanding. Satan has sown the lie about errors for decades and longer. The so-called errors fall flat on their face when examined honestly using the KJV itself.
In conclusion, we have much more available to us than Abraham had. But like him we are expected to hear, obey, and do.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Teaching in the Church

FeaturedTeaching in the Church

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Teaching in the Church.
I have served as Assistant Sunday School Teacher, Sunday School Teacher, and Assistant Junior Church. I have known good teachers, not so good teachers, and others. So I think I can speak with a little authority.
Is Teaching Sunday School a Calling?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: When you consider that you are teaching God’s Word to the future of your church, state, and nation then it is a calling. When you consider that God gave us the Inspired Word to be taught then it is a calling? When you consider that adults today are ignorant of the Bible because they either had no teacher or poor teachers then it is a calling.
I could go on, but you get the picture.
Does God’s Word really tell us to teach our children the Bible?
Consider this: “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Dt. 11:18-19.
This is what the Bible says! You be the judge.
Calling People Ignorant isn’t Nice?
Read what I said again. I said, “When you consider that adults today are ignorant of the Bible” and I say it again and again. Being ignorant and being ignorant of the Bible are two different things. Today people are not taught the Bible often enough or well enough.
I love the Bus Ministry but the Bus Ministry exists in large part because parents aren’t taking their kids to church. Both parents and children need to learn the Word of God. It is true that Sunday School isn’t mentioned in the Bible, but the command to teach your children is commanded. Furthermore, when a parent sends a child to Sunday School and stays home himself or herself the message is: Sunday School is for kids. No it is for adults also.
We Christians have lost a great many liberties since the 1950’s. Why? Well the Bible was removed from the schools, parents stayed home instead of going to church, and children were taught that the Word of God is nonsense.
People are in desperate need to learn the Bible; most of them just don’t know that. God calls men and women to teach His Word because Biblical Knowledge is needed in our land. It is an important calling.
Does Teaching the Bible Require Being Taught to Teach?
Again I would answer yes. I don’t mean formal college or even Bible School. I learned through two different methods.

  • I took a study course by mail
  • I sat as an assistant watching and learning from a Teacher

Then I made myself available to be used. I didn’t insist, beg, or bargain. I simply let the Minister of Education know in one church and the pastor know in another church that I was able. Then I left it in the Lord’s hand.
What are the Four Greatest Truths You Learned as a Teacher?

  • Read and know the Bible not just the lesson
  • Tolerate children moving a little (it’s amazing what they hear when you think they’re not listening)
  • Teach the Bible (I like having the Bible visibly in my hand)
  • Pray for your class.

What About Connecting With the Children?
Unfortunately kids are being taught that Sunday School is a time of play rather than a time to learn God’s Word. I try to encourage new teachers to emphasize teaching more. Why? Because you only get those kids for one hour and possibly another in Junior Church. That’s two hours a week and the world gets them the rest of the time!
It’s not about class outings. There is nothing wrong with class outings but they shouldn’t be the motivating factor to the point that if the teacher doesn’t have a class outing the child thinks he/she doesn’t care.
I’m old school. When I taught Sunday School, I sent cards to the boys (their name and address). I think that still works because everyone wants to get mail addressed to them (other than bills, etc.). Add to that a personal visit to their home. Their teacher came to their home to see them! That makes a positive impression on their minds and their parents minds.
What About Class Discipline?
I’m for it. However I don’t insist on the children not looking around, not speaking, and not being fidgety. My rule is that their eyes should be on me and they should not be keeping someone else from learning. In other words, I’m flexible. But I will call the student down if he or she is disturbing the class.
What About Treats? Is That Bribery?
I have read and heard people say that offering treats  so Children will come or when they come listen is Christian Bribery. Bribery involves getting someone to do something wrong. So it is not Christian Bribery.
Treats are excellent tools to help children be motivated to do right; namely to come to Sunday School and pay attention in class. It’s a teaching tool.
One of the best I ever saw was when the teacher had a treasure chest full of candy. He then locked the chest. For a student to be able to get candy out of the chest, they had to participate and answer correctly questions. This qualified them to reach into a jar and grab some keys. Because of the narrow opening they could only get a few keys at a time. Most of the keys were fake, but a few would actually unlock the treasure chest.
It worked!
Then Teaching is a Calling?
Definitely! And like any calling you want to apply yourself and be the best teacher you can be. That involves:

  • Dressing in a way you honor God and Church
  • Studying your Bible faithfully
  • Practicing your lesson
  • Loving your kids
  • Being tolerant of the fact they are kids
  • Teaching consistently
  • Repeating a truth probably three or more times (repetition is a great teacher)

One last point, your church is probably looking for people right now willing to teach. A willing heart is necessary. And don’t go into teaching saying I’ll teach here but not there. My first teaching assignment was teaching 6th Grade Boys. I had no experience but they desperately needed a teacher. The job was given to me and I loved it!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), or Pauline A New Home (Book Two) I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Finding a Church

Finding a Church

Today I am writing about Finding a Church.
Before I begin let me provide this snippet: Finding a good church involves a great many things but I am including only those I’m interested in.

  • Perhaps you just moved into a new area and need a church.
  • Perhaps you plan on moving into a new area and need a church.
  • Perhaps you just received Christ as your Savior (born again) and need a good church.
  • Perhaps you’re leaving your current church and need a good church.

There are myriads of reasons for leaving a church, but I am only looking at a few.
How Should I Look for a New Church?
Let’s look at the last item: leaving your church. There are a number of reasons for leaving a church, but the Biblical reason would be doctrine. And that requires soul searching. Why did you leave? What doctrinal issue was involved? If not a doctrinal issue then maybe you should reevaluate.
For the purposes of this blog I am making some assumptions. Namely, that you are a born again believer, that you either are or want to be a fundamentalist, that you want to grow.
What is a Fundamentalist?
A fundamentalist is a person who believes in the fundamentals or basics of Scripture. The following list covers most, if not all, of the fundamentals.
With those in mind here are some ideas: The Church should:

  • Believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, fully and verbally inspired of God.
  • Believe the Scriptures to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God, as found within the 66 books from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Believe God not only inspired every word, but also preserved them through the ages.
  • Believe the King James Version is the preserved Word of God for the English speaking people (Psalm 12:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
  • Believe in one God, who is eternal, self-existent, infinite, and immutable.
  • Believe He has one nature, one essence, and one substance, yet manifests Himself to man in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Timothy 1:17; James 1:17; 1 John 4:4).
  • Believe Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to be the one and only Saviour of mankind.
  • Believe Jesus Christ to be eternally God and to possess all the attributes of Deity.
  • Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born, that He was God incarnate, and that the purposes of the incarnation were to reveal God, to redeem men, and to rule over God’s Kingdom.
  • Believe He lived a perfect, sinless life, at the end of which He was offered for all mankind as a substitutionary sacrifice for man’s sin. This sacrifice was a just payment to God for the forgiveness of sin. It was activated by His death through the shedding of His blood on the cross and was accepted by God upon His resurrection.
  • Believe He ascended into Heaven after His resurrection to be seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the time of receiving His church at the Rapture, and returning seven years later to earth to rule and reign as King for 1,000 years (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 43:11; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 1:3, 14, 18, 29; Romans 3:19-25, 5:6-15; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 2:5, 3:16; Titus 2:10-15; Hebrews 7:26, 9:24-28; 1 Peter 1:19, 2:2; 1 John 1:3; Revelation 20:1-6).Believe the Holy Spirit of God is a person who has personality and all the attributes of Deity.
  • Believe all men were born with an inherited sin nature received from our common ancestor, Adam.
  • Believe that because of this nature, man is a sinner by choice, and he is totally incapable of reforming himself or ceasing from his sin by his own power.
  • Believe the only hope of deliverance for man is turning to Jesus Christ as the only Saviour.
  • Believe that only through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross can a man be delivered from his sin.
  • Believe that all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour are already condemned to an eternity in the Lake of Fire (Genesis 5:1-5; Acts 4:19, 16:31; Romans 3:10-23, 5:6-12, 6:23, 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Revelation 20:11-14).
  • Believe the local church is composed of members who have been saved and baptized according to the command of Christ, and have voluntarily united together for the purpose of worship, fellowship, service, and the Lord’s Table.
  • Believe all true believers will be taken up at the Rapture, just prior to the Tribulation (Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 1:15, 2:41-43, 11:15, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Ephesians 1:12-14, 5:25-30; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 3:4-15).
  • Believe in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures in their grammatical and historical context.
  • Believe in the pre-tribulation Rapture of the church saints, followed by the seven-year Tribulation.
  • Believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ to the earth and His literal rule for one thousand years. Following this one thousand years is a Great White Throne judgment and then the New Heaven and new earth (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-9; Revelation 19-22).

This is by no means considered to be an exhaustive list, but it does cover the fundamentals. You may disagree with some of these, which is your right. I have included Scripture references to support the items.
You mention the KJV Bible. Why?
Contrary to a lot of intellectual nonsense the King James Version is the only Bible today that is based on the Texus Receptus. The argument against the KJV is that there are “older” versions that are better. Since there are no originals in existence anymore it is impossible to tell which is older. That said, the King James Version is based on copies that can be traced right back to New Testament times. This is not true of many modern versions which can only be traced back to when they were found (at least one in a trash can).
How do I find out what a church believes?
Here are some ideas for that:

  • Church website – many, if not most, churches have a website where you can see their Statement of Faith
  • Tract Rack – When I visit a church I look at their tract rack, it is very revealing
  • Mission Board – another revealing source I check on when visiting a church
  • Friends – if your friends have visited the church they might be able to help
  • Sunday School teaching – you’ll learn a lot about the church’s beliefs and practices
  • Sermons – the preaching of God’s Word will always be revealing.

How often should I attend a church before making a decision?

  • I recommend at least three times. Sometimes it may take weeks to get a true picture.
  • A safe answer would be to attend as long as necessary to form a correct opinion.

What about Music?
Music can make or break a church. There are different views on the subject. One rule I would follow would be to stay away from churches which try to please everyone. These usually have Traditional and Contemporary music or services. A good question to ask is does the music honor God and lift up the name of Jesus. Does the music prepare the heart for the preaching?
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Writing as a Christian Service

Writing as a Christian Service

The following blog is taken from an earlier blog entitled, Is Writing a Service to God? I am still a writer and I write Christian themed novels. So examining the subject of writing is as natural as breathing. There may be small alterations, but basically it is the same.

Is writing fiction really serving God?

That’s a reasonable question since some people believe that it is not true service. I once was upbraided for writing novels based on the Bible because:

  • People will mistake it for the truth
  • Thereby getting wrong doctrine

There are a few things wrong with that view:

  1. The Bible is found in the Bible or Religion section of bookstores not fiction
  2. Novels are found in the Fiction section not in the Religion section
  3. My books state they are novels
  4. My novels are purposely based on Biblical fact and doctrine
  5. My novels flesh out the stories rather than disagree

In other words, no person who has read my books can seriously claim they teach false doctrine. If there is any doctrine in the book it always agrees with the Bible. In fact, I have been told my books “bring the Bible alive!”

Actually one of the reasons for writing Bible based novels is to encourage people to read the Bible; to discover what is Bible fact and what is a product of my imagination? It is always a thrill when someone reads my books and their faith is either renewed or they become more interested in reading the Bible.

And that is a service!

The true test of service, any kind of service, is as follows: Does it

  • Agree with Biblical facts
  • Honor God
  • Inspire people to read the Bible
  • Inspire people to worship God
  • Inspire others to serve
  • Inspire people to live godly lives

It needn’t do all the above but it should have at least one of the elements. Christian authors, whether fiction or non-fiction writers, have an awesome opportunity to influence people for Christ. You don’t have to be preachy. You don’t even have to write about Bible events or people. But our writings should reflect a Christian approach to or view of life.

My books generally take place before the birth of Christ yet I strive to present a Christian view. So while I don’t mention Jesus, I do mention the Redeemer. In addition, I emphasize the Scriptures (aka the Writings).

So if you’re a Christian author don’t be shy about being one. You have a job, perhaps a calling. Trust His leading and do things His way. And when people challenge you respond in pride, “I write because God gave me the talent and because He wants me to use it for Him.”

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Pre, Mid, or Post Rapture?

Pre, Mid, or Post Rapture?

In my last blog (Christian Numerology?) I wrote about the ‘end of the world’ on Saturday September 23rd. We are now past that date and we are still here. But my post raised a question pertaining to the Rapture. It was pointed out that there are three Rapture theories: Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Post-Trib. So let’s explore these a little in reverse order:

Post Tribulation

This view holds that the church will go through the entire seven year Tribulation and then will come the Rapture. While some Christians still believe in this theory it has largely been dismissed. There are many promises in Scripture concerning the Rapture that Post Tribulation either ignores or spins. These are:

  • 3:10
  • Luke 12:10
  • Matthew 24:42, 44
  • I Thess. 4:13-18
  • 1Thess 1:10,5:9
  • Romans 5:9
  • Ephesians 5:6

Does belief in the Post Tribulation Rapture mean one is not saved? No! Rather, I believe, it means that they have been taught amiss. A literal reading of the Word of God does not lead to a belief in the Post Trib Rapture.

Mid-Tribulation

This view means the church will go through the first half of the Tribulation, but escape the second half sometimes called the Great Tribulation. But again believers in this theory ignore or neglect important verses. This theory is based on 1 Corinthians 15:52 and in particular “the last trumpet.” They teach that this is the last trumpet of the trumpets found in Revelation. But the problem is that to do that they must ignore the fact that all the other trumpets of Revelation deal with God’s wrath.

The simple fact is that the Rapture is a New Testament subject meant only for the Church. Yet the church is never mentioned again after Revelation 4:1. From then on it is Israel which was, is and will be God’s beloved and chosen people. One of the purposes of the Tribulation, other than to punish unbelievers, is to bring the Jewish people back to Him! (Mt. 23:39; Luke 13:35.)

Pre-Tribulation

This view takes a literal view of the Bible including all the promises. Some of these are:

  • Revelation 3:10
  • I Thessalonians 1:10
  • I Thessalonians 5:9
  • Ephesians 5:6
  • Colossians 3:4

According to this view there is no event that must take place before the Rapture occurs. It could happen at any time. This view is also the view of the early church fathers, such as Barnabas (ca.100-105), Papias (ca. 60-130), Justin Martyr (110-195), Irenaeus (120-202), Tertullian (145-220), Hippolytus (ca. 185-236), Cyprian (200-250), and Lactantius (260-330).

I am not concerned whether you agree with me or not. What is important is that if you have received Christ as your Savior (been born again through the blood of Jesus) then you will be Raptured (Caught Up). It is a promise of God to us!

So there you have it. I hope I haven’t offended anyone, but now you know my position and the position of this blog. I am a fundamentalist; I take the Bible literally except where it indicates otherwise.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.