His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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What is Christianity?

Being good, loving others, going to church, having faith in Jesus. These are all good pieces of the Christianity puzzle. And then, being hypocritical and judgmental … oops, I wandered off into people’s perceptions rather than the truth.

But what is the core truth of what it means to be a Christian? The Apostle Paul might summarize it as having faith, hope and love. I like this answer. But for me, the core answer goes even deeper … to trust.

It’s my trust in Jesus that allows me to have faith, hope and love. Christianity is trusting what Jesus said and promised as recorded in the Bible. It’s trusting that Jesus alone will save us, rather than our own efforts. And it’s trusting in the presence of the Holy Spirit of God and Jesus, here within each of us who believe. And to believe requires trust.

Christianity is trust.


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Non-Christians in Heaven

I’ve been thinking about people who don’t believe in Jesus. What do they think of certain hot-button Bible verses, such as when Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)?

Well, there’s no way I can know what anyone else thinks. But I still remember some of my thoughts about such things, before I started believing in Jesus and when I thought I was an atheist.

First, if someone doesn’t believe in Jesus because they don’t trust the Bible, well… they won’t care about anything in the Bible. It’s all fiction to them. Oh, they might get annoyed by some verses – I did before I started believing. But something you don’t believe in isn’t going to have much power over you.

But I’m more interested in those people who get really upset by such verses as John 14:6. I’ve known many people, even Christians, who refuse to believe what Jesus says in that verse. And I’ve struggled with it myself. How will heaven possibly be joyful for me if people I love aren’t there with me? Though I don’t understand, I choose to just trust God. He’ll work things out somehow.

But back to non-Christians who get really upset at the Bible when it tells them they’re not going to heaven: what is it that gets their emotions stirred up? Well, maybe they hope everyone will go to heaven, no matter what they believe. Or at least “good” people will be let inside.

But wait… that would mean that they believe in heaven, even if they don’t believe in Jesus. That thought gets my mind churning a bit, and this is what has been spit out as what I believe…

I believe the Holy Spirit of Jesus speaks to our soul, deep down below the surface of our mind. It’s our soul that hears and believes the truth of Jesus, God, and heaven. And it’s our soul that feeds our heart and mind with the belief in and craving for heaven.

So I’m happy for those people who get really upset at certain Bible verses, for it tells me they are listening to their soul. And it also shows me that Jesus loves them, for He’s reaching out to their soul in His own special way.

What do you think?


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The Spirit Speaks – of Being Churchless at Christmas

Are you newly dechurched? Have you decided that the institutional church isn’t for you, at least for now? And will this Christmas be the first one in a long time where you will not be celebrating with a church? Or is this just one more year of a churchless Christmas?

However your answers make you feel, I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, wish no guilt be upon you. I know what you’re going through. And it’s okay.

If you can’t bring yourself to enter a church during this annual time of celebration, then bring yourself to enter into me. If you can’t walk through the doors of the church sanctuary, then walk through the door of the sanctuary of your heart. That’s where I worship. Join me within the depths of your heart this Christmas, and we will worship and celebrate together.


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The Spirit Speaks – of the One Greater than the Church

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, see the turmoil in my Church. I see the division and the politics. I see the dysfunctional collection of dissimilar churches. I see those children who are pushed out. And I see those who run away.

My children abandon churches for many reasons. Some are escaping behaviors that don’t make sense to them; things that don’t seem “Christian.” Yet this is the nature of church, for the church family members are all typical broken and flawed people. As sin is a part of human nature, you will find the fruits of sin wherever there are people.

This may seem like a dilemma; how can you have a Christ-filled church when it’s full of sin-filled people? As in everything in life, the answer to this question is to look away from the manmade weaknesses of church, and look to me. For I am greater than the church. Problems flourish when people forget it’s not church traditions that rule, but that I am Lord of the Sabbath.

To those who leave and those who stay, look to me, the One greater than the Church. As I said, “I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:6,8)


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We Are The Church!

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I belong to several Facebook groups for Christians who no longer attend a church. We each have our own reasons for leaving what some call the “Institutional Church.” But this morning I was thinking about what we do in these groups. We share experiences, we share inspiration, we share our struggles, and we share support and encouragement. But what I think most of it boils down to is this – as a group, we praise and worship God and Jesus.
And then it struck me: We Are The Church! Each Facebook group is a type of church. And by “church” I mean God’s definition of church, which I believe is the collection of Spirit-filled believers. So though we’ve left the institutional church, I think we’re still in the true church.
What do you think?


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The Spirit Speaks – of Dechurched Christians Living in Fear

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I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, see many of God’s children living in fear of judgment. Oh, they don’t fear my judgment; they fear the judgment of other Christians. Dechurched Christians, those who no longer attend a church yet still believe, fear the judgment of churchgoing Christians.

There are two victims in this: those who are judged, and those who do the judging. But my plan for my church and my children does not include judgment and guilt. Look, I don’t judge dechurched Christians because they no longer attend church. And I don’t judge churchgoing Christians who may have a hard time understanding and accepting dechurched Christians.

What’s most important to me is where your heart is, not where you’re sitting on Sunday morning. My desire for all of you is the same: that you have a personal and intimate relationship with me, Jesus Christ. Your relationship with me is more important than your relationship with a church.


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The Spirit Speaks – of Relationship with a Church vs. Him

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I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, was browsing Facebook yesterday (yes, I cruise Facebook, even through your eyes). I was reading comments on a Group page for Christians who no longer attend church. Some call these people “dechurched” Christians.

I am sad, but not surprised. Not only because these people don’t go to church, but because of their personal feelings of guilt and shame. You see, some dechurched Christians feel so badly about no longer going to church that they don’t use their real names in the Facebook groups. They fear the judgment and potential wrath of church-going friends and family who may discover they no longer go to church.

Are you a dechurched Christian? Or are you devoted to a church and know a dechurched Christian, maybe a close friend or even a spouse? My desire for all of you is the same: that you have a personal and intimate relationship with me, Jesus Christ. For your relationship with me is more important than your relationship with a church. And your love for me and each other is also more important than your love of a church.

And know this: I won’t judge you by where you go, or don’t go, on Sunday morning.