Tuesday, February 23, 2010

“True Conversion – Making Your Salvation Sure” Part 2 of 2

(inspired from a message by Ray Comfort)

Like I said in part one, the purpose of this teaching is NOT to scare you out of your salvation, but to help you have a clear presentation of the gospel, and to give you an understanding that all who say they are "SAVED" may indeed not be saved, that's why their lives have never changed. A life touched by Jesus is a changed life!

In all this, I want the true believer to remember the keeping power of the LORD for His children. John 10:28 (no one will snatch us out of His [God's] hand); Heb. 13:5 (I will NEVER leave you…); Phil. 1:6 (…He has has begun a good work in you will complete it…)

Today, I want us to start this devotion by looking at :

4 Soils – Reveal the Response of Man's Hearing the Word.

Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23 Parable of the Sower. Preaching the gospel – 4 different responses.

In Mark 4:13, Jesus in discussing this parable with His disciples says, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? Jesus emphasizes the importance of this parable, and then goes into exact detail on what it means. YET, people have disagreement on what it means. Personally, I think part of the misunderstanding is that we want to think that anyone who "hears" the word and has any response whatsoever is saved (i.e. stony and thorny ground), but this is not true. Let's take a look at these 4 soils.

Soil one:
Wayside Ground
(unreceptive) Hard surfaces – due to constant foot traffic (seed does not penetrate). Does not understand. These are the people who obviously don't receive – These people we know didn't get saved.

Soil two:
Stony Ground (insincere-wrong motives) – Very shallow root system. Immediately receives with joy/gladness, but when faith is tested ((tribulation/persecution), immediately falls away. These are those people who at first act like they have had a salvation experience, but time reveals their true spiritual state, and they too bear no fruit and soon fall away.

Soil three:
Thorny Ground – Cares (Lit. distractions) of this world, deceitful riches (Mark 4:19 adds "…desire for other things") choke the seed and it becomes unfruitful (Luke 8:14 adds "…bring no fruit to maturity"). These again look like they had a salvation experience, but they fade away and bring no fruit to maturity.

Soil four:
Good soilHears AND Understands (Luke 8:15 says, "…with a noble and good heart, keep it…" Bear fruit, some 30, others 60, others 100. Notice ALL on the Good soil

3. KEEPS IT. All good soil people hear, understand, and keep (i.e., bear fruit), though at different levels. Slow growth might be better than quick growth and crashing!!!

We have FOUR soils who heard the Gospel but ony ONE soil was a changed life!!!

We need to face up to the fact that all who go to church aren't saved, even all who "appear" to be saved aren't saved! Ex. Sheep (saved)/Goats (lost) both in the church – Matt. 25:32,33.
Wheat (saved)/Tares (lost) again both are together, i.e. in the church – Matt. 13:36-43. Church doesn't save you, no more than jumping into water makes you a fish.

I believe a good dose of severe persecution would purify the church and reveal true and false Christians – Rev.2:8-11

Preach it right:
Getting a decision for Christ without preaching repentance, wrath (Rom. 1:18), guilt, hell is wrong.

Signs of a TRUE Convert:
A true convert will love the Word, love fellowship with other believers, love worship, care about the lost, etc.

Without true conversion, you will go back to the world - Some are falsely called backsliders, but were never converted to start with.

True converts will FALL (slip) into sin – Gal. 6:1, but false converts DIVE into sin.

Ray Comfort story:

A man comes late at night (3:00 am) to a Senior Pastor's house for counseling. Then, when allowed in, he trys to kill the pastor with a 40-inch machette. The next day another pastor says the man was a member in his church. He says, "Another Christian doing that to a pastor." Ray Comfort says, "Hold on a minute!" We need to know that machete swinging, attempting to kill a pastor is a good indication that he is not a TRUE Christian. We have to stop embracing everyone who names the name of Christ. There are those who "claim Christ but have never been Born Again!"

We need to check our hearts. Are you a true child of God (Christian), then you will BEAR FRUIT!

Fruit will come forth in some portion. It will vary in time to maturation and how much it yields - 30, 60, 100!

The bottom line is


May today's word speak to your heart.

Feel free to pass it on to others who may be helped by it!

Audio of this complete message as preached in Nigeria, Africa, is available at:
"True Conversion – Making your Salvation Sure!"

In His Service,

Pastor Jim Mazzulla (jim@biblefood.org)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

True Conversion – Making your Salvation Sure!

This is where I will be posting blogs for BibleFood devotional from now on.

Periodically I will update the website with these devotions in the archived area of the website, but it will be a lot easier for me to write them here, and really easier for you to read them in here. Plus now you can easily add comments to the devotion too! For other applicati0ns you can go back to website by clicking here: www.biblefood.org

My hope is that the time I save will make it possible for me to write more quality devotions, and I look forward to your comments.

Let's get into today's devotion: True Conversion – Making your Salvation Sure!

Note: Today's devotion was Inspired by a message I heard by Ray Comfort

The purpose of this teaching is NOT to scare you out of your salvation, but to help you have a clear presentation of the gospel and to give you an understanding that all who say they are “SAVED” may indeed not be saved, that’s why their lives have never changed. A life touched by Jesus is a changed life!

In all this I want the true believer to remember the keeping power of the LORD for His children.
John 10:28 (no one will snatch us out of His [God’s] hand)

Heb. 13:5 (I will NEVER leave you…)
Phil. 1:6 (…He has has begun a good work in you will complete it…)

Common Example: Someone said they were saved as a child, yet their lives never changed. Now they are living in the world with no intentions of changing, no conviction, no concern about their spiritual state . It can be false hope to think you are saved when you are not. I’m not judging you, God’s Word does!!!

1. The purpose of the law (10 Commandments) in sharing the Gospel

This brings me to the first area of neglect that I feel is so important in ministering to the lost about Christ (I’m not saying it is the only way – but it is a scripture-based method). We need to use the law (especially the 10 Commandments) to show people their need of Christ. James 2:10 says that no one keeps the law, thus, guilty of ALL.
Rom. 3:19 tells us the Law holds ALL accountable/guilty (see 10 Commandments – Exo. 20), even those who maybe haven’t heard the 10 commandments. ALL have the law in them (written on their hearts). Rom. 2:14,15

We want to see people come to a saving knowledge of Christ, but we haven’t shown them how very guilty they are before a Holy God. How can a man repent if he doesn’t know he is a sinner (guilty)?

Some have experienced a false salvation, as we see in Matt. 7:18-23
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the
will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have
cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you (in the Greek it means not even once – (thus, it is not talking about a backslider): depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Paul hadn’t know sin except the law. (Rom. 7:7) Earlier he said in Rom. 7:4 – “…Dead to the law through Christ.”

I believe without the preaching of the law (that shows us that we are guilty before a Holy God) we have produced a group of people, not just in the world, BUT IN THE CHURCH, who are not saved, but deceived into a false salvation; thus, our churches lack the fear of God (no reverence, no awe, no trembling before God).

My final thought on the LAW is found in Gal. 3:24-25 – The Law is our schoolmaster/tutor. It won’t save you but point you to your need for Christ.

I love the following quote:
“THE LAW CAN ONLY CHASE A MAN TO CALVARY, NO FURTHER” (law can’t save you!) – D.L. Moody

2. True salvation will bring forth repentance and be followed by good fruit

While salvation is not of works (Eph. 2:8,9 & Titus 3:5), the outcome of a true conversion will be repentance and fruit.

If there is no true repentance, then there is no true salvationActs 3:19, 26:20, Matt. 3:8

If there is no fruit , then there is no Salvation.
See – John 15:5, 16; Rom. 6:20-22
Rom. 7:4
Dead to the law – married to another – Jesus Christ --->Fruit unto God

What is the fruit of a true believer (partial list, not all inclusive)?

1. Matt. 3:8, Acts 3:19 Fruit of REPENTANCE.

2. Col. 1:10, Titus 2;11-14, 3:8 Fruit of GOOD WORKS.

3. Heb. 13:15 Fruit of THANKSGIVING.

4. Gal. 5:22,23 Fruit of the SPIRIT (love, joy, peace…).

5. Phil. 1:11, James 3;17-18 Fruit of RIGHTEOUSNESS (which results because of Christ in one’s life).

End with this short story:
It is said that years back two Russian guards rushed into a prayer meeting and said, “if you’re NOT ready to die for Christ, then get out of here, and half the church left. ” They did this as they themselves were Christians and wanted to separate the true Christians from the false.


Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith!!! If not, and this message has touched you, repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
Then, get grounded in a good Bible believing church – let me know if you don’t know the churches in your area, I’ll help you find one.

In a few days I will send out another message (part two)on this subject . There is too much material to cover in one devotion.

Audio of this complete message as preached in Nigeria, Africa, is available at:
www.sermon.net/biblefood “True Conversion – Making your Salvation Sure!”

In His Service,
Pastor Jim Mazzulla (jim@biblefood.org)

Comments are welcome!!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Persecution and You - Are you claiming it!"

This is longer than usual but it’s been awhile since I have put out a devotion, and I believe this one has been put heavily on my heart for all of you. Please read! Thank you!

Mark. 10:29-30 We love “claiming” or saying the promises of God are for me. Well, today, I may be adding a promise that you more than likely haven’t been claiming. Now let’s look at our main scripture for today’s devotion: 29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother *or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. Mark 10:29-30
* “wife” taken out as it is NOT in the original Greek.

Persecution defined:
The act or practice of persecuting; especially, the infliction of loss, pain, or death for adherence to a particular creed or mode of worship. In the New Testament "persecuted" comes from the Gk. word dioko, which means: "to pursue" or "chase away." Over time it came to mean "to harass" or "treat in an evil manner."

Now let’s take a look at II Timothy 3:12: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 Jesus promised us, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (Jn. 15:20) Jesus did not promise us a rosy life. He promised us suffering. This is why he calls his followers to first “take up their cross” and then to “follow” Him.

In Matt. 16:24 “Jesus put the emphasis on self-denial and cross-bearing.”

Side Note: “I also believe our WORST day in Christ (as a Christian), is better than our BEST day without Christ (lost).”

As we look back into the Book of Acts we see the church was getting comfortable, even though they were told in Acts 1:8 (to take the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. In Acts 8:1-4, persecution came and the church then spread to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, through the earth.

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matt. 16:24-25)

I’d like to share some personal experience along this line:
I went over to India in 2006 for 3 weeks (one week travel time) and preached 21-22 times while there. The people were so hungry. I preached my heart out. Then, in one of the last meetings, as we were driving approximately 1-1/2 hours across dirt in the dark to return to the pastor's compound who invited me to India, he let me know we were being followed by Hindu extremists who had been following us to some of our recent meetings, and wanted the meetings stopped. In America the persecution is there, but not at this level. As we were followed (and our van was not running well), I had to ask myself if these people pull us out of the van and beat us or threaten to kill us (or ME), am I going to be a coward and cry "Please don't hurt or kill me"? I thought about it very soberly and thought of how boldly I had preached the gospel over 20 times in India. So I prayed to the LORD that if we got pulled over and attacked that He would help me to not be a coward. The van, though not running very well, made it back to the compound safely, but it seemed like an eternity as we were followed the entire way. That was a real lesson to me about how deep does my Christianity goes! It was very sobering for an American whose level of persecution is when someone refuses a tract, laughs at you, etc. That being said, I will be going back in 2009 - PTL! I also have an evangelist friend in Pakistan, who has lived in Pakistan his entire life – His response to persecution - It's NO big deal it's part of life as a Christian. Think of the persecuted church in China - heavily persecuted, beaten, tortured, thrown in jail, and killed for their faith – Yet there are more true Christians there than anywhere in the world. We feel sorry for all the suffering that Christians around the world suffer (and we should), but while we feel bad, sad, and sorry for them, and are praying for them (and we should), they are praying for a true move of God in America. China has more than 15 million Christians in government-sanctioned churches, but as many as 100-130 million in unregistered congregations (these are the saved). Fifty or more Christians were arrested in January of this year after communist leaders viewed a new video, "The Cross: Jesus in China," produced by a California-based group, China Soul for Christ Foundation.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

Footnote from Life Application Bible on verse 11-12: Jesus said to rejoice when we are persecuted.
Persecution can be good because:
1. It takes our eyes off earthly rewards.
2. It strips away superficial belief.
3. It strengthens the faith of those who endure.
4. Our attitude through it serves as an example to others who follow.

Not only does Jesus imply that persecution is coming but you're blessed as a result of it. The promise we have is that when you choose to live godly lives, we can expect persecution! “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep (life) to gain what he cannot lose (eternity).” Written by: Jim Elliot wrote that in his journal shortly before giving his life (martyred) on the mission field. He knew that the cost of the cause of Christ is everything you have. How about you, do you know real persecution? If not, why not? It's promised in Mark 10:30 and II Tim. 3:12 and was (and still should be) a normal part of the true church's everyday life. The persecuted church has always been a growing church.

Maybe what we in America need is some real persecution!

I encourage you to watch a short clip (2 min. 45 sec. on China persecution at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=4GwEHibmCCk&feature=related

And a touching longer clip (30 min.) on China Christians at: http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=cec3d9fd68600c58ee43c3d9fd68600c58ee43

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ALSO this AUDIO devotion and many other SERMONS are available free (notes too) at:
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In His Service, Jim Mazzulla (jim@biblefood.org)
Comments are welcome :-)