Every day pray that everyone you know will either become a Christian or influence others to become a Christian, and please share this online book with others - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com
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For Wednesday evening services, the Lord has lead me to do a Bible study for practical Bible verses in Matthew. Please come back to these Bible lessons in order to review them and learn them. Whenever we have learned the meaning of Bible verses and think about them throughout each day, we will be in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Not only that, but when we are in a situation in our daily lives and are tempted to sin, we can think back to what we have learned from the Bible and say to ourselves, "The Bible says to not do what I am tempted to say, think, do, and/or desire right now, so I am going to refuse to give in to this temptation." This is what Romans 12:2 means, and it says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." This is also the pattern that Jesus used when the devil tempted Him to sin in Matthew 4:1-11.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW
24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself (They need to be willing to give up their old lifestyle where they spend their time, thoughts, future goals, etc. on things that don't involve Jesus and be willing to live the Christian lifestyle, explained in chapter 39 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com), and take up his cross (be willing to identify with Jesus where ever they went), and follow me (live the type of lifestyle described in chapter 39 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com). 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (This means before someone becomes a Christian, they need to consciously or unconsciously (see the 6th point of chapter 6 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com for more explanations) “lose” or “give up” every area of their life and be willing to let Jesus take over every area of their life (be willing to live the way chapter 39 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com describes). The purpose of life is for people to literally give up their lives and follow Jesus (For instructions on how to begin to follow Jesus, see chapter 39 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com). Just think how much better our world would be if more people lived this way. Life would become so less stressful if people would focus on doing this until they die because this is why people are on earth right now. This is definitely something to think about before someone makes their decision to become a Christian. God gives people all these years on the earth to test them to see if they will spend more of their time, other than work or school, etc., doing what they want to do or doing what Jesus wants them to do. Hebrews 11:24-26 have the same idea as Matthew 16:25-26 - Just like Moses could have done, we can spend our lives living like kings, or we can spend our lives following Jesus (explained in chapter 39 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com). 27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Those who decide not to become Christians (Every true Christian will live the Christian lifestyle in some form as a result (This lifestyle is explained in chapter 39 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com This chapter includes examples of good works, in which verse 27 is referring to.) will not be rewarded when Jesus comes in the glory of his Father with his angels.)
Even though Jesus said this to His disciples, Mark 8:34-37 record a very similar statement Jesus made, but this time Jesus wasn't only talking to His disciples. Mark 8:34 says, "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also." If the multitude of people weren't ever in their life willing to follow Jesus, they didn't make it to heaven. Jesus turned away thousands of people from heaven because they were not willing to follow Him (explained in chapters 6 and 7 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com). You will find nowhere in the Bible that Jesus chased after the people who turned away from Him and said, “Just forget what I just said; please come back and just believe in Me.” If someone wants to become a Christian, they need to be consciously or unconsciously willing to begin following Jesus after they accept Jesus as their Savior.
Those who never follow (with the exception of people who don’t live long after they get saved or aren’t physically and/or mentally able due to bad health, etc.) or refuse to begin to follow Jesus, whether consciously or unconsciously, do not become Christians. If you have read the sixth paragraph of chapter 2 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com, you will see that someone can be unconsciously willing to follow Jesus and be prepared to become a Christian. In the New Testament we see examples of people who consciously were not willing to follow Jesus “from that moment on and for the rest of their lives”, and they gave up their chance to receive salvation at that time. Most likely, this was their only chance, especially after seeing Jesus face to face. We know this because in the Upper Room during Pentecost, only about an hundred and twenty disciples (Acts 1:15) were present including Jesus' original eleven disciples. In another instance, 1 Corinthians 15:6 says, "After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep." These were disciples who saw Jesus after His resurrection. The point is that thousands of people turned away, gave up on Jesus, and didn't endure to the end. "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 10:22). So, we know that many thousands of people admired Jesus and followed Him around, but only hundreds (a small minority) proved to possess salvation. That seems to be a relatively close approximation because Jesus (mentioning how many people actually enter heaven) said in Matthew 7:14, "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
And no, following (imitating and obeying) Jesus doesn’t always mean becoming homeless and going town to town in order to preach and teach (See the 15th indented paragraph of chapter 5 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com beginning with this sentence, “In many churches today, discipleship is not encouraged.”).
If you have prayed or made a decision to become a Christian, but you have not been living the way chapter 39 of this book describes, please follow chapter 10 of this book - www.areyousureyouaresaved.com
If you have never prayed or made a decision to become a Christian, please follow this website - http://chriswaug5.wix.com/howtogotoheaven
If you have prayed or made a decision to become a Christian, but you are not sure you are really a Christian (Hebrews 11:6, Matthew 21:18-22, 1 John 5:14, and Hebrews 11:1), please follow this website - http://chriswaug5.wix.com/howtogotoheaven