My life's road to eventually becoming " Saved by the grace of God " and called into His Service as an ordained " Bible Teacher " has not been an easy one for sure ..... Those that have known me, and my past, over the years would more than likely say :
" Russ Pickett ..... an ordained Bible Teacher ..... no way ! "
However our " Heavenly Father " and His Son " Jesus the Christ " can, and have, made changes in peoples lives over time that can sometimes boggle the mind ! Two that had remarkable changes that almost everyone knows about include :
" King David "
A man who wrote most, or all, of the Psalms was a " murderer and adulterer " ..... but later in life after changes within David's life the Bible tells us :
[ 22 ] ..... He ( God ) raised up David to be their king, of whom He ( God ) testified and said, I have found in David the son of Jesse a man " After My Heart ", who will do all my will.
" The Apostle Paul "
Who wrote more books in the New Testament than anyone else ..... helped the local Jewish Leaders and the Romans persecute and kill " Christian Believers " until he had a meeting with, and was called to Christian Service, by Jesus Himself :
[ 1 ] Meanwhile, still spewing death threats against the Lord's disciples, Saul ( i.e. Paul ) went to the high priest. [ 2 ] He asked him for letters to take with him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way ( i.e. Christians ), he might bring them in chains to Jerusalem. [ 3 ] As Saul traveled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. [ 4 ] He dropped to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, " Saul, Saul ! Why are you persecuting me ? " [ 5 ] He asked, " Who are you, Lord ? " The voice said, " I'm Jesus, whom you are persecuting. [ 6 ] Now get up, go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do. "
Now I'm not comparing myself in anyway to " King David or Paul " but merely using their stories to show that anyone, you or I, can have our lives changed so that we can serve " God our Heavenly Father " no matter what our lives were like in the past .....
I first found out about salvation thru Jesus Christ in the mid-1970's and even though I learned a lot about the scriptures and even made a lot of changes in my life I had fallen in with the crowd that believed the theology of " Once Saved ..... Always Saved " and today I know that theology to be " Biblically a False Doctrine ! " .... Thinking you are " Always Saved and going to heaven " causes people to get careless about following a Christian Life and can also lead a person to think they can be sinful and still go to heaven .....
During that time of my life I hurt " a lot " of people ..... and to this day if causes me pain when I think about those that I hurt ..... But praise be to my " Heavenly Father " because he wasn't through with me yet ..... Two decades later in the late 1990's my life took a turn as multiple things in my life started to cause me to be depressed ..... and as I had done during the mid-1970's I once again started to turn to the " Bible and prayer " for answers on how to make my life happier .....
And I came across " three scriptures " that finally give me what I had been searching for my entire life !
The first verse I found, or was lead to by the Holy Spirit, was ....
I Timothy 4:1
[ 1 ] Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times " some shall depart from the faith ", giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
And seeing the statement " some shall depart from the faith " in that verse made me start to think about the idea of " Once Saved ... Always Saved " and I found other verses in the Bible that basically said the same thing .... " some shall depart from the faith " ..... and I thought " How does someone fall from the faith since I'd been told that I was always saved once I accepted Jesus as my Saviour ..... Maybe I'm not saved and going to heaven after all ? "
As I continued my studies in the Bible I then found this verse spoken by Jesus Himself ....
[ 23 ] Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
In my own way at that time I did indeed love Jesus ..... But know one had told me about having to keep His words to prove my love ..... I immediately went on a study to see what else was in the New Testament that might talk about the same thing ..... and that is when I came across the third verse ( shown below ) ..... written by the Apostle John ..... I new what I had to do .....
And the third verse ....
I John 1:6
[ 6 ] If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
That verse tied it all up for me ..... And seeing the statement about " If we say we have fellowship ( or love Him ) with him ..... but still walk in darkness ( sin ) ..... then we are " Liars " !
So if we " think " we are saved but " Don't Keep His Commandments " ..... Then, according to the Apostle John, we are not saved but instead we are simply " Liar's " and therefore there is no salvation of the soul.
And the Apostle John was actually just noting what our Lord Jesus Christ had previously stated which was:
There are things in my past that I'm personally not happy about ...
( but then again who doesn't have the same thoughts about their past )
Statement of Faith
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Last modified: Sunday, August 22, 2021