Mercy Without Repentance

In his homily dated June 15, 2013, Pope Francis preached mercy without repentance.

We look for Jesus Christ and say: “This is your sin, and I will sin again.” And Jesus likes that, because it was his mission: to become the sinner for us.

Pope Francis was actually preaching a different gospel. Jesus never encouraged us to sin. In fact, He repeatedly stressed the importance of repentance, as we read in the following verses:

So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” (Luke 17:3–4)

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:46–48)

And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:31–32)

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)

Mercy without repentance is humbug. Asking God for forgiveness with the intent to sin again is never repentance. Repentance is feeling genuine regret for someting we did in the past and wish we had not done. Repentance is making a commitment not to sin again.

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Read the Bible with an Open Mind and an Open Heart

The Bible is not inerrant. The Bible was written by people who had different upbringing, different backgrounds, different life experiences, different perspectives, different agendas, and different target audiences. In other words, the Bible was written by people who might not have been as objective as they should have been.

There are many errors in the Bible, some due to incorrect translations (intentional or unintentional), some due to incorrect interpretations, some due to incorrect recollection of events. Can you recall what someone said or what happened two days ago, not to mention fifty years ago? Some additional errors are due to insertions made to substantiate Church doctrines.

Many Christians believe that the Bible was inspired by God because of 2 Timothy 3:16, which states:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

However, “inspired by God” does not mean “written by God.” Therefore the Bible is bound to have errors, but it doesn’t mean that the Bible is not to be trusted.

Because of the different types of errors mentioned above, we should read the Bible with an open mind and an open heart. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. We should always ask for Yeshua’s guidance when reading the Bible.

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What Does It Mean to be a True Christian

What does it mean to be a true Christian? Many people have tried to answer this question, quoting different verses from the Bible; but no one can answer it better than God Himself.

From the Word of God Proclamation 5547, we learn that:

  • A true Christian acknowledges Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the world.
  • A true Christian has faith in Jesus.
  • A true Christian follows Jesus Christ and keeps His commandments.
  • A person lacking unselfish love will never be a true Christian, even if he declares himself as such before the world.
  • That belonging to a church does not make a person a true Christian. Only living a life of love will make him so.

Love is the most important aspect of Christianity. Without love, one can never call oneself a true Christian.

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Good Friday

There are reasons why biblical events happened on certain dates.

  • It was not a coincidence that Jesus died on Passover day (Nisan 14). He was the sacrificial lamb of the New Covenant, as we read in Matthew 26:27–28:

    And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

  • It was not a coincidence that Jesus rose from the dead before sunrise on Nisan 17. Jesus was fulfilling His prophesy, as we read in Matthew 12:40:

    For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

  • It was not a coincidence that the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. Many people were in Jerusalem on that day to witness God’s gift to the Apostles, as we read in Acts 2:1–5:

    And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

In my opinion, it was and still is a bad idea to observe Good Friday as the day Jesus died and Easter Sunday as the day Jesus was resurrected. Good Friday and Easter Sunday have no Scriptural support. As for Pentecost—the fiftieth day after Passover—it was the day that God gave Moses the law on Mount Sinai. How can Pentecost be seven weeks from Easter Sunday?

Other than for people’s convenience, I see no reason why we should observe Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost Sunday.

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Making Future Plans

My brother suddenly passed on about a month ago, before our upcoming family reunion in May. Everyone in the family had been looking forward to this long-overdue reunion. But alas, it was not to be.

When we make future plans, we usually consider only ourselves and the people involved. We almost always forget that it is the Lord who decides the final outcome.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21)

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:3)

Therefore, we should remind ourselves of the above Bible verses before we make any future plan. We should also always let the Lord guide us in whatever we do.

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What the World Needs

It is a sad fact that some people can be so careless about the safety of their passengers. According to http://www.theguardian.com, seventeen passengers were killed when the duck boat they were on capsized and sank in a Missouri lake. The captain had told the passengers not to bother putting on life jackets. It was reported that the risk of severe weather was apparent hours before the duck boat left shore.

It is an extremely sad fact that some people today are so heartless that they deliberately harmed a child and disfigured him for life for reasons that had nothing to do with the child. According to http://www.theguardian.com, “ Police have arrested a man and are appealing for information from the public after a three-year-old boy was seriously injured in a suspected acid attack.”

In another incident, when a black man tried to cash his pay cheque of over $1,000 at a Huntington Bank branch in Brooklyn, Ohio, the bank staff not only refused to cash his cheque but also called the police. The man was handcuffed and put in a squad car. The man was released only after the police called his employer, who confirmed that the man did work for him and that he did pay the man that much,

Elsewhere in the world, there has been a public outpouring of donations for a young Taiwanese man who drifted off at the wheel and ploughed into three Ferraris. The young man was tired after working a night shift but had to help his mother deliver an order to a nearby temple. The repair bill is estimated to be $398,000, which would take the young man twenty-eight years to repay.

What the world needs is love, not hate, definitely not indifference.

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The Bible, Church Teachings, Salvation

Christian Churches base their teachings on the Bible. However, the Bible was written by man, and man chose what books to be included in it. In addition, there are many different translations and interpretations of the Bible. Moreover, many human additions have been made in the course of time. Now that the Mandela Effect is in full swing, we should read the Bible with a grain of salt and ask Jesus to guide us into the truth.

You humans have no guarantee that the Book of Books [the Bible] is protected from change because I do not interfere with people’s free will and can only ever safeguard a presenter of My Word if he commends himself to Me and asks Me to protect him from error. However, you humans are not at risk from misguided thoughts if you spiritually and in truth ask Me to enlighten your spirit, then you will also know where error has crept in. (The Word of God, Proclamation 8872)

But the claim that I Myself protect My pure Word from becoming spoilt is incorrect because this would question the free will of human beings, who can do whatever they want with My spiritual information. And thus you also need to consider, with regards to the Book of Books, that changes have been made in the course of time which I could not prevent, precisely because of human free will. (The Word of God, Proclamation 8872)

But I will always make sure that the light of truth will nevertheless shine for those who desire it. (The Word of God, Proclamation 8872)

The Catholic Church does not base everything she teaches on the Bible. In fact she uses her own doctrines, which may or may not be based on the Bible, and incorporates external ceremonies that are intended to dazzle the eye rather than to affect the heart. In time the Catholic Church has become a powerful religious institution with a following of over a billion people. Not only does the Catholic Church claim to be the only Holy Apostolic Church, but in addition she declares that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. It is most unfortunate that Catholics and would-be believers have no idea how the teachings of the Catholic Church came to be.

The people, however, to whom the Gospel was preached were denied the right to form their own opinion and to voice doubts about the absolute truth of what they were taught. Those who deemed themselves spiritual leaders were convinced of their mission and authority and allowed no contradiction whatsoever. And those who were being taught were obliged to accept without scrutiny that everything they were offered was true. It was only possible for the truth to remain pure as long as its guardians were spiritually enlightened. Yet the number of those who were placed into positions of authority without being enlightened by My Spirit soon predominated and all objections by a spiritually awakened person were dismissed. The former grew more powerful and the pure truth became interspersed with error, with ideas which had originated in people’s intellect and were endorsed by them as divine truth. (The Word of God, Proclamation 8375)

You are learning to recognise that My Word has been changed to the extent that it is interpreted and consequently observed differently, that far too little attention is given to what is essential whilst the unessential is emphasised, and thus little spiritual progress will be achieved. (The Word of God, Proclamation 5982)

It is of no use to you humans when you castigate yourselves, when you perform duty bound actions or confess Me with your mouth if you do not recognise the commandment of love first and foremost and act accordingly. You believe that you worship Me with your countless ceremonies, and yet you can only worship Me by doing what I ask of you. (The Word of God, Proclamation 5982)

Jesus has paid the price of our salvation, regardless of whether we believe He is our Saviour or not. One does not need to go to a particular church to find salvation. Proclaiming Jesus is our Saviour and observing His commandments of love will lead us to eternal life.

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