How Can I Know?

Note before we start: I sent this after receiving a letter from Ted. Below this are the letters I received the next day from some of my little flock in response. 
What a Great Blessing it was to read your replies!     Well Glory!

 

Good Afternoon Little Flock,                                     Monday, November 08, 2004

I pray that you had a wonderful and spirit filled weekend. I received two letters from Ted today which I wish to share with you all. I hope that you will take the time to read them and my reply. Perhaps it will enlighten you as to the importance of this ministry which you all are a part of… I don’t know if it will encourage you all today but perhaps it will give you all a better understanding as to my position concerning this ministry… As usual it is a little bit long but please bear with me. This letter will have no frills, background, music, or picture and so everyone should receive it…

Thank you and God bless your reading.

And now here are Ted’s letters I received this morning and my reply below them.

Letter number one concerning yesterday’s thought for today;

Thank you Pastor Jim. 

The words you quote from the Bible are very good and worth reflecting on. However, I do disagree with you, for even if a person has faith, and does accept the atoning blood of Jesus for their sins, they are free to reject it, and sin.  God will not PUSH them into Heaven when they do this, but respect their free choice to reject Him, and not inherit the Kingdom.  That can happen at anytime in a person's life, so we can never know for sure if we are going to Heaven when we die, only at the moment we are asked.  Not if we die 5 or 15 years from now, for we are always free to turn our backs on God and do our own thing without repenting. 

God will respect our choice and not coerce us into Heaven. Look at James when he says that faith without works is a dead faith!  Such faith cannot save anyone.  It's worthless without works.  That's in scripture, and we cannot omit scripture thinking some lines are not important, can we? In all of the New Testament, there is one thing more important than faith, and it's mentioned that way again, and again, and again!  Love is more important than faith.  Paul says it in his letter to the Corinthians when he says there are 3 things that last . . . and the greatest of these is love.  Jesus Himself says it when He's asked what the greatest commandment in the law is.  Love God and love your neighbor.  And how do we do that?  By our actions.

Just a thought from Ted

And letter number two concerning the mail I sent; An Invitation:

Thank you Jim, and I'm sorry you may not be getting the response you had hoped for.  May I offer a suggestion? Speaking for myself only, but I have a feeling others would say the same thing, I receive much more E-Mail than I can possibly respond to.  Many devotionals, prayer requests, friendly mail, instant messenger chat, etc., in addition to working 4 long days a week, so when I see someone writing every day, and those mailings being quite long in length, I tend not to read them or respond to them.  How about this . . . sending out only 1 E-Mail a week, and putting a lot of thought into it?  I think you'd get a better response from me, and from others on your E-Mail list. 

Just a thought.

Ted

My Reply to Ted’s letters; and some letters of response from my little flock…  

A NOTE added June 9, 2006: Since I wrote this letter there have been many other of my messages placed on the Church Guides site. This ‘How Can I know’ message referred to in this letter is on page 11 at the Church Guides voting site about half way down. Its date is 11/ 08/ 2004. Also this ministry has grown from the 350 in this letter to over 600 as of now. What a blessing it was to read this letter, your response letters, and the message, which by the way, was a tad bit long but I really enjoyed going over it again… I hope you will too…  I believe this link will take you to the message referred to in the next paragraph of this lesson…

 
http://www.churchguides.com/articles.asp?articleid=1914  

 

Hi Ted,

I wish to thank you for writing me with your opinion on yesterday's thought 'How Can I Know'... I will try and address this in length when I can get a little time to study it out more thoroughly. I would like to ask you a favor if you have a few minutes. I don't know how long my thought for yesterday will be on the first page of this site; 

http://www.churchguides.com/default.asp?linkin=607   but right now it is on the first page. If you would, please go there and under the heading My Thought for Today; How Can I Know it will say more. Click it and it takes you to the article page. At the bottom of my article is a link which says' Discuss this article. On that linked page it says; New Post. Click on that and you can put (copy/Paste) the letter you've sent me so others might see and read your view point concerning my article. Consider it putting your light on a candle stick and not hiding it under a bushel so to speak. It is no longer on the first page but is now on page 11 of my messages; My Thought for Today; How Can I Know  dated 11/08/04

I know that there are many who hold your view point on this doctrinal subject and I believe this discussion could be beneficial for those who read it. At least the article wouldn't be one sided... If you decide not to do it or can't find the time that will be Ok, it’s just a thought...

Have a great day my friend,

Jim

PS. Now, Concerning the the second letter to me you said I need to send out only 1 letter a week and put more thought into it. There are several reasons why I try and send something out each day. One is; a great many of my little flock get upset if I don't write everyday and when I miss several days they write and want to know if I'm sick or what's wrong. Some have made entries on the forums page and in my guest book enquiring as to where or what has happened to me. I've even had some of my little flock call me on the phone. Not only local calls either as some have called from Calif., Penna., Minn., Maine, New Jersey, Wisconsin., Tenn., Texas, and even Canada and Scotland. Another reason is many can't or have trouble voting from my web site and vote from the signatures links in my letters.  

As for putting more thought into ‘My Thought for Today’ articles? Yesterday I spent over 7 hours preparing that article. I began it yesterday morning and didn't get it mailed out until after 5 last evening and then after mailing it out I placed it on my web site's ‘My Thought for Today Page’. This morning I placed it on the Church Guides voting site. So yesterday's thought was around 10+ hours of work all together and I just wanted you to know that what I'm doing in this ministry isn't a slap hazard and spur of the moment thing. I guess most don't realize the effort and time spent in trying to reach out to others with this ministry. There's not only the email end of it but trying to keep the web sites updated with new material and at the same time make them interesting so as to be a blessing for the new visitors as well as the ones who visit them on a regular basis.

Ted, I spend over 200 hours online each month and the reason I know this is because that is all I'm allowed at my server and around the 22nd to the 24th of each month they cut me of and I have to call them and so far they have been gracious enough to give me extra hours to finish the month out.  And this doesn't count the hours I spend working on here being off line. The only months I don't use over 200 hours are those when I am to sick for days on end to even come in here...

So you see Ted, I'm very serious about serving my Lord and work quite hard in doing this ministry for the furtherance of the gospel. I don't do it for praise or self glory and very few, outside my own family know the amount of time put into doing it but I wanted you to know so you might understand. Everything concerning this ministry is for the honor and glory of Our Heavenly Father and I praise Him for allowing me to be His servant...

Do I get discouraged at times? You betcha, but as long as God gives me the health, stamina, and mind set to do this ministry, God willing, it shall continue on. This ministry is reaching hundreds of God’s children with encouragement each day and reaching the lost with the Good News and salvations plan of Jesus Christ. And with that all I can only say is; Well glory!   

PPS. I believe I'll send this out so everyone will better understand my position concerning this ministry. Thank you, Ted for understanding and I’ll not use your last name or anything which will identify you...  

And thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read this. I will try in the future to make my letters less lengthy…  And I wish to thank you, Ted for your concern and for your input. I appreciate you and hope that I can do better for you in the future...

And so, until we meet again,

May the Lord bless each of you and keep you safe from all harm,

Jim

 

REPLIES  FROM MY LITTLE FLOCK ARE BELOW!
 

Hai Jim

Its me Pauline... I would like to reply to Ted or maybe you could forward this to Ted for me. Ted there is something I would like to say.

It is not a matter of choice I'd say. By reading what you wrote to Jim one can tell that you know a lot about the truth or bible...so amazing...But do you put it to practice as you have quoted on James about Faith...or are you just a plain hypo...I'd rather listen to Jim and not Judge one.. it is for Jehovah and not ours to judge.. Jim has sent out a lot of beautiful messages about Love and I can tell you something just by receiving his e-mails I feel great before starting work. For due respect I think and know that faith carries more weight to get to Love. Without Faith there is no Love. Faith builds one's inner guts to develop LOVE. Just a thought.

Have a blessed day,

Pauline Vulki

 

Dear Jim,

I want to send you my thoughts on the subject of only sending one letter per week. Some people are homebound and can't get out to go to church and your e-mail is all they have. For the people that don't want to read your mail everyday all I can say is they have a delete button. I too have tons of e-mail everyday because of the web site we have but it's not hard to do a quick look and delete spam. And read what is important. And I don't know of anything more important than our Father in heaven.

love and prayers,

Debbie Campbell

 
Jim, how can he say "we can never know for sure if we are going to heaven when we die..." ? 

I don't know about him, but the moment I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I knew that I had eternal life.  There was no doubt, nor has there ever been any doubt.

I feel that if I turned my back on God (backslid), He would be gracious and merciful to forgive me IF I ask with a truly repentant heart.

This may not be your belief, but I think that when I was saved, PRAISE GOD, I WAS SAVED !  And nothing can take that salvation away from me -(John 10:28-29).  Sure, sin separates us from God, but what human being does not sin (try as they might not to sin)?  

1st John  1:8 & 9 says it all.... vs 9 says: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness."  Along with vs. 8 : "If we say we have NO sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

Anyone who says they do not sin, would be by their own admission, claiming to be perfect... because only One did no sin and He was perfect ( Jesus, Our Lord).

As I said, you may not see things as I see them. I am a Southern Missionary Baptist, but we are still brothers in Christ.

I write this only to encourage YOU in what you said in your original message.  In my humble opinion, YOU are correct, Bro. Jim.

Because of Calvary,

Bro. Steve Sorrel

 Jim

Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your e-mails. I just read the one  from a man named Jim , that suggested you write only one a week, so that you could put more thought in it. In my humble option, I do not believe that you could bless me any more than you always do. I also know that you do put a lot of time and prayer in the emails that you send out. I Know that you are doing a really good job for Our Lord. Otherwise you would not be criticized as much..

Love In Christ My Lord and Savior,
Charlotte Fikes
Kingsland Texas  

 

 

Jim,

I enjoy each of your email blessings, and enjoy getting them EVERY day that you are able to be there!!!   

I don't write a lot because I know you are busy, my sweet friend, but letting you know I do care, and I do enjoy your Daily Thoughts and emails!!

The years have come and gone, and we are both still here.. And both of us have had bad problems crop up and the Lord brought us right back!! Praise the Lord, He is so good..

Blessings to you and Connie,

Andrea 
Kentucky_Lady4

Bro. Jim, or Pastor Jim,

 I like both but you are my brother in Christ.  In regards to Ted's letter, I just want you to know that we will be praying for him, and we always keep you in our prayers and your ministry and I don't know about the rest of your little flock but as for this one don't you dare quit sending out your letters whenever the Lord tells you too even if it is 2-3 times a day, like you said when we don't hear from you we think you are sick.  We love getting your emails and I don't care how long they are they are always inspiring and very uplifting to us, my husband and I are both on your email list as we have two computers in our house, you might say his and hers :-) as he is in real estate here in Florida and also that is how we met.

I go to an Independent Baptist church and was raised in a Baptist church and believe what God says in his word, (the Kings James Version of the Bible)  That once saved always saved no where does he say we can lose our salvation.  I know without a doubt that when the time comes I will go to Heaven and be with the Lord God almighty and sit at his right hand and I can't wait until that time and meet every one that has ask for forgiveness of their sins and are saved by his blood not by works least any man should boast,  works will not get us into Heaven only the blood of Christ all we have to do is ask his forgiveness and for him to save us and he will, it is that simple.   You can use this if you want or not but I don't mind sharing my thoughts with anyone for I know what God has said and I believe his word and that is why I KNOW I am going to Heaven How do I know for (The spirit  itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God Rom. 8:16 )

Thank you for listening and keep up the good work and may God Bless you always.

Love in Christ

Helen Hasler
Florida

 

Brother Jimmy,

Good to touch base with you again.   But dear brother Ted doesn’t understand salvation the way you and I do.

First, a man is not coerced by God but is elect or chosen.   (John 6:44)   and he certainly cannot reject him or fall away viz Johns says in 10:26-27  “I give them eternal life and no one is ABLE TO SNATCH them from out of my hand, my Father which GAVE THEM TO ME is greater than all and NO ONE IS ABLE TO SNATCH THEM from out of my father’s hand.”   Our salvation and keeping in the faith is not by what we do but by what He HAS DONE.

He chose us, he called us, he saved us and he keeps us.

I know where he is coming from and you can’t go at him like gang busters like I am doing to you right now but he needs to look carefully and prayerfully at passages like Romans 9.  I usually ask a person to read that chapter

For a week or sometimes a month, every day.  Then ask them to TELL ME WHAT IS MEANS.        Especially verses 15 and 16 where we read  “And he saith unto Moses I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and compassion on whom I will have compassion.  So then it depends not on him who runneth, or him that willeth but on God who shows mercy.”  [doing that from memory and think it is at least close]   You talk to him and I’ll add him to my prayer list and without his knowing it, little ole you and me [280 lbs here, don’t know how much beef you are carrying but I suspect enough to make a total of over a quarter ton]    we all will gang up on him before the Lord

PTL     I feel a blessing coming on!!!.    Pass the collection plate!!!    Whoooo weee!!!!!     Now brother, that’s preachen!!!!

Also you might ask him how a person can do anything when the Bible says HE IS DEAD.   Dead in trespasses and sin.   I had a doctor saved when I was in WV and when we came to this teaching he said.  “Oh, I get it, God’s does a heart transplant.”    Glory be     That’s what Ezekiel says, he “replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh.”

I use the illustration when teaching this of suppose I collapse in the pulpit some Sunday and am flat out dead.  Some in the congregation give me CPR till the emergency crew gets there and takes me to the hospital on life support.  There they shock me and start my heart again.    A few weeks later I return to the people and thank the people and tell them it was nice of them to give me CPR but they really didn’t need to viz I was going to get up by myself in a little while.   You’d think sure that you didn’t get to me fast enough and I had lost my senses and was mentally retarded due to lack of Oxygen.   WELL,   Hello!!!    What’s the difference?    If I’m dead spiritually, I’m dead and can’t do ANYTHING to bring myself back to life. L;  It takes an outside force to make me alive.  Physically it is the paddles in the hospital,   Spiritually, It is God zapping us, AN EXTERNAL FORCE.

Enough preaching,   better get to bed, past my 10 pm bedtime.   Knowing you, you’ll read this and answer it some where about 2 am in the morning.

Norma is doing well, does not need the cane any longer except when her ankle gets tired or when on rough ground.

Good night brother,

Hope you didn’t mind the sermon, but heck, I don’t care if you did. You already believe it...  

God Bless

Kelley


 

 Hi Jim,
read the message today you got from that Ted guy. you know, when you have a flock of around 350 people they are of all denominations and beliefs so you are bound to make some of them mad or up set. I wouldn't worry too much about it. you have to preach what you believe and if they know how you believe and still want to stay in your flock then they shouldn't be surprised at what you say. as far as making your messages shorter I wouldn't worry about that either. I think most people like hearing what is going on at the bar-k-ranch. I know I do. You can't please everyone! Well, just wanted you to know my opinion on it. So long my friend.
In Jesus name,
Brenda

 

I don't know why it is but some of your letters to your little flock bring tears to my eyes.  I sure did love the story of your heart that was about to explode - it exploded with love for your flock.

Hugs

Lynne

 

DEAR JIM---JUST TO SAY --I LOVE GETTING YOUR LETTERS---THE LONGER THE BETTER. MORE SCRIPTURE AND TEACHING  THE BETTER ALSO. I KNOW THAT YOU PUT A LOT OF TIME IN TO YOUR SITE. WHY ELSE WOULD WE BE BLESSED???. WHEN I GO ON TO MY EMAILS AND SEE ONE FROM YOU --I GET A THRILL---WHEN THERE IS NONE --I SIT DOWN AND PRAY FOR YOU AND CONNIE GIRL RIGHT AWAY --IN CASE SOMETHING IS WRONG.--- I PRAY FOR YOU BOTH EACH NIGHT--AS WELL.

PLEASE TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER--AND GOD BLESS YOU ---REAL GOOD.

MARGARET

 

 

Note: this is the letter I sent Nov 10, along with the replies… (smile)

Awesome, I believe that is the word which comes closest to how amazed I am at the goodness of my Lord, Jesus. These are the responses and I received after sending out the letter from Ted concerning salvation. You all have truly touched my heart and God has blessed me with so many friends. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,  for your love and support. I've not received even one negative letter, only letters of love. What a blessing you all are to this ole preacher man and I just wanted to share my blessings and this love you've shown me individually with all of you collectively... God has truly sent to me a precious and special, cream or the crop, Christian brothers and sisters to make up this little flock and ministry of reaching out to others...

Oh what joy floods my soul and I praise God and thank Him for each and every one of you all… For even when we have a difference of opinion it comes out of love and deep concern… I couldn’t help the tears from flowing as I read your sweet letters and realized the bond of love God has placed between His children as you and I, together, serve Him in this ministry. I can only pray that Our Heavenly Father will continue to use this humble servant to encourage each of you all and that together we may grow by His grace and leadership of the Holy Spirit in a better understanding of His Holy Word. And so my dear little flock, from the bottom of my heart and all that is within me, Thank you!   
 

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This page was made by Jim Keeling Ministries on July 10, 2006