Without Reservation.org

Without Reservation.org

Important Questions that Need to be Asked and Answered

If you have listened to The Storyteller for a while you’ve probably noticed that – though each person’s story is different – there is a common theme. They all have found new life when they put their hope and trust in Jesus Christ.

We’re not talking about religion here.  We’re talking about a real, life-changing relationship with our Creator. They have experienced the power of Jesus – that He is greater than the spirits and stronger than their fears. Those once held captive by addictions, fear, shame, and grief have been set free. They know what it is to truly be forgiven and to walk in peace with the Most High God. And even though life can still be hard, their collective testimony is that they have been changed forever.

Many have been shunned by family, friends, and their communities because they are following Jesus. Some have been called “apples” and mocked for following the so-called “White man’s religion”. But whatever shame they may have experienced by being rejected doesn’t compare to the honor that their Creator has bestowed upon them, bringing them into His family. They can’t deny what God has done for them. It’s real, it’s personal… and they are grateful.

Are you interested in what they’ve found? Take the journey for yourself and pursue God’s truth. Ask Him to lead you. And if what you find challenges your beliefs, experience, or traditions, don’t let that get in your way.

There are some who would sayWhy should we believe or follow Jesus after so much evil has been done in his name?” It is true that history is full of examples of such things and it’s obvious that much wrong has been done. These terrible acts do not represent the actual person and work of Jesus. Just because someone or some institution says that they represent Him doesn’t mean that they really do. Jesus said that we will be able to tell the tree by its fruit. The fruit of true followers of Jesus Christ will be good.

Don’t reject Jesus because of what others have done.  Seek the truth. Discover for yourself who He is and what He taught. According to our Creator, there are many paths that lead to death… but only one that leads to life.  Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.”  John 14:6 (The Bible)

Important Questions

Have you ever wondered how you came to be, what the purpose of life is, how one can know what is right and wrong, and what happens after you die?  These are some of life’s most important questions. Many people throughout history have tried to answer them.  How about you – what do you believe?  And how do you know that what you believe is true? What is your source for truth?  Don’t settle for, “It is said”… or “This is our tradition”. Check out who said it. Think about it… where we find our answers is of great importance – not just for ourselves, but for our families and communities.  Search for Truth  The Storyteller features the testimonies of those who have found coherent and relevant answers to these questions in the Bible.

What is the Bible?  It is the words of God written down for all people.  A Mohawk father told his young son, “When you open God’s book, you are opening God’s mouth.”  That is a great picture to help us understand the nature and significance of the Bible.  God has given us His written words so that we might learn about who He is, who we are, and how we are to walk with Him.  King David from the tribe of Judah in the land of Israel told God, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”   Perhaps you’re wondering if the Bible is something you can trust.  Yes, it is.  Because it was authored by God it is both trustworthy and super-natural.  It’s words are life-changing.  The Bible is historically and scientifically accurate.  Though many have tried to disprove it, no one has been able to. In fact, as time goes on more discoveries are made that affirm the truth of the Bible.  Check it out for yourself and explore the evidence. (Click here for more information). Because the Bible is true we can trust what it says. Because it is God’s word to us, we need to consider carefully what He says.

Who is God? The Bible reveals that there is one All-powerful, triune, Creator God.  Not many gods… but one God manifest in three persons – the Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit.  God created all things. He is good, holy, perfect, just, gracious, merciful, loving, and so much more.  His ways are not like ours and it’s not possible for us to understand everything about Him… but there are things that He has told us, and things that we can observe that help us understand who He is and what He is like.  The Bible tells us that He created us for His pleasure and that we might enjoy a personal relationship with Him forever.

Looking at the world today, it’s clear that there are problems.  If God is good why are things so bad?  Making sense of how things are now is not an easy thing to do without a point of reference.  Thankfully, God gives us one in the first book of the Bible called Genesis.  In it we read that God created the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, including the spirits.  He tells us the story of how He made the first people – Adam and Eve – and how everything was good in the beginning.  We also learn how our first relatives willfully dishonored Him.  This is how sin, shame, fear, and death came into the world. Read about it for yourself here in the first book of the Bible: Genesis chapters 1-3

The Creator and the spirits.  The Bible tells us that one of the most powerful of the created spirits – Lucifer (aka Satan) – rebelled against his Creator, and many other spirits followed him.  It was Satan who came to Adam and Eve in the form of a serpent. He lied to them – trying to trick them into disobeying God.  It worked.  And as a result – their relationship with their Creator was broken.  Sin comes naturally for us now… and with it comes fear because we have been isolated from the Creator’s power and taken captive by the powers of darkness.  The honor that God had bestowed on the people He created was replaced with shame.  Satan and the other rebellious spirits (demons) hate God and want to keep people from relationship with Him.  They do this through deception, distraction, fear, bondage, and confusion.  They pose as relatives who have passed. They are active in healings, ceremonies, and curses. They animate natural things so that they behave super-naturally. These spirits are powerful and convincing.  They are bent on destroying God’s most precious creation, people.  It’s important to know that these spirits are not greater than the One who made them… not even close. Still, many have been fooled into fearing and following them rather than worshiping their All-powerful Creator… the Most High God.

Who is Jesus Christ? According to the Bible, He is our Creator.  Though He has all power and authority, He chose to humble Himself and become a man because of His love and concern for those He created. He is not an imaginary character of folklore.  Historians agree that Jesus is a real person.  2000 years ago Jesus was born into a tribe of an oppressed nation in the middle east. That’s where He lived, died, was buried, and rose again. He came to save people from every tribe and nation from the powers of darkness and from judgment. He came to make forgiveness possible and to restore our relationship with God.  Jesus Christ is the Creator of all – and the Savior of whoever will humble themselves and put their trust in Him.  Jesus made a statement that everyone needs to consider because it challenges the belief that there are other paths that lead to God.  Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father but by me. (John 14:6)  Either He is telling the truth or He’s lying.

He wasn’t just making truth claims.  Jesus backed up what He said by what He did. He lived a perfect, moral life.  With His great power He healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, raised the dead to life, and exercised authority over Satan and the spirits – who submitted to Him because they knew who He was.  Even the wind and the waves obeyed Him. Then, in great humility and love, Jesus willingly laid down His life for us when He died that horrific death on a Roman cross. He was buried and then three days later was resurrected to life again… just as He said would happen… and just as the true prophets of God many years earlier had predicted.  None of these things are too difficult for our Creator.  They really happened.  The historicity of His death and resurrection has been put to the test by many, including historians, lawyers, and skeptics, yet it has been found to be credible and – more importantly – true. In fact, the evidence is so overwhelming that some who were actively seeking to disprove these events ended up changing their minds and believing. (Click here for more about the evidence for the resurrection.)

Jesus is alive today and can be known by anyone who will believe and trust in Him… and that includes you.  Jesus said that He will return for those who are trusting in Him and will judge those who have rejected Him.

There are some who say that Jesus is the “whiteman’s” God. Sadly, they are either misinformed and are being deceived by the original trixter, Satan. The truth is, today, people from all over the world have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ and actively follow Him… including Native North Americans.

Why does it matter?

It matters because you are very important to your Creator.

Have you ever thought about what the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth must be like?  Just looking up into the starry, night sky, recognizing that we can see with our eyes and perceive things with our minds is sufficient evidence that our Creator is powerful and amazing.  But there’s so much more than that if we’ll take the time to consider Him.  If you’re interested in exploring this further, click here.

Whenever people had an encounter with God as recorded in the Bible, they realized quickly that He was very different than them.  He is described as all-powerful and all-knowing.  He is holy, perfect, and just.  There is no one like Him.  He is above all and has complete authority over all creation.  He has no equal.  It’s no wonder that He tells us that He alone is to be worshiped. The Bible has much to say about this. Here are just a few of the many places that speak about God’s Holy nature and how we should respond:

Isaiah 40:25-26  To whom then will you liken Me, or shall I be equal? said the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these things, that brings out their host by number: He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one fails.

Exodus 15:11  Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Deuteronomy 32:4  He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.

Revelation 15:4  Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.”

Psalm 96:9-10  Sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD! Bless his name! Proclaim his salvation from day to day! Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised! He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him. Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the LORD, you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to his name. Bring an offering, and come into his courts. Worship the LORD in holy array. Tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is also established. It can’t be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice. Let the sea roar, and its fullness! Let the field and all that is in it exult! Then all the trees of the woods shall sing for joy before the LORD; for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, the peoples with his truth.

God’s power and holiness are proclaimed in and throughout His Creation which offers us needed perspective about our own lives.  After careful thought, the writer of Psalm 8 expressed it this way, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him?

God’s Perspective

The Bible doesn’t just inform us about God.  In its pages we find an unsettling truth about ourselves… and why that should matter to us.

God tells us in the Bible that we are sinners.  Some cultures don’t have a word for sin, but everyone knows what it’s like to be offended.  We know what it is to do wrong and to be wronged.  The original word that we translate into English as “Sin” means, “To miss the mark.” It comes from the use of bow and arrow and pictures an archer who misses the target. Sin is offending God. It is missing the mark of His perfect and holy standard.  The truth is we all have offended God.  He tells us in the Bible:

Romans 3:10-12  As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who
understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned
aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does
good, no, not one.”

Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

1 John 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Isaiah 64:6  But
we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like
filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.

As we check ourselves against God’s law, the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17, it becomes clear that we are lawbreakers. Take the time to read them and reflect on what they say about God’s standard and how you measure up.

We don’t have to work too hard to figure this out.
Have you worshiped anyone or anything else? Have you ever lied? Have
you ever stolen anything? Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word?
Even if you’ve looked at someone wanting to have sex with them outside
of marriage, you have broken God’s law. Whether someone has read the
Bible or not, we all have a sense of right and wrong. God’s commands are
written on our hearts – and they prove that we’re all guilty.  God
tells us that our guilt will be brought to light when He judges us by
His standard.

Though not always apparently serious or immediately obvious, the consequences of sin are devastating.

Sin has broken our relationship with our Creator.  This is not difficult to understand. We know what its like to be personally offended.  We understand how offenses harm relationships.  It’s the same with God.

Sin produces fear.  Fear marks our lives. Our first relatives lost their Creator’s power and protection that covered them as they walked with God.  Now we are prey to deceitful and destructive spirits as we dwell outside of the safety of right relationship with God.

The shame of our wrong-doing leaves us isolated and estranged from God in a place where purpose and acceptance are merely shadows.  It’s the result of personal choices to serve ourselves rather than the One who created us for meaningful relationship and eternal significance.

Our Sin produces guilt.    We cry out for justice over wrongs done to us. Have you ever wondered where our sense of justice comes from? It comes from our Creator.  He is perfectly just.  And because He is – there will be perfect justice for every offense, including yours and mine.  Guilt is only erased through justice.

We read in the Bible that it is appointed for each of us to die once, and then after this, we will face judgment (Hebrews 10:27). The penalty for sin is death – eternal, painful separation from God. Though it’s hard to comprehend this, we must be careful not to dismiss it. The serious nature of sin’s consequences helps us understand how our Creator views our rebellion and sin. Here are just a few references to God’s judgment spoken about by Jesus:

Matthew 13:49-50 “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 25:46 “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Here is a bit of what the last book of the Bible says regarding these things:

Revelation 20:11-14 “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” 

Revelation 21: 8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

These are not pleasant things to think about, but understanding them can bring important perspective that leads to hope and new life.

There is Hope

Up till now there hasn’t been much good news.  Actually, to be honest, it’s really bad news.  On our own, we are left with only a fearful expectation of judgment that we deserve.  But that’s not what God wants for us.  In fact, God loves us.

What is love? If you go by how the world defines it, you’ll find that “Love” most often takes instead of gives. For many, it’s related to sex, power, and self-gratification. This kind of love wants to know, “What’s in it for me?”.  In sharp contrast, God shows us what true love looks like, what it does, and what it produces.  It gives, forgives, and brings life.

God loves us. But what does that mean? What does that look like? Well, it looks like a winter night 2000 years ago in the hills near Bethlehem when God sent His angels to proclaim to shepherds that a Savior – Jesus Christ – had been born.  This is what is celebrated at Christmas. But God’s love didn’t stop there. He walked among us.  He had compassion on the lost, the hurting, and broken. He cared for the souls of those He had made. Ultimately, God expressed His love through Jesus Christ hanging, suffering, bleeding, and dying on a cross for us.

Why is that an expression of love?  We need to remember, God is perfect. We have offended Him and our sin has broken our relationship with Him. Because He is just, God must judge all wrong-doing. And yet, God is love. According to the Bible, because He loves us, God the Father sent God the Son, Jesus Christ – to pay the penalty for our offenses so that justice could be fully satisfied and so that we could be restored back to relationship with Him. He accomplished this by Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus was our substitute. He died the death we deserved for us so that we could live. God was completely satisfied with Jesus’ atoning work and raised Him up three days later. It’s hard to understand it all, but it’s true. He gave His Son for us – His life for ours… because He loves us.  Consider what the Bible says:

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1 Timothy 2:2-4  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:9-10  In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…

The fact that our Creator loves us and has made it possible for us to be forgiven and have peace with Him is good news!  In fact, it’s the best news ever.  The question is, what will you do with it?

Do you want to be forgiven and at peace with your Creator?  Do you want to entrust yourself to the One who is greater than the spirits, the One who can break the chains of addiction, and who is able to give you new life?  Come to Jesus.  God tells us that we can be forgiven, saved from the punishment that we deserve, and have eternal life with Him by believing in Jesus Christ. What does it mean to believe in this sense? It means to repent (change your mind regarding the person and work of Jesus) and trust in Jesus alone to save you from judgment and to restore the broken relationship with your Creator.  In other words, you are agreeing with God, turning away from whatever you are trusting in – even if it’s simply unbelief,  and placing your complete trust only in Jesus Christ and what He did to save you.

It’s imperative that you understand that according to God, without Jesus Christ we have no hope.  God tells us that there is nothing we can do to atone for our sin.  But Jesus could.  Jesus became our substitute. He died on the cross to pay the penalty our sins deserve. God the Father was completely satisfied with His payment and raised Jesus up from the dead three days later.  It’s His work that saves us.  We simply place our trust in Him alone to save us. This is God’s amazing grace.

Some people are relying on what they can do – things like good works, ceremonies, and other religious expressions, or generally just trying to be a good person. But God is clear. No amount of good works will ever make a person right with God. They can never undo the wrong we’ve done.  It is by His grace received through faith in Jesus Christ that saves us.  We must not trust in what we can do, but rather in what God has done for us in Christ.   Good works – works that are pleasing to God – are important, but we need to be clear that they are a result of His saving work, not the cause of it.  They are the fruit of the new life that God gives us when we put our trust in Jesus… when we are born into His family by faith in Jesus Christ. It is then that He gives us His Holy Spirit who enables us to live fearlessly and faithfully for Him.

Consider what the Bible says:

Ephesians 2:8-10  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

John 3:16-17  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Mark 1:14-15  Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

John 3:36  “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Acts 16:31  So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Acts 4:12  “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Romans 10:8-11  But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

1 John 5:9-13  If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Titus 3:4-7  But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

My friend, do you see your need to be reconciled to God? Many years ago, a jailer under conviction about his own standing with God, asked the question, “What must I do to be saved?”  The answer is recorded in the Bible in Acts 16:31 – and it’s as true for us today as it was for him back then: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

Our only hope is Jesus.   Only Jesus can rescue us from the power of Satan and darkness because He is greater than the spirits.  Only Jesus can cover our shame and give us the honor of being part of God’s family.  Only Jesus can take away our guilt and make us innocent by satisfying what justice demands for our sins.

If you are convinced that Jesus is the only One who can save you, why don’t you turn to Him now. For the Scripture (God’s written word) says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.”   For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same LORD of all is rich to all who call on him. For, “Whoever will call on the name of the LORD will be saved.” Romans 10:11-13

If you’ve done this, don’t keep it to yourself.  Find someone to tell what God has done for you.  Then, follow Jesus.

Read on to find out how to get started.

If you have put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior – welcome to the family of God!  He is your Father and you are His child.  Walk with Him.  Talk with Him. Turn to Him when you need help.  He loves you and has all the power you need to live this New Life without fear or regret.  You can expect that things are going to change because God doesn’t leave us in the same condition that He found us.  He calls us to trust and obey Him.  Jesus says “Follow me”.  Thankfully, following Him is possible because He gives us both the power to change and the desire to do so.  And it’s a joy because we love Him. That’s the collective testimony of the Storytellers, and so many others around the world who are following Jesus Christ without reservation.

First Steps: It’s important to get your own Bible and begin learning and living out what God says.  This will help you grow strong in your faith.  You also should get involved with a Bible-teaching church where you can meet with others who love God and desire to walk with Him.  If you need help finding one, contact us and we’ll see if we can help.  You can also view some short videos here that will help you get started on this path.  As you walk with Jesus sin will lose it’s grip on you and your life will change.

So what does following Jesus look like?  It’s not being religious.  It’s simply trusting and obeying our Creator… or you could think of it this way: Love God. Hate Sin.  We read in the Bible, in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, It is the love of the Christ which compels us, when we reflect that, as one died for all, therefore all died; and that he died for all, so that the living should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died and rose for them.  We also read in Romans 12:1-2, Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.