THE BIBLE TEACHES that after the children of Israel were led out of Egypt by Moses, they spent the early
       part of their history under the leadership of military chieftains known as judges.   These judges were the
       go betweens, the prophets, the men (and one woman) through which God ruled over Israel.   Throughout
a period of approximately 400 years they had a total of twelve judges of which Gideon was one.

During Gideon's tenure as judge, something happened that, to this day, has enormous implications to
Christians and non-Christians alike.   We begin in chapter 6 of the book of Judges.   The Bible says, "And it came
to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him
[Gideon], Take thy father's young bullock, even the
second bullock of seven years old, and THROW DOWN THE ALTAR OF BAAL that thy father hath, and cut
down the grove that is by it: And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the
ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which
thou shalt cut down."
  Judges 6:25-26

Baal was a false god that many in Israel had begun to worship.   God, hating idolatry as He does, told Gideon
to tear down Baal's altar - the instrument of Baal's worship.   So Gideon gathered some faithful men, and during
the night, did exactly as he was told.   Naturally, those worshiping Baal didn't take it lightly, as the Bible goes
on to say:

"And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast
, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that
was built.   (29)And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing?   And when they enquired and asked, they
said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing.   (30)Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring
out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal
, and because he hath
cut down the grove that was by it."
  Judges 6:28-30

You can imagine the indignation these men felt at having their ‘religion’, not to mention their god, trampled
on.   So naturally, they demanded that Gideon be put to death.   However, Gideon's father, Joash, realizing an
inconsistency on their part, quickly came to his son's defense.   Notice what he told them:

"And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will
plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself,
because one hath cast down his altar."
  Judges 6:31

Joash's point is well stated, don't you think?   After all, Baal is supposed to be a god, you know, the kind that is
all-knowing and all-powerful.   Didn't Baal know that his altar was desecrated?   Wasn't he powerful enough to
bring sudden (or when least expected, for that matter) retribution upon Gideon?   That's why Joash told them,
"IF HE BE A GOD, LET HIM PLEAD FOR HIMSELF."   In other words, "What's the matter, fellas?   Can't Baal fight
his own battles without you bailing him out?   IS YOUR GOD REAL OR WHAT?"

Now, it's obvious by their behavior that when push came to shove, they truly didn't believe Baal was a powerful
and able god.   However, before one is quick to judge this glaring contradiction, the sad truth is that MANY

The Bible warns: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.   (2)For men shall be lovers of
their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
(3)Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
(4)Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5)Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof
: from such turn away."
  2 Tim. 3:1-5

Now, while the previous verse primarily refers to those who want nothing to do with God (those who refuse
to repent and place their trust in Christ alone to save them), there are times when true Christians behave as
if, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."

For you see, when push comes to shove, many Christians feel compelled to take matters into their own hands
because IF THEY DON'T DO IT, IT WON'T GET DONE.   Yet, the Bible teaches that the true and living God is
fully able to handle any problem that comes along in a Christian's life.   In fact, often, the Israelites didn't have
to do much when going to battle, for they worshiped a real God; a God that could plead for Himself.   As when
David told Goliath:

"Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but
I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
(46)This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand
; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from
thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the
wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.   (47)And all this
assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and
he will give you into our hands."
  1 Samuel 17:45-47

So, let's look at three examples of how Christians can behave as if,
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."

1.   JESUS TAUGHT His disciples not to worry about having food, water, or clothing: the basic necessities of
life.   Referring to those three items, He said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and
all these things shall be added unto you"
(Mat. 6:33).   In essence, Jesus was saying, Take care of God's business
and He'll take care of you.
  Yet, many Christians feel they don't have time to take care of God's business
because they're too busy trying to make MORE money.   They'll work overtime every chance they get.   They'll
pursue a better career opportunity, even if it means more time at the office.   They'll even work two jobs or
whatever it takes to obtain a substantial monetary safety net against going without.   While all along they may
have a God given talent that God can use.   Or perhaps their church-body needs extra workers in a given
ministry.   Sadly, they don't trust that God will somehow meet their monetary needs, and therefore, they are
"denying the power thereof."   (Ironically, many times they confuse the things they want with what they
actually need.

2.   WHEN IT COMES TO WITNESSING, many Christians will strive and argue with someone in an effort to get
them saved.   Some may be tempted to compromise on the doctrine of true repentance, reasoning that it's the
only way some people will come to a saving knowledge of Christ.   Often a Christian will get caught up in the
feeling that it ALL depends on them.   Yet, notice what the Bible teaches concerning this subject.   "And the
servant of the Lord MUST NOT STRIVE; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, PATIENT, IN MEEKNESS
acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are
taken captive by him at his will."
  2 Tim. 2:24-26

Please note where it says: "If God peradventure [perhaps] will give them repentance to the acknowledging
of the truth."
  It is God, and only God, who convicts; it is God who convinces; it is God who "give them
repentance to the acknowledging of the truth."
  All a Christian has to do is sow the seed, make the person
aware of their need of Christ, show them what the Bible has to say, and then LET GOD TAKE CARE OF THE
REST!   No human reasoning in the world will bring a lost sinner to a true saving knowledge of Christ.   And those
who claim that it is possible to ‘intellectually’ convince someone into making a profession of faith are only

producing false professions.   How many times do we see the cults undertaking sophisticated plans of attack in
their efforts to gain a convert?   Their attitude being: If we don't do it, it won't get done?   Think of all the hours
some cults spend persistently knocking on doors, trying everything ‘humanly’ possible to convince someone
of becoming one of them.

How many denominations, professing to be Christian, make it so easy to walk an aisle, raise a hand, and repeat
a simple sinner's prayer?   Friend, these organizations are trusting in their human efforts and salesmanship to
derive a profession of faith (and normally a false one at that).   They're not trusting God to do the work.   In
essence, they act as if He can't plead for Himself.

Jesus taught, "So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should CAST SEED into the ground; AND SHOULD SLEEP,
and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, HE KNOWETH NOT HOW"
(Mark 4:26-27).
The battle of saving lost souls is the Lord's.   Christians are not to strive with the lost sinner, nor fret over how
many have been saved today and get caught in a numbers game.   Nor are they to compromise biblical
standards, making it easy for any non-repentant sinner to make a profession of faith, and thus walk away
thinking they're saved.   As stated in the last verse we read, the Christian must sow, and pray, and rest, trusting
in THE LORD'S ABILITY TO DO THE SAVING.   The Apostle Paul said: "I have planted, Apollos watered; BUT GOD
(1 Cor. 3:6).   To do otherwise is to be almost as bad as the worshipers of Baal who, when
push came to shove, had to take matters into their own hands.   Remember, they were "Having a form of
godliness, but denying the power thereof."

3.   THE SUBJECT OF PRAYER.   In Jeremiah 33:3, we find God making the following promise: "Call unto me,
and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
  Jesus made a
similar promise: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, THAT WILL I DO, that the Father may be glorified
in the Son"
(John 14:13).   Jesus even taught that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again: "Ask, and it shall
be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you"
(Mat. 7:7).   In fact, to make sure
that no one would get discouraged when their prayers were not quickly answered, He gave a parable or two
stressing the need for persistence, or as He put it: importunity: "I say unto you, Though he will not rise and
give him, because he is his friend, yet BECAUSE OF HIS IMPORTUNITY he will rise and give him as many as
he needeth.   And I say unto you, ASK, and it shall be given you; SEEK, and ye shall find; KNOCK, and it shall
be opened unto you."
  Luke 11:8-9

There are many more promises such as these.   Yet many Christians, during times of trouble, feel compelled to
solve their problems by taking matters into their own hands.   Many times, their first resolve is not prayer!
Often, prayer comes as a last result AFTER all their human efforts have been exhausted.   When behaving this
way, they are "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."   They make themselves no better
than the worshipers of Baal, who when push came to shove, felt compelled to take matters into their own
hands also.

FRIEND, if you're a truly born-again child of God, remember, "Ye are bought with a price" (1 Cor. 7:23).   God
takes care of His own.   So if an overwhelming battle comes your way, be it in finances, in witnessing, or in just
plain trouble, don't fret.   The battle is the Lord's.   God is real and no one, not even His own children, has to
plead for Him.

However, if you find it impossible to lean upon God and feel compelled to always take matters into your own
hands, then maybe you never had a time when you saw yourself as a lost, hell- bound sinner in need of a
Saviour.   Maybe God isn't any more real to you than Baal was to his worshipers.   If so, please take the time to
read God's plan of salvation found on the back [below] of this tract.

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps
you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God,"
Isa. 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;"
Rom. 3:23.
And Jesus, referring to sinners, said that He:
"shall send forth his angels, and they shall
gather out of his kingdom all things that offend,
and them which do iniquity
And shall cast them into
a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing
and gnashing of teeth."
  Mat. 13:41-42

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast."
  Eph. 2:8-9   Baptism, good deeds,
church membership, self-righteousness are all
examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
which we have done, but
according to his mercy he
[Christ] saved
Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved
is through Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the
, the truth, and the life: no man
unto the Father, but by me."

(John 14:6)   THAT'S WHY: "...while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us."

(Rom. 5:8-9)   THEREFORE: You must REPENT
(change your mind); admit that you are a Hell
deserving sinner and can't save yourself.   And
call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you.
"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
[REPENT], and shalt believe in thine
[TRUST] that God hath raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
  Rom. 10:9

P.O. Box 815   Fargo, ND 58107

[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]