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One Degree Off Course

There is a navigational rule called The One in 60 Rule. One degree off means winding up one mile off 60 miles later. For every one degree a plane gets off course, it will miss its targeted landing spot by 92 feet for every mile flown. When the NASA astronauts went to the moon and back in the 60’s and 70’s, they had to do mid-course corrections. This was critical when reentering the earth’s atmosphere because they had to have a precise angle. If too deep, they could burn up; if too shallow the spacecraft could slip back into space.

So it is with one’s spiritual life. One degree off course from the basic teachings of scripture, especially as it concerns the gospel message of salvation, and the inspiration of the Bible, will lead to being way off course. Some things that throw many people way off course are false teachings (Ephesians 4:11-14), human philosophies (Colossians 2:8), compromising with the world (I John 2:16), prosperity theology (I Timothy 6:6-11), following our own desires (II Timothy 4:3-4),  mixing law and grace (Galatians 2:21), and deceitful spirits (I Timothy 4:1).

What is really appalling, however, is the large percentage of self-proclaimed “Christians” ( in quotation marks) who, according to several polls, have denied the very tenets of belief that are foundational to the Christian faith! Only 40 percent of so-called Christians believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, 70 percent do not believe that Jesus is the one-and-only way to heaven! And 43 percent do not believe Jesus was, and is, divine.
The Pulpit Is Responsible – Harbingers Daily

The focal point for staying on course is the cross of Christ and his resurrection. To leave this out requires more than a mid-course correction; it requires a whole new direction! To stay the course, one must “contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints“(Jude 3). The Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:3-4“I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:that Christ died for our sins…that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day.”And what one believes about Jesus is the ultimate test of a true, born again believer. I John 4:2-3 says, “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.”  No matter what religious beliefs you adhere to, if you do not believe the above verse then you have wandered way off course!

The way to stick to the course with the cross of Christ as your focal point is to read the Bible and take it literally. II Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” 

Then test the spirits, as mentioned in I John 4:1. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” This will keep you from getting one degree off course and one mile off 60 miles later, spiritually speaking.

About John Clark

John Livingston Clark is 74 years of age and lives in central Washington State. He has written two published books, and two published poems. His initial book is called, " God's Healing Hope: Breaking the Strongholds of Wrong Thinking." His second book, released in December of 2016, is a motivational book written to seniors titled, " Seniors: Are You Retiring or Recharging?" Both books are available on amazon. You can also view his writings on www.faithwriters.com. His “Poem For Senior Citizens” is in the 5th spot on FW.

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  1. So interesting along with a powerful message – great job John!
    God Bless~

  2. A very good article that explains the importance of being in line with the truth when it comes to our salvation whereby we have that kinship with our Redeemer.
    How awful to read the variations that are meant to deceive many who have swallowed these lies. To think that they believe they are on course for Heaven and they end up lost for eternity is a tragedy.
    As the Bible talks about wolves in sheep’s clothing you have stated in your article. May many who read this be willing to examine themselves whether they are in the faith and have real fellowship with our Lord.
    Thank you for giving us God’s word which is the Bread of Life.

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