Posts from the ‘Eternity’ Category

This Is Who Jesus Christ Is to Me – An Easter Reflection for All Year

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What is it like to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? 

I’m not talking about merely knowing a lot facts about Jesus.

The point of this article is WHO Jesus is to Me, not merely what.

The HOW of Jesus is the Gospel story, but the WHO is the untold reward.

Greater than the gift is the love that gave the gift, but the Giver is greater still.

You can know Jesus, and He abides IN the hearts of all who put their trust in Him.

I will fail to tell all that Jesus is.

But I will make an attempt to share ,as best I can, just who Jesus is to me.

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Jesus Christ is my best thought, my most cherished possession, He is God and man, Savior and Creator, and to know Him more is my greatest ambition.

Oh the height, depth, and breadth of all that Jesus is!

He is the only way , the only truth, the meaning and purpose of life, and the only hope for eternity.

He is the author of the language of the information of life we call DNA, and the undesigned-Designer, eternal and ever-existing, who orchestrated the fine-tuned Big Bang so that our universe could sustain life.

He is the wonder in nature and science, each reflecting His infinite beauty, order, and intelligibility.

His courage to face a grievous death and torture was driven by a boundless love for everyone.
He endured rejection so we could be accepted.

He has borne our shame and by His stripes we are healed.

He died so we could live.

He defeated death for us and rose from the grave victorious.

He hears our most distant thoughts and our most earnest prayers.

He longs for us to know and love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength and all that is in us.

Christ’s love is stronger than sin and death, and mightier than any bonds known to ensnare the hearts and minds of mankind.

Only Christ’s Spirit and love can evoke love so strong in the hearts of sinners that it burns away all other passions.

Jesus is hope when all else is hopeless.  He is love when all around us is hate.  He is the reason to live when faith in all else is gone.

Nothing can drive Him away from any who truly trust Him.
He will never leave us or forsake us.

No desire, temptation, or affection can compare to knowing Christ; and anyone who truly knows Him would never choose to leave His presence – for nothing else compares to knowing Jesus Christ who is God and who is Love.

Though I walk through the Valley Of The Shadow Of Death I will fear no evil, for He is with me.

He so loved us that He came down from His glorious throne and became one of us.
He left majesty to live in humility.

 He humbly worked as one of us with the same hands that formed the universe,

all to save us, even before we knew Him.

He is all powerful, yet for the joy before Him, He endured death on a cross for those who loved Him and those who hated Him.

After three days He opened the tomb they laid Him in and rose from death.
Even now He opens His arms to beckon to all who labor and are heavy laden to give us life and rest.

My heart is bound and accountable to Christ’s heart who gave His blood to cleanse my soul of sin.

Duty as motivation is not worthy of comparison to the intimate resolve to love Christ.
Christ’s love, when realized, goes beyond motivation, discipline, and dedication.

Christ’s love is limitless and the one who knows such love is confident in trials and courageous in tribulation.

The human mind may seek in vain to grasp the full scope of God’s love, but we should continually endeavor to do so.

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, and everything in between.

His promises are sure and are anchored in His great love, which He publicly demonstrated on the cross for you and me.

And, believe me, when I say this; words can’t even begin to express to others this inexpressible love Christ is in the hearts of those who know Him.

Jesus is the Most Sacred Flame, the Light of the World, inextinguishable and inexhaustible, burning in the hearts of all who trust Him as Savior.

The totality of who Jesus is to all who know Him cannot be fully expressed because He transcends measure, time, and space.

He alone is worthy of our eternal praise.

 

We Acknowledge a King Men did not Crown and Cannot Destroy

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” Our western civilization, like all others before it, must some time or other decompose and disappear. The world’s way of regarding intimations that this is happening is to engage equally in idiot hopes and idiot despair. On the one hand, some new policy or discovery is confidently expected to put everything to rights: a new fuel, a new drug, détente, world government, a common market, North Sea oil, revolution or counter-revolution. On the other hand, some disaster is as confidently expected to prove our undoing: Capitalism will break down, communism take over, or vice versa; fuel will run out, atomic wastes will kill us all, plutonium will lay us low, overpopulation will suffocate us.In Christian terms, such hopes and fears are equally beside the point. As Christians we know that here we have no continuing city, that crowns roll in the dust, and that every earthly kingdom must some time founder. As Christians, too, we acknowledge a King men did not crown and cannot destroy, just as we are citizens of a city men did not build and cannot destroy. It was in these terms that the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome and in Corinth, living as they did in a society as depraved and dissolute as ours—under a ruler, the emperor Nero, who makes even some of our rulers seem positively enlightened—with the games, which, like television, specialized in spectacles of violence and eroticism: “Be steadfast, unmoveable,” he exhorted them, “always abounding in God’s work and concerning yourselves with the things that are not seen; for the things that are seen are temporal, and the things that are not seen are eternal.” It was in the breakdown of Rome that Christendom was born, and now in the breakdown of Christendom there are the same requirements and the same possibilities to eschew the fantasy of a disintegrating world and seek the reality of what is not seen and is eternal—the reality of Christ. In this reality we see our only hope, our only prospect in a darkening world.”

Malcolm Muggeridge

Biblical Content in the Context of Biblical Emphasis is Our Biblical Imperative

Christ's Resurection from Death

Most of what Christians communicate has Biblical content. Subjects like predestination, grace,love,unity, God’s sovereignty are all typical examples of Biblical Content.

But any time we communicate Biblical Content but neglect Biblical Emphasis, we violate Biblical imperative.

What is Biblical Imperative?

“That in all things, Christ might be preeminent.”

“I am determined to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified.”

To put it another way,

Jesus said,”I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me.”

The entirety of Christianity begins with the redemption of mankind.
Jesus is the only way to the Father, He is the only truth that leads us to the Father, He is the only life we can obtain with the Father, for we are all already dead in trespasses and sins.

Even discipleship means nothing without Christ.

“I am the Vine and you are the branches, without Me you can do nothing.”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Preacher.
What could you possibly have to say that would have more meaning or relevance aside from Jesus Christ ?

Discovering that God is Love While in a Nazi Concentration Camp – Viktor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning”

Deutsch: Viktor Frankl

Deutsch: Viktor Frankl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vitor Frankl was a psychologist who was trained in Vienna.  and was imprisoned in Auschwitz, and other Nazi Germany death camps, as well as his wife and family.

Even though the Nazi prison camp meant facing death, and surrounded by constant threat and hatred, Victor Frankl found the meaning of life there.

From  “Man’s Search for Meaning”- Experiences in a Concentration Camp”

“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words,

“The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.”

Viktor Frankl

1 John 4:10

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Free Will Explained Well

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“God does not choose us because we believe, but that we may believe.”

~Augustine~

“Until God saves us ,we are all like Lazarus. We are dead and unable to even call out to Christ.”

“Christ calls us out of our tomb of death into life.”

2012 in Review for Christ Centered Teaching – Sharing Christ’s Good News With The World

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 16 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Mayan Apocalypse Will Not Occur – But Bible Prophecy Will – Dates Withholding

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The Mayan Apocalypse will not be happening on December 21.

I don’t want to make light of what has become a major concern for many, so don’t misinterpret my condensed and direct tone concerning this issue.

I’ve not written on this subject before, but recent events have convinced me it may be a good time to do so.

A side story to the Sandy Hook killings is that the mother of the killer was preoccupied with what has become known as ,”dooms day prepping.”

My main goal is to write to make Christ known.

End times or its formal name,eschatology, is demanding and super involved, and the bottom line in life is, Do you know Jesus as your Savior?

“neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)

So if you have a comment ,critique or a question about anything written on this subject, let me know and I’ll try to get you a reply.

If I put everything into this post I would have a book instead of blog, so even Bible references are withheld unless you request them.

Why I am saying that the Mayan Apocalypse will not be happening on December 21?

According to Biblical prophecy,and my understanding of Biblical eschatology,  the world will endure at least another 1,000 years before God transforms it and the City of Heaven comes down to Earth.

This is also called the end of the age and the beginning of eternity with God for those who have trusted Christ as their Lord and Savior.

A Little Background First, for those of us who are only now becoming acquainted with this subject of end times eschatology.

Most of my reformed theology friends call this ,”Dispensationalism,” and discount it out of hand.

Incidentally, I have never met one reformed theologian who also had a well-informed eschatology.

The most common reformed eschatology is that Christians will bring about the,”Kingdom Age”, through winning everybody to Christ.

The only problem with that eschatology is that it is based on only a few passages and has to omit and ignore many passages that don’t fit it.

In the words of one well-respected Presbyterian pastor,“Most reformers don’t have a well-developed eschatology because Calvin never wrote a commentary on the book of Revelation from the Bible. Calvin didn’t understand the Book of Revelation.” (That is the main prophetic book in the Bible that foretells times yet to come and the end of the age, also called prophecy).

Some have said that if anyone tells you they understand the book of Revelation they are either fools or liars.

I think that’s a cop-out for those who either follow Calvin and their fellow reformers without question, or are too afraid of the subject to study it.

I’ve seen equal amounts of both.

Problem is, a lot of people are thinking about what may or may not happen concerning the end of the age , but almost nobody is telling people what they need to hear.

That is, except for a few guys who just seem to want to fleece the flock, like Harold Camping did.

Granted, some end times ,”experts,” have made fools of themselves and those that followed them.

Anytime a teacher of the Bible talks more about anything other than Jesus, even if they talk more about Christ’s return more than they talk about Christ, we should be skeptical.

The bottom line in all that involves all of life, death, and eternity is if you have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, NOTHING can ever separate you from God.

So how can I know from the Bible that the Mayan apocalypse will not happen?

Firstly, the Great 7 year Tribulation has not begun yet, and it does not get really bad until about half way ,or 3 1/2 years from its beginning.

The signal of the beginning of the Great Tribulation is when a world leader mediates a 7 year treaty between Israel and her enemies.

That hasn’t happened yet either. (All though things do seem to be getting worse in the Middle East, setting the stage for this important end times event).

This mediator will also become the one world leader who becomes possessed by the devil 3 1/2 years into that treaty.

Then all hell breaks loose.

They will call him ,”The Beast”, because he will first try to win over all religions into one, and then he will decide he wants to be worshipped.

Because of this, he will persecute all religions who do not worship him.

I also firmly believe that all true believers will be removed from this world before judgement is allowed to be unleashed on it. (The pre-tribulation rapture).

 So enjoy Christmas on the 25th, because December 21st will come and go, and so will all the other dates that are associated with the Mayan calendar for that matter.

The only warning I will give is the same one Christians have been giving all along.

The times will get dark, but agin,the only prepping that will ultimately matter is ,Do you know Jesus as Savior?

Don’t wait until the night comes to trust  ,”The Light of The World,” who is Jesus Christ.

He died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead to show He has power over life and death and has power to give life to any who will place their trust in Him.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

 Seek him while it is day.

Why? – Jesus and Innocent Suffering

The question of suffering is one of life’s biggest questions.

Any loss, loss of livelihood, health, loved ones is shocking to us, as it should be.

 

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The unspeakable tragedy of loss is compounded by the loss of innocent life and the suffering of innocent people.

Men, women and children needlessly suffer and die amidst violence, cruelty and neglect.

We are left to ask,”Why did God allow this to happen?”

When we experience loss,”Why!”,is the first thing that comes to mind.

There are no pat answers,… but we can find deeper reason and comfort in knowing we are not alone.

God chose to experience loss for our sakes.

God came down to us in the personage of Jesus Christ and suffered and died for us to spare us eternal suffering.

God the Father turned away from Christ on the Cross, prompting Jesus Christ to cry out,”My God, My God,WHY have you forsaken me?

God as the man Jesus Christ felt the agony of loss and asked WHY?

The Bible tells us God did this because He loves us.He became one of us, struggled like we do, tempted in every way as us yet without giving in to sin.

And He suffered to a degree that we have not, and can not, for He alone was perfect and worthy to carry all the sins of our entire human race.

Christ paid for the sins all mankind from Adam to the last of our kind who will be born.

Christ carried every sin ever committed, or that will be committed, by every victim and by every perpetrator, who ever lived or has yet live, upon Him on the cross.

And the punishment of us all was upon Him.

“Surely he took up our infirmities
    and carried our sorrows, 
yet we considered him stricken by God, 
    smitten by him, and afflicted. 
 But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
    and by his wounds we are healed. 
 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, 
    each of us has turned to his own way; 
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.”

(Isaiah 53:4-6)

Because of Christ we know that the reason suffering exists can NOT be that God is insensitive to our condition.

Perhaps part of the reason is to make us what C.S.Lewis called, “Free Lovers.” We love God not for what He gives , but simply for the sake of whom He is.

If , like the old testament figure from the Bible, Job, we can love God regardless of total tragedy and loss, then our love for God will be like the love God has for us! Unconditional.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

(1 John 4:10)

God’s love is Unconditional love.

Tim Keller uses the illustration from the Book of Job in the Bible to show that Satan tried to make God question Job’s love for God. Satan accused Job of conditional love.“Take away everything you have blessed him with and he will curse you!”, he said to God.

And God permitted Satan to take all of Job’s children, possessions and wealth.

When Job still blessed God, then Satan insisted if God allowed physical suffering then Job would curse God.

Job did become very bitter, but did not curse God.

…”Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship  and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart. 
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; 
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”

(Job 1:20-22)

It really is all about Love.

Satan tried to convince Job that God did not unconditionally love him, just as Satan tried to convince God that Job didn’t unconditionally love God.

And perhaps then our suffering, like Job’s, has profound reason and eternal purpose.

To refine our love into the kind of love Christ has for us.

For He loved us before we knew Him.

Unconditionally.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

(Ephesians 2:8,9)

Related Sermon by Dr. Tim Keller of Manhattan Presbyterian Church Manhattan N.Y.- 

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/suffering-if-god-good-why-there-so-much-evil-world

Bee-lieve

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Like a Bee to the sweet nectar of a flower, come to Jesus, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Cast off all your heavy burdens and believe in Jesus, for He bore our burdens on the cross.

He paid the price of the penalty of our sins.

Ask Jesus to save you and He will.

Only believe.

Mark 1:15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

John 3:15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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.

John 3:18 “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.

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.”

John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

John 6:40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 11:26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Acts 10:43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

Acts 13:39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Romans 4:5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Romans 10:9 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.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it  is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

I John 3:23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

I John 5:13 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.

What Tone in Christian Discussion is Biblical ?

What Kind of Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion?

Christians are to be gentle ,kind, lovingly compassionate, meek and humble, like Christ. That much is obvious, though not always common.

But what about some of the examples of situations where Christ was angry, or when the Apostle Paul burned with indignation?

I think it depends on the situation. Christians are suffering from a stifling and un-Biblical monotonic response to the issues we face today.

 

We believe one tone should apply to everything, yet Indignation is also Biblical.

Keep in mind that silence was only used by Christ during the trial for crucifixion, when He willfully gave up His life for you and I. He said nothing in His own defense.

There are many shades of Christian communication, and all are Christ like. For instance,… are you trying to encourage? For the most part ,be gentle.

Are you exhorting and spurring others on? Be hopeful and thankful.

Or are you defending the most precious life-giving Gospel,the Blood of Jesus, and Grace of God from the self-righteousness of moralistic legalists who always demand our own works be tacked on to Christ’s work? (Legalism)

Now that’s a different story. Take the Apostle Paul for instance.

II Corinthians 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? (NKJV)

Christians today need to find their voices! Rightly dividing the word of God means 2 Corinthians 11:29 is in the mix.

Our insight as to when to speak up and which tone to use may make the difference as to whether we speak up at all.

Unlike the message we are all getting from our Post-modern world today, God never meant us to keep silent, He said ,”Go and Preach the Gospel.”

A lot of essential Biblical examples stand out in regard to what tone is right and when we should use them.

Too many issues demand our voices!

A great example is this video that went viral  and caused an uproar with some of the so-called,”pillars” in  modern Christendom.

In the video,Jefferson Bethke Kicks the proverbial Snot Out of Legalism!

But he has a much more subtle tone than Jesus does in Luke 11:44 !

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”

Or Jesus in Matthew 23:13

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

In fact, Bethke is well below the tone Jesus used to beat down the self-righteous Pharisees of His day!

And Bethke is also doing the Church a service just like the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians!

Only Bethke is milder than Paul too! Like in Gal.1:6

“If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”

In fact,Paul was far more direct as he beat down the legalists, and he even,”withstood Peter to his face.” This is the big ,long earful that Peter heard from Paul in front of Barnabas and many others. Galatians 2:11- 21

“When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 1Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Paul got in Peter’s face in front of everybody, to defend the blood of Jesus as the ONLY means to be saved!

So don’t let them make you back pedal Jefferson Bethke. Take heart!

You aren’t bashing the Church. On the contrary!

If a person loves Jesus and His Bride the Church, then he will defend the ONLY means to establish the Church.

The pure, true Gospel established by the washing and regeneration of the pure, perfect blood of Jesus Christ on the cross is the ONLY way the Church can ever exist.

Your statement  is right in line with guys who have made all the difference when it counted, like Paul, and Luther, and countless others.

Jesus vs. Religion? Jesus will always win!

Speak up! Be bold!

That is our part to this world. Give them Jesus!

The Pathway to Blessing

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Commitment on Trial

Genesis 22:4-18

Abraham began walking with the Lord many years before he was asked to offer Isaac on the altar. His first step had been to leave his home and relatives and go to a land God pledged to show him. But now he was being told to give up the person he cherished most. Isaac was the son of promise–the one through whom God would bring forth a great nation and bless the entire world. This was the biggest challenge Abraham had ever faced, yet he obeyed.

The Lord never allows us to rest on a spiritual plateau. That’s why He at times tests our commitment. These stretching opportunities are an expression of His love because He knows that standing still is not what’s best for us. The testing is designed to help us grow in faith, obedience, and spiritual maturity while increasing our dedication. That is the way we become valuable servants in His kingdom.

Abraham’s obedience to this crucial test was determined by his understanding of God. He believed that the Lord would keep His promise to give him descendants through Isaac, even if it required raising the boy from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19). That’s why Abraham confidently declared to his servants, “We will worship and return to you” (Gen. 22:5, emphasis added). He knew the Lord was faithful.

If you’re going through a time of testing, God is seeking to raise your commitment to a new level. He wants to prove to you that He’s faithful to His promises and will greatly bless you for your obedience. The stretching may be painful, but He will wrap you in His love and carry you to victory.

Charles Stanley

Come to Jesus and Obtain the Fullness of Love and of Grace

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“The best way to come to Christ is to come meaning to get everything, and to obtain all the plenitude of grace, which he has laid up in store, and promised freely to give. Some poor souls who come to Jesus Christ seem as if they wanted a little relief from fear, a hope that they may just get saved, and a fair chance of going to heaven when they die. Pray do not come in that way, my dear friend. Come intending to obtain the fullness of love, the uttermost of grace.” C.H.Spurgeon

Ephesians 1:13,14 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

The Very Best Place To Live

 

 

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heavens (Photo credit: Mystic Musings…)

 

“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

 

Heaven.

 

Think of it.
Living with God in God’s city!
Streets paved with pure gold.

 

Jobs- Don’t need them. Everything is God’s and all who received Christ are His royal family! We will have no want or need except to be with God.
Crime rate – eternally zero.
Climate – always perfect, never storms or cloudy, never too hot or too sunny, in fact, it is always day time because Christ is always there and His glory is it’s light!
Health- Our bodies are totally changed into perfect bodies when Christ returns to take us home. No more illnesses or death, weaknesses or bad health ever. Our new bodies will be incorruptible.

 

Ethnic diversity- People from every kingdom,nation, and tribe on Earth.

 

Things to do- Basking in the full and continually abundant love of almighty God. Worshiping God in His presence will be a natural response.

 

The ultimate best place to live is literally out of this world!
But we can have our citizenship to that city now.
The price of our residence in Heaven has been paid for already by a generous benefactor, God.

 

” 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.”(John 3:16)

 

In fact, if we decide we want to go there, God will personally seal the deal.

 

(Ephesians 1:13,14)” And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

 

If you want to be sure now of where you will live for eternity, ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior now,…He’s listening.

 

Stand You’re Gospel Ground – Don’t Be Moved

Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Take your stand on the Rock of Ages. Let death, let the judgment come: the victory is Christ’s and yours through Him.” ~DL Moody

So many subjects and issues seem to govern what Pastors preach.
But only one subject can have lasting impact in this life ,and in the next.

Pastor, if your three-point sermon isn’t about Jesus, you are missing The Point.

Case in point– One particularly hot topic is marriage. To be fair, the Bible covers marriage, and we need to listen to what God says about the Holy union he established between man and women. God made us to uniquely compliment each other physically, emotionally,and so on.

But the Bible has an overall theme of man’s redemption through Christ.

Both the old and most obviously the New Testament reveal Christ and His purpose,the Gospel, as central to all that is written in them.

Jesus heals marriages because He alone makes sinners into saints, and saved sinners make Christian couples.

If the issues that plague secular marriage are as prevalent in the Church it is because the church is filled with unchanged sinners.

If that is true, then you need to ask yourself if three or four Gospel messages per year are enough.
(Selah)

Pastor, you should consider making Jesus and the Great Commission the central theme of every message.

Christ can show you how all subjects begin and end with Him.

“Without Me you can do nothing.”, is an all-encompassing statement.
” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,”is another all-encompassing statement.

Both of theses Biblical truths point to the central truth of Christ’s supremacy.

It really is all about Jesus.

Isn’t it time you plugged your sermons into that power?
The ONLY power to change us forever is Jesus.

Augustine on “Hope has two beautiful daughters” Christian Anger and Courage

“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” Augustine

Augustine is of course talking about getting angry at the problem,…and people are not the problem!

The people have a problem,…they need Jesus.

But not everybody thinks they need to be saved.

“From what?”‘they might say.

And that is when we give them the ,”Bad News,” and say, “You need Jesus, without Him you will spend eternity in Hell. ”

How could the truth always be what we want to hear?
It can’t be.Life isn’t that way.

But still, anyone who speaks the truth when needed is showing more love than a dozen people who say nothing simply because they don’t want to ,”be negative.”

Is it love to not say what someone you love needs to hear?

If a bridge is out on a road, would you even think of taking down the big yellow warning sign that reads,”Bridge is Out”, because your opinion is that people don’t want to hear that negative stuff ?

That is just what living without Jesus is like.

Without Jesus, we are on a road that leads to certain and eternal death!

My HOPE is that we all heed this warning and tell others as well.

Christian, find your voice.

Be angry at the way things are!

State the ugly truth of the way things are, even if everyone else chooses to ignore it!

If they are blind and cannot see, that is God’s job to open their eyes.

All you must do is be faithful in telling others.

Then have the courage to tell others how it should be!
That Jesus came to seek and to save what was lost.
That Jesus loved them enough to die for their wrongdoing.
That Jesus rose in victory over death and now offers life to as many as receive Him a Lord and Savior.

Jesus is the bridge to life.
Make the turn.
Heed the warning.
And then…
Put up the Big Yellow Warning Sign.

You might save an eternal life from eternal death.

Jesus! The Savior Of My Soul!

Jesus!

The Savior of my soul,
He is the promise of eternal tomorrows,
the fact that He resides in me,
and the thought that He will never leave me,

He lives in me as the promise of life unending,

A promise that God who cannot lie, has made!

He is the seal of an eternity of tomorrows!

His Spirit in me!
His Spirit teaches me,
His Spirit guides me,

His Spirit changes me,

His Spirit comforts me,
and gives me peace that passes understanding,…

theses are only a few reasons I worship my Jesus.

His Name Is JESUS – A Psalm By C.C.T.

We fell

and He came from the highest place

And He purposely took the fall for us

He saved us Himself!

God didn’t send another

He became one of us

to personally save us!

Why would He do that?

Life can be so hard

so miserable

so painful and hopeless

and worse!

Why would He do this?

Because He owns everything?

And everyone?

He made us

and all that is

It’s all His

and He is love!

and He loves what He made

because in the beginning it was good

very good!

But evil separated us

So He came from His throne

by a humble virgin

in a humble stable

with humble witnesses

shepherds of sheep

and grew in a humble family

learned a humble trade

and when His Hour was to come

He chose humble followers

fisherman

tax collectors

and He washed their feet!

and told them”the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”

“He who will be greatest must be a servant of all.”

He was so different from His contemporaries

they were proud self-seeking and greedy for gain!

and for that they hated Him

because the common people loved Him!

so evil men plotted to kill Him

but He knew it

that was why He came

it was the passover festival

when they recall God’s mercy and salvation

by sacrificing a lamb

a perfect lamb without spot or blemish

Jesus was that lamb!

the only man who never sinned

would pay for the sins of many

betrayed by a kiss

of a former follower

under the cloak of darkness

they came to take Him

but He was waiting for them

to freely give Himself!

A trial of lies

they mocked Him

and beat Him

and crushed a crown of thorns on His humble head

they lashed His humble back with hooked whips

and spit upon His humble face

and plucked His humble beard

yet He opened not His humble mouth

He waited humbly as the charade unfolded

though they said,”I find no fault in this man!”

the authorities gave in to political pressure

and washed their hands of responsibility

for this humble,innocent servant

who never beguiled or hurt anyone

yielded His humble body

to a humble cross

for all of us

He made the journey from the highest place

to the lowest place

humility never went so far

or loved so perfectly

to be so despised and rejected by men

“He came unto his own,

and his own received him not.”

“But as many as received him,

to them gave he power to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe on his name:”

His name is Jesus.

Suffering: If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world? A Audio Sermon By Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Manhattan N.Y.

Suffering is one of the biggest questions facing the human race.

Why does God allow evil and suffering?

The why of suffering is also the biggest accusation for atheists who claim God is indifferent to the plight of mankind.

The cross of Christ proves that God cares and has intervened on our behalf through Jesus’s sacrificial death on the cross to pay for our sins and save us from an eternal state of suffering.

The book of Job is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible, yet it is about suffering and loss, and the struggle to maintain hope and belief that God really does loves us despite loss.

The biggest question we should ask is, “do I love God for what is in it for me?”

Or do I love God regardless of if I get anything out of  the situation?”  Isn’t that how God loved me?”

Unconditional?

Isn’t that Grace ?

So suffering is the worst kind of teacher, but also the best kind of teacher, because if we can say that even after suffering the bitterness of loss that we still love God, then our love is truly mature and free, and full of the deepest meaning.

We love Him because He first loved us.

Click on the link below for a 30 minute sermon on this subject by Dr, Tim Keller.

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/suffering-if-god-good-why-there-so-much-evil-world

Even the Wind and the Waves Obey Him

“Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”

Christians.

We are the Church.

The Church is a building but not one made by human hands, but by the Spirit of God.

When we meet for the purpose of knowing Jesus Christ or serving Him, He tells us He is present with us.

 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

To further that point, it is also true that Christ is present in all who believe and receive Christ as Lord and Savior.

Jesus is IN the individual believer and IN and WITH those who are gathered in His name.

This is also true for our online community.

We are having an impact. People from countries all over the world are receiving the Gospel as a result of the faithful witness of online writers who take the Great Commission to heart and see blogging as an additional resource to meet those needs.

Our ancient foe knows this as well.

Which is why I pray for all my followers and online friends in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I would encourage all who are like hearted to do the same because Satan makes attempts to get us off message in several ways.

If you are worth the devil’s time then you are having an impact!

Keep doing what you are doing and don’t stop.

Find several ways, but don’t stop telling others about Jesus.

(JESUS),”He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

 “He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

 “They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:39-40)

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Written by Martin Luther in 1529, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, is a reflection of the heart , mind ,and faith of The Father of The Reformation of The Church of Our Lord and God Jesus Christ. Reading the lyrics to this song reveal what Luther valued most.

I have memorized this song and found it to be of great encouragement, for at times these words ring true for for me and I’m sure for all believers almost 500 years after Luther wrote them.

Enjoy!

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing: For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate, On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing: Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same, And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us; The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure, One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth; The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth; Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever.

Original Sin – Muslim vs Christian – 9 Min.

Eternally Secure In Christ – “I Shall Lose None of All”

These are the Words of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

 (John 6:37-40 ,NIV 84,The Holy Bible)

The above words of Christ settle every conceivable scenario a person could imagine for loosing one’s salvation.

ALL the Father gives Jesus Will come to Him.

Jesus will NEVER drive you away.

Jesus SHALL LOSE NONE OF ALL, so that means that if you really know Him you won’t want to leave Him either. NONE of ALL.

EVERYONE who looks to the Son AND believes in Him SHALL have ETERNAL LIFE

Anyone who can see that God has loved them completely is now free to also love God completely in return for His matchless, incomparable love!

href=”https://christcenteredteaching.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/the-secret-ingredient-to-eternal-life/” target=”_blank”>The Secret Ingredient To Eternal Life (christcenteredteaching.wordpress.com)

The Secret Ingredient To Eternal Life

mixed

“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”(Hebrews 4:2)

Many have stumbled to their doom attempting to comprehend the “how” of the saving power of the Blood of Christ.

Faith is that secret ingredient that when mixed with God’s truth in the heart of the sinner results in salvation.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”

(Ephesians 2:13)

Natural means cannot grasp the supernatural truths of God’s supernatural ways.

Faith is the means to grasp the supernatural truth of God’s salvation for us.

Not My Righteousness, But Christ’s In Me

 

“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

(NKJV) Matthew 5:20 

That would be bad news for us were it not for the fact that Christ died in our place paid the sin debt of all who believe.

“and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

Philippians 3:9

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”

1 Corinthians 1:30

“Jesus answered,

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 

That is why ,”Gospel”, is translated,” Good News”!

Do you believe?

 

Atheists – Jesus Is Your Friend

ChristBetweenTwoThieves

If you have ever been lost you already know how unpleasant and confusing it feels.

But it is possible to be lost and not even know it, or feel it.

And we can also think we know where we are, but find out much later we have been lost for a long time and are far off course.

Some of us, (perhaps many of us), are where we are because we had to retreat to a safe place, far from an element that caused us pain and suffering.

Christians are men, only they are saved by Grace yet are too often a poor reflection of who and what God is.
The Bible says God is love.

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:8

Much of that message often gets lost, and depends on if clergy have had their own hearts awakened to the love of God.

It has been said that rules without relationship breeds resentment.

Those who  teach a Christ-less Christianity are called blind guides in the Bible.They are to blame for many who are,”lost.” or deny Christ.

WE hear, “I was a Christian but…”.

Jesus Christ is the way to the Father. Jesus is the way to genuine relationship with our Loving God.

If that has not been clearly portrayed to you, then you have not seen the true Christ.

No matter where you are, atheist, skeptic, or believer, or if you’re not sure if you even care, please consider the following.

Atheist– if you consider this your current location you may feel pretty safe and do not even want to talk about it.
Denial is not a location. Denial is more like the middle of nowhere. So why are you there?

Anger often accompanies this location. Much of that anger is the result of the kind of people who actually crucified Christ.
People who had a haughty imitation of true Christianity made the religion of the Bible appear repulsive and cruel.

It’s no wonder so many make this their chosen destination.

Self righteous people are not ready to share God’s love with others when they don’t even have it present in their own lives.

Have you been hurt or let down by these kind of people?
Jesus was crucified by them.
He is your friend.

 “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Hebrews 9:28,29

What Is the Gospel? | The Resurgence

http://theresurgence.com/2012/02/28/what-is-the-gospel

If you are not familiar with Pastor Mark Driscol, Mars Hill Church in Seattle  Washington, U.S.A., please let me introduce you to this growing ministry.
Mark knows Jesus personally, that is very clear, and he wants us to know Jesus as well.
Consider this a portal to knowing Jesus.

Because He first loved us.
Christ Centered Teaching

Joy That Remains – Christ’s Promise

The Lord is my Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(John 16:16 )Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 16:17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 16:18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” 16:19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 16:20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 16:21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 16:22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (NIV)

Good Friday-Pslam 22-The First Person Prophetic Account of Christ’s Suffering For Us On The Cross


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? 

   Why are you so far from saving me, 
   so far from the words of my groaning? 
 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, 
   by night, and am not silent.

 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; 
   you are the praise of Israel.
In you our fathers put their trust; 
   they trusted and you delivered them. 
They cried to you and were saved; 
   in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

 But I am a worm and not a man, 
   scorned by men and despised by the people. 
 All who see me mock me; 
   they hurl insults, shaking their heads: 
 “He trusts in the LORD; 
   let the LORD rescue him. 
Let him deliver him, 
   since he delights in him.”

 Yet you brought me out of the womb; 
   you made me trust in you 
   even at my mother’s breast. 
 From birth I was cast upon you; 
   from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 
 Do not be far from me, 
   for trouble is near 
   and there is no one to help.

 Many bulls surround me; 
   strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 
 Roaring lions tearing their prey 
   open their mouths wide against me. 
 I am poured out like water, 
   and all my bones are out of joint. 
My heart has turned to wax; 
   it has melted away within me. 
 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, 
   and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; 
   you lay me in the dust of death. 
Dogs have surrounded me; 
   a band of evil men has encircled me, 
   they have pierced my hands and my feet. 
 I can count all my bones; 
   people stare and gloat over me. 
 They divide my garments among them 
   and cast lots for my clothing.

 But you, O LORD, be not far off; 
   O my Strength, come quickly to help me. 
 Deliver my life from the sword, 
   my precious life from the power of the dogs. 
 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; 
   save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

 I will declare your name to my brothers; 
   in the congregation I will praise you. 
 You who fear the LORD, praise him! 
   All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! 
   Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! 
 For he has not despised or disdained 
   the suffering of the afflicted one; 
he has not hidden his face from him 
   but has listened to his cry for help.

 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; 
   before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows. 
 The poor will eat and be satisfied; 
   they who seek the LORD will praise him— 
   may your hearts live forever! 
 All the ends of the earth 
   will remember and turn to the LORD, 
and all the families of the nations 
   will bow down before him, 
 for dominion belongs to the LORD 
   and he rules over the nations.

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; 
   all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— 
   those who cannot keep themselves alive. 
 Posterity will serve him; 
   future generations will be told about the Lord. 
They will proclaim his righteousness 
   to a people yet unborn— 
   for he has done it.

Should I Not Love that Great City? -An Audio Sermon By Dr. Tim Keller – Redeemer Presbytarian Church Manhatten New York – 4 Weeks After 9-11-01

CNN breaking the news of a plane crash at the ...

CNN breaking the news of a plane crash at the World Trade Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Redeemer’s Synopsis – “Many recoil at the thought of being called to reside in a large city. Jonah felt the same way when God asked him to go to Nineveh, and he made every attempt and excuse to avoid the great city. Like Jonah, we may see crime, pollution, greed, and moral decay as deterrents to living in a city; but in God’s eyes its peoples are precious, and his grace and mercy are available to all. Once we glimpse the heavenly eternal city, the city of God, we will share God’s view of the lost and will be able reach out in charity and love to a broken world.”

Preached just four weeks after the 9-11-2001 attack on the World Trade Center and our nation, Dr. Keller delivers this sermon to his congregation who are still reeling from the attack. At the time we were all waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak, and 11 years later we still are in a state of constant vigil.

Dr. Keller parallels the events recorded in the old testament book of the Bible, Jonah,and the city God sent the prophet to, as the platform from which he takes us through history in regards to Christian Citizenship and God’s love for people.

Keller takes us back to another global tragedy which shook the confidence of the entire civilized world, the Fall of Rome, and to the wisdom and truth conveyed by Saint Augustin in his book,The City of God”, written during that era.

Then Keller goes well beyond that.

This sermon was easy to listen to repeatedly because of the richness of content and I learned more from it with each review of it.

As citizens of Heaven, The Eternal City, we are to be the very best citizens of any city on Earth as we follow Christ’s example of love and selfless sacrifice for the sake of others.

Click on the link below for the audio sermon.

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/should-i-not-love-great-city

If Bell’s Hell Has No Flame

ChristBetweenTwoThieves

If Bell’s Hell Has No Flame

Then why did Jesus warn us about hell more than He talked about heaven?

Then why did Jesus warn about hell more than any person recorded in the Bible?

Then why did Lazarus ask for a drop of water for the tip of his tongue to cool his torment from the flames?

Then why did Jesus warn there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth?

(If you are not familiar with the issue, two fairly well-known pastors have rejected the Biblical meaning of the “lake of fire”, as Hell . One has written a book that states that a loving God would not send people to eternal torment in flames).

My Take on why this happened

I fear that many Christians have left their first love, Jesus Christ, and Rob Bell and Brian McLaren have had occasion to occupy that which we abdicated, namely, the emphasis of the Love of God as clearly portrayed in the cross of Christ.

All of God’s attributes of Holiness and Justice were satisfied for us by God himself in the personage of Jesus Christ.

Why do we Christians have such a difficult time reconciling God’s love and God’s Holiness and justice when it was God himself who personally settled that issue on the cross and the reason He did so is because He loved us?

John 3:16 states – “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.”

Choice is valued in our culture.

People like it when they can choose on their own.

Before Christ’s sacrifice people had nothing but death to choose from.

God gave us a choice.

Hell is real and people who reject Christ will go there.

And the following is a summary of what is written in the Bible and why that is the case.

Satan desired to ,”be like the Most High”, and his pride became sin.

One third of heaven’s angels sided with Satan and suffered the same fate as him.

They were condemned and Hell, the lake of fire, was created for them.

They are awaiting that sentence to be carried out.

Then Satan tempted mankind to do that which had been forbid by God, to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

He tempted mankind by saying to them the same thing that he was condemned for,”you will be like the Most High”.

Satan no doubt knew that if mankind sinned the same sin as him, mankind would suffer the same fate as him, the lake of fire for all eternity.

That is why a Loving God would send people to Hell, because He is also a just God.

Satan’s sin was our sin also.

Satan’s fate became our fate as well.

It is just.

But consider this.

We owed God for our sin.

Then God came down to personally pay the debt that we owed Him.

Our debtor paid our debt for us!

God came down to mankind and was born of a virgin , grew up as a boy, worked as a carpenter, and never sinned.

Our God did this for us to become what we could not be, sinless and perfect, so He could then sacrifice Himself for our sins and pay the price for us.

The just for the unjust.

How can we then say condemnation to Hell is unjust if the one we were indebted to personally paid our debt himself ?

The explanations that are common in the lake of fire debate are foolish at best.

The lake of fire ,(Hell ),that Christ warned about extensively was not mere symbolism or a smoldering trash heap outside the city walls of Jerusalem.

Reconsider your stance Brian McLaren and Rob Bell , for you risk  causing many to miss the seriousness of what is at stake, and you diminish the sacrifice of Christ.

We are saved from infinitely more than mere regrets.

Our Savior is infinitely more worthy of being called Savior than you imply by what you call Hell.

“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” 

“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.  If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 20:10,14-15
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
   he was crushed for our iniquities; 
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, 
   and by his wounds we are healed. 
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, 
   each of us has turned to his own way; 
and the LORD has laid on him 
   the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:5,6

That’s My King – A Sermon By S.M. Lockridge Set To Images From The Passion of the Christ

The Passion of the Christ

The Passion of the Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(The sermon in text has been added to this posting for those who cannot stream video).

Every Easter I’m reminded of the movie, The Passion of the Christ.

You may not have seen the movie, but do yourself a favor and watch this short video Sermon set to images from the movie.

Though only 6.5 minutes long, this video is powerfully moving visually,intellectually and spiritually.

The sermon was preached by Pastor S.M Lockridge.

I can personally witness to being familiar with Scripture references to support each claim in the video from the  Holy Bible.

Using a sermon preached decades ago by a preacher who is with the Savior now, the message encompasses art, truth, and eternal hope in Christ.

In all my efforts to make Jesus real to my readers, nothing I have written even comes close to what you are about to hear and see.

We can know God. We need only to know Jesus, the way the truth and the life.

Click on the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzqTFNfeDnE&sns=em

That’s My King

A Sermon by S.M. Lockridge

“The Bible says my King is the King of the Jews.
He’s the King of Israel.
He’s the King of righteousness.
He’s the King of the ages.
He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of glory.
He’s the King of Kings,
and He’s the Lord of lords.
That’s my King. I wonder…
Do you know Him?

My King is a sovereign King.
No means of measure can define his limitless love.
He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere.
He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful.
He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful.
Do you know Him?

He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world.
He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s Savior. He’s the peak of civilization.
He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He is the loftiest idea in literature.
He’s the highest personality in philosophy.
He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology.
He’s the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient Savior.
I wonder if you know Him today.

He supplies strength for the weak.
He’s available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He strengthens and sustains.
He guards and He guides.
He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners. He discharges debtors.
He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent, and He beautifies the meager.
I wonder if you know Him.

He’s the key to knowledge.
He’s the wellspring of wisdom.
He’s the doorway of deliverance.
He’s the pathway of peace.
He’s the roadway of righteousness.
He’s the highway of holiness.
He’s the gateway of glory.
Do you know Him?

Well, His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous,
and His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
I wish I could describe Him to you.
Yes, He’s indescribable. He’s incomprehensible.
He’s invincible. He’s irresistible.
You can’t get Him out of your mind.
You can’t get Him off of your head.
You can’t outlive Him, and you can’t live without Him.

Well, the Pharisees couldn’t stand Him,
but they found out they couldn’t stop Him.
Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him.
Herod couldn’t kill Him.
Death couldn’t handle Him,
and the grave couldn’t hold Him.

That’s my King!”

A Reason For Living – An Audio Sermon By Dr. Tim Keller – Redeemer Presbyterian Church- Manhattan, NY- Keller Answers The Big Question- “What Is The Reason,Meaning, And Purpose For Life?”

Christ's Resurection from Death

What is the reason for living?

All the big thinkers, atheist , agnostic, and believer, have written about the reason for our existence and the meaning of life.

In this sermon, Keller does what many big thinkers refuse to do, and that is to honestly and logically examine the premise, or basis on which to answer the big question.

If God does exist and we can know Him, then we have hope in this life because we know this is not the end, the best is yet to come.

This view also gives hope to all who suffer in this life because they too can say they have a ,”future hope”.

Keller exposes that the typical atheist view is built on the premise that if God does not exist then the individual experiences ,

“Freedom”, but that view is not enough reason for living.

The problem is that ,”freedom”, as the sole reward in life ,robs us of any hope for a future beyond this life,

and results in a lack reason, purpose and meaning, and results in a loss of hope.

But the answer to life’s big question is that God does exist, we do have a future hope, and we have a reason  for living.

His name is Jesus.

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How I Post Sermons

I typically listen to a sermon 6 or more times before I recommend, comment and post them ?

This is especially true of Keller’s sermons.

I do this in part because I’m following Keller’s own example of how he studies the great early American revivalist, Jonathan Edwards.

Keller has mentioned that he reads, and re-reads Edward’s books and sermons over and over again.

Re- reading Edwards, Keller says, allows the benefit of learning how Edwards thought, and gives the benefit of applying that kind of thought to all of life,

as if to anticipate how Edwards would have answered any question himself.

Since I can’t listen to Edwards audio sermons,( since none exist), but Keller studies Edwards,

then I figure Keller’s audio sermons are the practicle choice for the student of deep theological issues.

This Sermon – In Summery

Keller answers the big question by dwelling on the basis for question, for most of sermon.

At one point in the sermon Keller receives applause for one of his comments, to which he replies,”that has never happened to me before, no wait,

I should say , that has never happened to me in a white church before.”

Another great sermon by Keller.

Free online. Click on the link below.

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/reason-living

Enjoy.

“The Bible – End Or Means ?” – Is The Bible Simply A Set Of Laws, Morals and Principles From God, Or The Means To A Relationship With Him ? An Audio Sermon By Dr. Tim Keller , Redeemer Presbyterian Church , Manhattan NY.

Many people believe that the Bible is simply at set of rules and guidelines from God for acceptable behavior.

But being Biblically right does not in and of itself make you right with God. That happens in our heart, not our head.

 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”  (Romans 10:9-10)

God came down to mankind in the form of Jesus Christ to both show us His great love for us and to make a way for us to once again be in relationship with Him. 

Belief in Christ as the God sent Savior starts with the heart, and the love of God is the finishing mark of genuine conversion.

In this Rare and doctrinally beautiful sermon, Dr.Keller addresses a subject that many will not face until they stand before thier maker on judment day.

Do we simply know about God, or do we genuinely know God? 

“The Bible – End or Means” will serve as a “Truth Filter “, for your heart and head on this subject. Listen to it at least 6 or 7 times.

(Click the link below)

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/bible-end-or-means

Free online.

Enjoy!

This is Eternal Life

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)

“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:  That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:8-10) 

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Streams In The Desert

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the Desert.” (Isaiah 43:18,19)

Nothing is too hard for God.
God makes things happen in places where we think those things could never happen.
He makes a way in places that we can’t navigate.
He brings life to barren places and empty hearts.
He makes rivers of living water in barren places.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

May you have a Happy New Year, and a Happy New Life in Christ.

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