Posts from the ‘Heaven’ 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

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.”

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!

Watch “WHO IS THIS MAN?” – Set To “The Passion of The Christ”

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

These Great Minds Believed in The God and Father of Jesus Christ

There is no shortage of great minds professing belief in God. Let no one insult your intelligence for joining the ranks of these men: Paul of Tarsus, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, John Damascene, Origen, Augustine, John Chrysostom, Boethius, Erigena, Anselm, Abelard, Aquinas, Bonaventura, Scotus, Ockham, Nicholas of Cusa, Cajetan, Luther, Calvin,

ThomasAquinas

Thomas Aquinas

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Copernicus

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Kepler

English: Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. R...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leonardo Da Vinci

J

 Michelangelo

BlaisePascal

BlaisePascal

galileo

 Galileo

SirIsaacNewton

Sir Isaac Newton

LouisPasteur

Louis Pasteur

Tolstoy

Tolstoy

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Dostoyevsky

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G.K.Chesterson

CSLewis

C.S.Lewis

TSEliot

T.S.Eliot

TimKeller

Tim Keller

Kepler, Bacon, Ignatius Loyola, Dante, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, Berkeley, Copernicus, Newton, Kierkegaard, Newman, Pasteur, Jaspers, Marcel, Galileo, Tolstoy, Chesterton, Dostoyevsky, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis and Tim Keller.

https://www.facebook.com/Logical.Faith/posts/412949245438955

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.”

“Counterfeit Gods”- Video Summary of Tim Keller’s Book By The Same Title – Jeff Bethke – 5 min.

Based on Tim Keller’s book ,”Counterfeit Gods”, this may be Jefferson Bethke’s best work yet.

They say ,”Counterfeit God’s”,may be Tim Keller’s best work yet.

And the two combined make for a powerful video with a strong Christian message.

We all worship something. We are hope based creatures, and all place our hope or happiness in something or someone.

But even the best of us will let you down.

But Jesus never will.

If we pin our hopes or happiness on it, that is a clue it is a counterfeit god.

If we can’t give it up, we don’t own it, it owns us, and is a counterfeit god.

Counterfeit Gods take many forms like jobs, money, possessions, duty,style,sex,drugs, pleasure,ease,companionship, power, accomplishment,even religion.

None of these things would die for us.
None of these things give ultimate hope.
But Jesus did die for us.

All other things, if you serve them, will take everything from you.

He is the only God who gave everything for you.
Why not give everything to the only true God who will never betray you?

The Many Facets of Jesus’ Love – The Gospel of Jesus in Verse – 80 Ways To Know Jesus Loves Us

 

Jesus loved us before we knew Him

Jesus loved us when He came down to us.

Jesus loved us by associating with the most humble.

Jesus loved us by doing without.

Jesus loved us by garnering lowly sinners to follow Him.

Jesus loved us by being bold for the truth.

Jesus loved us by fearlessly facing moralism.

Jesus loved us by enduring rejection.

Jesus loved us by standing up to oppression.

Jesus loved us by giving warnings.

Jesus loved us by showing the way.

Jesus loved us by speaking the truth.

Jesus loved us by fasting 40 days and nights.

Jesus loved us by allowing himself to be tempted by the devil.

Jesus loved us by not giving in to the temptation of the devil.

Jesus loved us by living the life we should have lived.

Jesus loved us by telling stories that make us think.

Jesus loved us by being one of us, only He lived a sinless life.

Jesus loved us by praying often.

Jesus loved us by praying for us.

Jesus loved us by being gentle with real seekers of truth.

Jesus loved us by being hard on leaders who thought they knew it all.

Jesus loved us by enduring unjust shame, accusations, and insults.

Jesus loved us by enduring being despised and rejected by men.

Jesus loved us by publicly railing against corruption of God’s house.

Jesus loved us by doing miracles.

Jesus loved us by challenging our lack of faith.

Jesus loved us loved us by becoming the Bread of life.

Jesus loved us by warning us about hell.

Jesus loved us by telling us about heaven.

Jesus loved us by accepting His reason for coming down to us.

Jesus loved us by enduring the rejection and unbelief of family.

Jesus loved us by going to Jerusalem even after being threatened.

Jesus loved us by riding a lowly donkey instead of a horse.

Jesus loved us by washing the disciples feet as a leadership example.

Jesus loved us by loving everyone even though Judas was there.

Jesus loved us by devoting himself to even more prayer.

Jesus loved us by waiting for His capture.
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Jesus loved us by allowing Himself to be betrayed by Judas.

Jesus loved us by not calling His father to send Angels to his rescue.

Jesus loved us by suffering being forsaken by all His disciples.

Jesus loved us by His silence before His own people and captors.

Jesus loved us by withstanding beatings from His own people.

Jesus loved us by being disrobed and whipped.

Jesus loved us by enduring a crown of thorns.

Jesus loved us by suffering mockery.

Jesus loved us by allowing His beard to be plucked from His face.

Jesus loved us by not defending Himself against lies and false accusations.

Jesus loved us by enduring more whips and beatings from Pilate.

Jesus loved us by facing an angry,merciless crowd.

Jesus loved us by enduring rejection by His own.

Jesus loved us by submitting Himself to angry cries to crucify Him.

Jesus loved us by carrying the cross that He would die on.

Jesus loved us though the heavy load of the cross made Him stumble.

Jesus loved us by letting soldiers nail His hands and feet to the cross.

Jesus loved us as He was crucified between two thieves.

Jesus loved us as He watched them cast lots for His clothing.

Jesus loved us as He endured pain and physical suffering.

Jesus loved us as He continued ongoing mockery and accusation.

Jesus loved us as He watched His mother agonizing for Him.

Jesus loved us as His mouth was to dry to speak.

Jesus loved us as He refused Gal, a drink with a sedative in it.

Jesus loved us they gave Him vinegar instead of water.

Jesus loved us He carried the sins of all mankind.

Jesus loved us as the Father turned away from Him.

Jesus loved us as He agonized over why God had forsaken Him.

Jesus loved us as He cried out,”it is finished!”

Jesus loved us as He passed from life to death for us.

Jesus loved us as His side was pierced and blood and water flowed down.

Jesus loved us as His body was placed in a tomb and a stone was rolled over the doorway.

Jesus loved us as He died our death so He could give us life.

Jesus loved us as He conquered death and rose from the grave.

Jesus loves us as He went back to Heaven to prepare a place for us.

Jesus loves us as He freely gives life to all who believe in Him as Savior.

Jesus loves us as He comes into the believer and changes us.

Jesus loves us as He promises He will make all things new.

Jesus loves us as He promises to never leave or forsake us.

Jesus loves us as He gives us The Comforter, His Spirit in us.

Jesus loves us and He promised to come back for us.

All I really know in life is…

Jesus loves us…

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.

Tim Keller- Hell: Isn’t the God of Christianity an Angry Judge?” Video – 35 Min.

http://wp.me/p1Lr49-er

Tim Keller,D.A. Carson and John Piper Talk About Christianity Part 4 of 6 (10 Min.) Video

Tim Keller, D.A.Carson and John Piper Talk About Christianity Part 3 of 6 (10 Min.) Video

What a Loving God We Serve!

 

 

“Under no conceivable circumstances shall the covenant fail; the Lord who made it cannot change, Jesus who sealed it cannot die, the love which dictated it cannot cease, the power which executes it cannot decay, and the truth which guarantees it cannot be questioned. In the eternal provisions of that covenant of peace, which is sure to all the seed, we may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. My brethren, do you believe this? If you do you ought to be as happy as the angels are. Our lot is supremely blessed. What a loving God we serve, and what great things has he spoken concerning us.” (From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having 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.” Ephesians 1:13,14)

The Righteousness that Comes from God and is by Faith

 “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)

“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 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 3:4-9)

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.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

I have written much about the plight of pride upon mankind and Christ’s humility.

But the sum total of my thoughts are contained in this hymn more succinctly and with more clarity than I will ever achieve.

That is why I wish to share it with you.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

“When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

Isaac Watts (17 July 1674 – 25 November 1748)

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)

Final Events – The Signing of a Treaty With Israel Reveals The “Beast” and Day One of the Great Tribulation

 “because they did not receive the love of the truth”

 “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that  Day  will  not  come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

 “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

And then the lawless one will be revealed,

whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

The coming of the lawless  one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

(II Thessalonians 2:1-12)

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.

In God’s Image – What All Religions Have In Common – What is Unique About Christianity

People wonder why the world has so many religions. 

Could it be that all religions have beliefs that reflect the inner longing we all share?

That we all were created for a common purpose and all have a common desire born from that purpose?

Could it be that our longing is to know and worship our creator God?

Some say that man created the idea of a god in order to explain what men could not understand.

These similarities have been dismissed by many as ,”wishful thinking,”in an effort to give hope and meaning to what would otherwise be a meaningless existence.

But that theory does not explain universal longing.

This is a longing that drives us to seek satisfaction in power or pleasure and only leaves us even more empty inside as it destroys us and our world in the process.

Some religions are similar because they are outward expressions of what all of us have at our core. We were created in God’s image, and we all know whom we seek, though we have not personally encountered Him, and that is God. Our Heavenly Father created us for Himself and we are hard-wired to need Him.

When God gave life to the first man, Adam, He did so by breathing life into Adam.

Sin separated man from God and death took hold of men. This was the result of God’s absence in relation to mankind.

The very nature of how mankind thinks and feels was changed when Adam and Eve disobeyed God resulting in mankind knowing the difference between right and wrong, thus our conscience became subject to guilt and shame.

Satan’s purpose in causing mankind to fall , just as he did by being overcome by the allure of selfish pride, was to bring the same eternal punishment on us as he brought on himself, and to grieve the heart of God.
Even then God promised to make a way for us tp escape Satan’s judgement in Hell’s flame and for us to be restored to God.
For this simple reason, we are ever longing for a home we’ve never been to, a love that will complete us, and a presence that will finally give ultimate hope and meaning to our lives.
We all need God to once again breathe life into our inmost being.

This is why all religions have basic similarities.  All are born out of a need to worship a supreme entity as God designed.Still, that a person must merit favor with its god is common to all the world’s religions except one.

Only Christianity is unique in that one belief in particular.God has merited favor for us Himself in the personage of Jesus Christ, and offers such favor to us as a gift because He knows that none of our best works are good enough to do so.

The reason for Him to bestow this favor upon His creation is simply because He loves us.

The root of all other religions, both pagan and all others, goes down to what God created us to be, similar to Him in some way that reflects Him and is only ever completely satisfied when in close relationship with Him.

We were made to love and worship God, not to be our own god.
The root of all religion comes from inside man. We all have longing that seeks to be fulfilled and can only be found outside our being through faith in Christ as our Saviour.
Christ breathed this new life into the disciples after He rose from the grave. (John 20).

Christ is our way to the Father.
He is the answer to our universal longing.

God’s Breath of Life – The Ultimate Reunion

“Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.” C.S.Lewis

When God created man He gave man life by His own breath. The importance of this is that the life of mankind had a personal link to The Maker.Perhaps this is in part what it means to be created in His image.

” And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 )

It’s interesting to find parallels between the old and new testaments of the Bible. There are tons of them.

Now consider the second time God gave mankind the Breath of life.

“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20:20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:19) 

The Breath of life is restored to mankind at salvation and we become a new creation.

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

Was mankind created to have God’s Spirit inside us as this would indicate?
Is the absence of God’s Spirit the cause of man’s universal longing?

C..S.Lewis said;
“Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.”

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having 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.” (Ephesians 1:13,14)

This much is clear, if you believe in Christ as your Savior, He will come into your heart as a seal and a promise that cannot be broken,(because God can’t lie),WHO will Himself personally by the deposit of His Spirit IN you, guarantee your salvation, your inheritance until God comes for you or you go to Him.

Friends, what are you waiting for?

Believe and receive God’s breath of life!

“Come to Me” – Jesus Did All the Heavy Lifting

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus Christ, from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 11 verses 28-30

Jesus paid it all.

He did all the heavy lifting for us.

He bore our burdens and our sins on the cross for us.

Burdens we would could never have borne ourselves.

Then He gives us His Holy Spirit in our hearts to comfort and guide and as seal of Promise for Eternal Life.

All these are gifts Christ gives to anyone who will receive Him as Lord and Savior.

Now that’s an easy yoke and light burden!

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:24
 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”
 Ephesians 2:8,9
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having 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.”
 Ephesians 1:13-14,

A Letter from A Loving Father to His Son.

http://blogs.palau.org/archives/the-secret-life-of-a-fool-a-letter-from-father-to-son

An excerpt from Andrew Palua’s book. A very good read for anyone regardless of your history or worldview.

Better Than Miracles – An Audio Sermon By Dr.Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Manhattan, NY.

“The Essence of God is not His power but His love.”

Tim Keller

Redeemer Church Synopsis – 1 Corinthians 13 seems sweet, but in the context of the entire book of 1 Corinthians, it is a sober warning against straying from the Gospel. If a person is gifted—as many of the Corinthians were—then it is frighteningly easy for that person to mistake their spiritual gifts for spiritual fruit. When we serve others in the church, are we serving Jesus or are we serving ourselves? Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Acts 18:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Matthew 7:21-23.”This sermon is remarkable in that the Pastor identifies the main target audience as his own church staff. That in itself is not so remarkable, but the subject makes it so; that of their own salvation. Keller wants Christians, and those who are trying to understand Christianity, to know who easy it is to place our faith in our own giftedness and the successes we often realize because of them. The real mark of a Christian and Christian character is love. (John 1:17)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

This sermon embodies so much of what I desire for Christians and non Christians to know.

 Quotes from this sermon;

“Not giftedness but grace, not our accomplishments but Christ’s on our behalf.”

“If you are godly and loving everyone will follow you.”

“Love is the miracle above all miracles.”

“Love, Christian love , is more miraculous than miracles.”

“Don’t get your identity from your ministry instead of Jesus.”

“Love is the essence of faith.”

“The grace in your heart has unlimited potential.”

“What you really need is to give your heart to the Gospel.”

“Love drove Jesus down to us.”

“The more you see the love He showed , the more love will grow in your heart.”

This is another sermon that is worth listening to several times over.

Free to stream online and also downloadable to listen at your leisure.

Click the link below.

Enjoy!

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/better-miracles

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

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!”

“Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”- Tertullian

“Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”- Tertullian

“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s”. ( 1 Corinthians 6:20)

About The Author of Christ Centered Teaching – www.godcamedown.com

About The Author of Christ Centered Teaching – www.godcamedown.com.  A little about me and a lot about God’s love!

The Gift – Eternal Life – John 3:16

jesus_on_the_cross_In_storm

Eternal Life – Christ Paid For it

“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 )

Eternal Life Is His Gift to whoever believes and asks Him

~The Gift He Gives Because He Loves Us So~

God Loves Us More Than We Love Ourselves-An Anchor For Hope

A Sure Anchor for Hope

A Sure Anchor for Hope

We may give up on ourselves.

God loves us more than we love ourselves because He never gives up on us.

Life can be tough and sometimes people give trying.

Hope is the basis for much of this life and also for our eternity.

When people lose hope they stop believing in themselves and those around them.

The outcomes of hopelessness can be devastating to families and relationships, and even end in tragedy.

But if hopelessness leads to disillusionment and disbelief, then hope leads to faith and belief and life.

God, who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all will not forsake us.

“if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” ( 2 Timothy 2:13)

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”(Romans 8:32)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”(Deuteronomy 31:6)

Place your faith in the anchor of your soul, and nothing in this life can touch your hope for eternity.

“while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,”(Titus 2:13)

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Believe in Christ as your Savior.He will come into your heart and will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

And if He will never leave you then you will never loose all hope.

No matter what happens in this life, even death will only hasten your reward of your eternal hope.

Jesus in you will become Jesus with you.You will be in His presence forever.

 

Life After Death – We Can Know Our Final Destination

 

wpid-IMG_20120225_123158.jpg

One day our journey will end.
Our life as we know it will end.

But we can know where we are going after this life is over.

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13

What are we saved from?

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” romans 3:23

God is perfect, we are not. Therefore we cannot live with him when our journey is over unless He makes us perfect.
He promises to change us into perfection and give us eternal life with Him if we let Him save us from our current path.

The following Bible references have helped me to know my final destination beyond any doubt.
The rest and assurance that results from knowing and no longer fearing death is that I now love Him more than my own life.

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having 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.” Ephesians 1:13,14

If then God puts His Spirit in those who believe, these next verses are also true.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

God is love. He warms the hearts of those who truly know Him, and we feel His presence in us.

“We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” 1 John 4:13

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16

Do you know Him…? You can know Him, and you can know your final destination for certain and forever.

“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. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13

Heaven is my final destination.
I hope to see you there!

The Gospel Story – So Unlike Man Made Stories it Must Be True

Nobody would make up a story about the leader of their religion like the story of Jesus Christ in the Bible.

“Embarrassing testimony is powerful evidence for historical accuracy.” Frank Turek

The four Gospels all record events that some historians call, “The Criterion of Embarrassment“.

The list has caused quite a lot of debate, and the kind of commentary that includes a lot of anger in the absence of coherent reasoning on the part of naysayers.

The list of embarrassing stories is long and I have only recorded a few of them here for examples.

——————-

Jesus Christ was accused repeatedly by His contemporaries of being born illegitimately.

His parents were not from nobility or influential.

He was born in a stable.

His arrival was announced by a chorus of Angels, not to nobility, but to humble shepherds watching their flocks by night.

His brothers did not believe in Him.

The religious leadership of His day hated Him.

He didn’t flaunt His miraculous powers for influence on a grand scale.

He did not free Israel from its Roman oppression as they wanted.

He didn’t even own a sword himself and forbid His followers from using them to defend Him.

He did not choose men of nobility to be His 12 Disciples. Instead He chose fisherman and tax collectors.

Many of the disciples did things that Jesus corrected them for doing, lack of faith, hunger for power, being judgmental and so on.

Most of the disciples betrayed Him when He was captured, and Peter denied he knew Him three times.

He showed tender mercy,kindness and respect to women during a time and culture that was very oppressive to women, and over one thousand years before the rest of the world would do so.

He made His Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt instead of a valiant steed.

He took the role of a servant and washed His disciples feet.

He allowed Himself to be captured by His enemies.

He did not speak in defense of Himself before the Jewish and Roman rulers.

He suffered public torture and shameful humiliation, but did not speak out in resistance to it.

He allowed Himself to be crucified on a Roman Cross.

While on the cross, He cried out,
“My God ,My God, why have you forsaken Me?”

He did not save Himself from undue punishment, instead, He died for those who rejected Him.

He was laid in a borrowed tomb,( but He rose again on the third day !)

All of these events and much more, stand in stark contrast to the things that commonly and historically appeal to the heart of mankind.

If the story of Jesus Christ was manufactured by men,

they would omit these events and try to cover them up in an effort to fabricate a leader devoid of embarrassments.

 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

who, being in the form of God,

did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation,

taking the form of a bondservant,

and coming in the likeness of men.

 And being found in appearance as a man,

He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death,

even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

Why not believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him.

He alone is worthy.

Man’s Pride Infects The Gospel – The Doctrine of Repentance

 

 

Choosing to follow Jesus will result in men turning from their sin in exchange for Christ’s most precious love. But if a person is told they must first forsake their sin as a condition to follow Christ they will turn away if they are honest because they know they are slaves to sin. The world and Church both know the Church has enough hypocrites.

Salvation is a free gift bought and paid for with the blood of Christ, and if a person knows they need Jesus then they know they need a Savior. That means they know they are condemned without Him. That is Biblical repentance. The problem is that we have confused sanctification of desires with awareness of need for salvation.

We have put the sanctification cart before the Holy Spirit horse.

Some context for making this point-

A major role of Paul the Apostle was to defend and confirm the Gospel.

Philippians 1:7 “…in the defense and the confirmation of the gospel,”
Philippians 1:17 “knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel.”

Pride was as prevalent back in those days as it is now. In my previous blogs I tried to paint a clear picture of how pride is not only the main weakness of all of mankind, but also the main weakness of all created beings, even angels. Pride lead to Lucifer’s downfall. Then Lucifer was cast down to Earth and out of Heaven along with 1/3 of the angels who followed him in his unsuccessful attempt to over through God. Lucifer,(Satan), wanted to be,”like the Most High”.
There can only be One God.

Perhaps in an attempt to get even with God, Lucifer tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God with the prospect of being,”like God”, the same sin that lead to Lucifer’s downfall.

Self Centered Pride lead to the downfall of man. It is leading us to the ruin of all of mankind.

Man’s pride leads to the creation of cults that serve man’s lusts. National Geographic 2011 featured the disturbing reality of child brides that are given in the name of religion. Some as young as 6 years old, almost an infant bride. The dark depths of the heart of man seem almost bottomless at times when I hear of such things as this. Pride and the ultimate lust of mankind to rule his own destiny at the expense of all others seems to be pushing the boundaries of evil ever closer to the depths of Hell.

Pride is a given. It’s the root of all evil. Money is not. Men who are old and have more than they could ever spend are using money to leverage power. Only the sense of being powerful comes close enough to the God Complex that it takes to make leaders behave like they are insane. Men who behave in such a way seem willing to destroy both mankind and this world in their quest to gain power. They may or may not realize that they desire to be,”like the Most High.”

Even after we become Christians, and God puts His Spirit in our hearts, our desires are at war with our ,flesh.”
Our flesh is the part of us that remains pride oriented and is reclaimed gradually by God after our salvation. We call this Sanctification and Discipleship. In simplified terms, those two words mean growth and development by God’s Spirit working in the believer. We are assured that upon passing from this life to the next we will be changed from our corruptible flesh to sinless incorruptible bodies, not prone to lusts. God changes our desires here and now by loving us and living in us. His humility and love shown to all on the cross is the measure of how much He loves us.

Pride even infected the presentation of the gospel in the early church. Paul recorded the event and related ones as we read in the book of Galatians in the Bible. Certain people who claimed to be Christians added a requirement for salvation to God’s free gift, bought and paid for by the only one worthy to do so, Jesus Christ.

Paul’s tone in this letter can be summed up by counting the exclamation marks and question marks in the six chapters that make the book.

Paul used about 11 exclamations and 13 questions in six chapters. This is very telling of Paul’s frame of mind. In verse 6 of the first chapter Paul tells the Galatians his frame of mind.Depending on the translation, he is,”astonished,” “I marvel.” He is astonished ,“that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who troubled you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.”

The guys that upset Paul only wanted a small thing added to Christ’s finished work. Jewish circumcision was all they asked in addition to faith in Jesus as Savior. To many it obviously seemed insignificant, almost like a token of good faith.

To Paul it was huge. Either Jesus paid it all or nothing. Faith in Christ had to be faith in Christ alone plus nothing.
Paul even mentioned this to the Galatians in regard to growth and development,(sanctification).

Galatians 3:3“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”

So we see that neither they nor we can save ourselves, nor can we make the kind of ongoing changes that give us victorious living here and now to live selfless fulfilling lives modeled after Jesus Christ.

So here is the point of this post-

Why do we tell someone about Jesus’ sacrifice, compel them to accept His free gift of salvation bought and paid for with His blood, and then say, Only turn from your sin and accept Christ as Savior.”?

Turn from sin? Before they have the indwelling Spirit promised to all who believe?
Are we so foolish? Men can understand their sin has ruined them and condemned them to Hell but sin may still rule their desires. They may not turn to Christ because they know sin still owns their desire and they don’t want to be hypocrites. I have met people like that.

I tell them to let Jesus deal with their desires!

Only God can change our desires through Christ!

” for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

This is making an additional condition for accepting salvation’s free gift. Turning from sin is something an unbeliever ,who has not been empowered by the Holy Spirit, does not have the ability to affectingly do! He can want to be set free by Christ! That is repentance.

We must not confuse the two as if we do not already know that sanctification takes place only by the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer after salvation. To say otherwise is putting the cart before the horse, or putting sanctification before salvation/conversion.

Demanding an unbeliever to turn from sin in order to accept God’s gift is foolishness in the highest degree!
Demanding an unbeliever to turn from sin before Christ comes in is the modern version of adding circumcision as a condition for salvation. It is adding the works of the law to grace!
It is perversion of the gospel, and it is another gospel!

This is the gospel, God so loved you that He came down and became one of us as Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a humble life even though everything belonged to Him. He was one of us! He lived a perfect sinless life, the life none of us ever could. Jesus said;

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus did ALL the heavy lifting, paid ALL the amount due,and continues to restore our broken lives until His return when He will suddenly make us complete and whole in an instant. Jesus does it ALL from beginning to end.

Add NOTHING to what Jesus has done. Repentance is God-given. God leads us to repent by revealing our need and how He can cancel our dept if we accept Christ by faith. In addition God makes us His children, sons and daughters.

 “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”Romans 2:4

If God affects a person’s heart to realize they need a Savior, then they obviously see their predicament!

Genuine repentance is an automatic response to God-given revelation of our own need for Christ.

When we see a clear picture of Christ we see our depravity.This is the goodness of God. GRACE! And to an infinite degree that leads us to true repentance.

We must never offer guilt in the absence of Grace.

Both repentance and acceptance take place or neither happens.

Give us Jesus and we have everything we need.
Not another gospel, just Jesus, and only Jesus!

Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Galatians 2:16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”


God Was Manifested in the Flesh

OXYGEN VOLUME 13

” And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit,Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.”1Timothy 3:161

 The above verse from the Bible states that Jesus is God revealed to mankind in Bodily Form.

Just to think the God of all that is , was, and shall be personally came down to Earth as Jesus, to be one of us and to make a way for us back into fellowship with Himself.

This amazing love and humility is also beyond comprehension.
Great is the mystery.

Archeological Proof The Bible is an Accurate Translation of Ancient Holy Manuscripts

English: The Psalms scroll, one of the Dead Se...

English: The Psalms scroll, one of the Dead Sea scrolls. Hebrew transcription included. English translation available here. Français : le rouleau des Psaumes, l’un des manuscrits de la mer Morte. Une transcription en hébreu moderne est incluse. Une traduction anglaise est disponible ici. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Archeological Proof The Bible is an Accurate Translation of Ancient Holy Manuscripts

The Dead Sea scrolls are available to view online now. The scrolls are over 2000 years old. They predate Christ’s earthly ministry and include the entire Old Testament books except Esther. They,” bare witness to,” the integrity of modern translations made from other ancient Greek and Hebrew manuscripts.

The best Bibles are not interpretations, but translations. A translation seeks to accurately translate words and thoughts. The most accurate translations included many Greek and Hebrew scholars in the project. In some cases, such as the NIV84, over 100 scholars translated the Bible from ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic manuscripts. We can verify the credentials of each translator. The project began in 1966 and was not completed until 1978.

The NIV84, The NKJV, MSG, and the New American Standard are among the most accurate translations from the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures in English.

The Codex Sinaiticius is the oldest entire New Testament manuscript, dating back to about 350 A.D. Constantine Tischendorf, a German Bible scholar, found this manuscript in 1859 at the Monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai, an ancient monastery in the arid Sinai desert.
Each ancient manuscript has served to prove the accuracy of our Modern translations of the Bible.
Digitally photographed images are now available online for study by scholar and skeptic alike.

You can research them at the following links,

View the the Dead Sea Scrolls, available online since 2009-

http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah

View the 1600-year-old Complete New Testament of the Bible, The Codex Sinaiticus online-

http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/en/

http://www.csntm.org/home/about

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