Posts from the ‘The Gospel’ Category

The Most Important Answer to the Most Important Question,”Why?” Serve Christ?

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The Key to Successful Discipleship in Christ is to Answer the Question “Why?”

       I believe that most of the shortcomings and failings of the church stem from the failure to successfully answer the question “Why should I give my all to Christ?”

       The answer is in the Gospel, and by Gospel I mean the cross and the resurrection of Christ.

       Because of His love, we can have a personal and intimate life in Christ, and we can confidently confront the brokenness of this world.

       When we have come to love Christ as He loved us, we will together with Christ and by His indwelling Spirit, yearn to give our all to Him because He first gave His all for us.

       Our faith is strongest when our love for God is stronger than any fear, desire, or potential loss we could know because it is anchored in a confidence rooted in His love for us, fully expressed by the cross.

       I like to say, When we love God with all our heart and soul and strength, then there is no room left to love anything contrary to God.

Why?

We love Him because He first loved us.”

(1 John 4:19, NKJV)

 

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.

———————-

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.

 

Jesus Christ – His Divine Union of Contrasts – King of Kings – Yet He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men

The Crucifixion (1622) by Simon Vouet; Church of Jesus, Genoa

The Crucifixion (1622) by Simon Vouet; Church of Jesus, Genoa

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Look no further than the Gospels of Jesus Christ in the Bible for proof of His existence. Mankind could not have conceived the embodiment of such extremes in the leader of a man made religion.
Only Christianity has a founder who embodies the full spectrum of what it means to be human and does so in Holy perfection.

James Stewart said it well.

“He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God.

 

He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at his coming, yet he was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with him, and the little ones nestled in his arms.

 

His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine.

 

No one was half so compassionate to sinners, yet no one ever spoke such red hot scorching words about sin.

 

A bruised reed he would not break, his whole life was love, yet on one occasion he demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell.

 

He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our stark realists soundly beaten.

 

He was a servant of all, washing the disciples feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and moneychangers fell over one another to get away from the mad rush and the fire they saw blazing in His eyes.

 

He saved others, yet at the last Himself He did not save. There is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the gospels. The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality.”

 

– James Stewart, Scottish theologian

 

Jesus Christ – Crown Him King of My Life – Why Can’t Sermons Be More Like Songs?

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Why can’t more sermons be this Christ Centered ?
How often do our songs contain Christ Centered richness, but our sermons barely mention, let alone celebrate, the One who loved us with His own life?

Simply Crown Him The King of Life.

Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne,
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.

Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,
who died, and rose on high,
who died, eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of peace,
whose power a scepter sways
from pole to pole, that wars may cease,
and all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end,
and round his pierced feet
fair flowers of paradise extend
their fragrance ever sweet.

   Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou hast died for me;
thy praise and glory shall not fail
throughout eternity.

Oxford Scientists Confirm Biblical Account of the Human Conscience – C.S.Lewis said it -“You Don’t Have a Soul – You Are a Soul – You Have a Body”

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“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image,”
(Genesis 1, The Bible)

Oxford scientists have discovered humans are unique from all species of living things.

The researchers identified two areas of the human brain that are both physically and functionality unique to humans.

Humans alone have physical portions of our brain designated to diserning good and evil.

Discribed as ,”Shaped like small stems of broccoli”, these areas are active when people are asked questions that challenge disernment between good and evil.

The significance of the fact that humans alone have the ability to judge good and evil has literally rocked the scientific and philosophical worlds.

But knowing the difference between good and evil does not mean that we can always choose to do good.

And that is where the issue of responsibility for our actions come becomes Biblical. That is what shows why only a Messiah, Jesus Christ, was necessary. Only Jesus could choose to do good and only the perfect and sinless One could pay for our sin.

The fact that we are physically different a major way confirms our Biblical description and need, and gives even more credence to the Jesus of the Bible.

Humans alone are designed to sense differences between good and evil, sin and righteousness.

We have the capacity to recognize Holiness even though we incapable of perfection ourselves.

Evolutionary theorists can no longer use animal behavior as a model for justification of human behavior and human cultural trends or sexual behavior.

Chimpanzees, Apes and Bonobo monkeys don’t have these uniquely human portions of the brain, nore do and other species of animal or mammal.

“And you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis in The Bible)

This new discovery supports the Biblical account of creation of the world and all that is in it.

Mankind was created by God and unique from all other species of creation to uniquely reflect the image of the Creator.

This new finding supports a non-evolutionary, Biblical account of creation, not primordial soup theory, or evolution at in any way.

The implications of a physical character of the human brain that is constructed to relate to a being who is the source of all that is good, holy, and righteous, is confirmation that humanity is unique in recognizing God for who and what He is. This is at the core of the truth most important to humanity.

The most important thing to humanity is to know we were created by God and for a relationship with God. And that sin separated us from God, but Christ died in our place to pay for our sin, and offers redemption to all who will only choose to receive Him as Lord and Savior.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image,
according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
(Gen 1:26-27 NKJV)

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/you-say-lateral-frontal-pole-i-say-that-little-devilangel-that-whispers-in-my-ear-9094043.html

They Gave Christ a Cross, Not Guessing that He Would Make it a Throne

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“He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”

~James Stewart~

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“It is a glorious phrase of the New Testament, that ‘he led captivity captive.’ 

The very triumphs of His foes, it means, he used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to sub-serve his end, not theirs.

They nailed him to the tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing the world to his feet.

They gave him a cross, not guessing that he would make it a throne.

They flung him outside the gates to die, not knowing that in that very moment they were lifting up all the gates of the universe, to let the King of Glory come in.

They thought to root out his doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy.

They thought they had defeated God with His back the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated: they did not know that it was God Himself who had tracked them down.

He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”

James Stewart (1896–1990) was a minister of the Church of Scotland

—————-

” And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh,

He has made alive together with Him,

having forgiven you all trespasses,

having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us,

which was contrary to us.

And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

 Having disarmed principalities and powers,

He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

(Colossians 2:13-15)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16)

Pontius Pilate Shares His Torment with Gaius (fiction, audio)” Ravi Zacharias from “Jesus as they Saw Him”

Read by Ravi Zacharias, this dramatic audio adaptation of the Biblical account of the trial of Jesus Christ is told from the fictional perspective of the man who reluctantly delivered Christ to be crucified, the Roman ruler assigned to Israel , Pontius Pilate.

Much of this does however dramatically reflect what we gather from the Biblical account.

The text is also included below.

Its almost fitting that the only recording of this I could find is a video shrouded in darkness similar to the ruminations of this dialogue.

Darkness really did come upon the middle of the day when Christ Jesus died.

Praise God for the resurrection and Light and Life everlasting.

“While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”
(Matt 27:19 NKJV)
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“… “It suddenly closed in on me Gaius, the impact of how trapped I was. The proud arm of Rome with all its boast of justice was to be but a dirty dagger in the pudgy hands of the priest. I was waiting in the room, Gaius, the one I use for court, officially enthroned with cloak and guard when they let this Jesus in. Well Gaius, don’t smile at this, as you value your jaw, but I have had no peace since the day he walked into my judgment hall. It’s been years but these scenes I read from the back of my eyelids every night.

You have seen Caesar haven’t you? When he was young and strapping inspecting the legion. His arrogant manner was child like compared to that of the Nazarene. He didn’t have to strut, you see. He walked toward my throne; arms bound but with a strident mastery and control that by its very audacity silenced the room for an instant and left me trembling with an insane desire to stand up and salute.

The clerk began reading the absurd list of charges. The priestly delegation punctuating these with palm rubbings and beard strokings and the eye rollings and the pious gutturals I had long-since learned to ignore. But I more felt it, Gaius, than heard it. I questioned him mechanically. He answered very little but what he said and the way he said it, it was as if his level gaze had pulled my naked soul right up into his eyes and was probing it there. It seemed like the man wasn’t even listening to the charges brought against him as a voice deep within me seemed to say `You are the one on trial, Pilate.’ You would have sworn, Gaius, that he had just come in out of a friendly interest to see what was going to happen to me. The very pressure of his standing there had grown unbearable when a slave rushed in all a tremble, interrupting court to bring a message from Claudia. She had stabbed at the stylus in that childish way that she does when she is distraught. ‘Don’t judge this amazing man, Pilate,’ she wrote. ‘I was haunted in dreams of him this night.’

Gaius, I tried to free him. From that moment on I tried and I always will think he knew it. He was a Galilean so I delivered him out of my jurisdiction, but the native King Herod discovered he was born in Judea and sent him right back to me. I appealed to the crowd that had gathered in the streets, hoping that they were his sympathizers, but Caiaphas had stationed agitators to whip up the beast that cry for blood and you know how any citizen here just after breakfast loves to cry for the blood of another. I had him beaten, Gaius, a thorough barracks room beating. I’m still not sure why. To appease the crowd, I guess. But do we Romans really need reasons for beating? Isn’t that the code for anything we don’t understand? Well, it didn’t work, Gaius. The crowd roared like some slavering beast when I brought him back.

If only you could have watched him. They had thrown some rags of purple over his pulped and bleeding shoulders. They jammed a chaplet of thorns down on his forehead and it fit, it all fit! He stood there watching them from my balcony; lame from weakness by now but royal I tell you. Not just pain but pity shining from his eyes and I kept thinking somehow this is monstrous; this is all up-side-down. That purple is real, that crown is real, and somehow these animal noises the crowd is shrieking should be shouts of praise.

Then Caiaphas played his master stroke on me. He announced there in public that this Jesus claimed a crown and that this was treason to Caesar. And then the guards began to glance at each other and that mob of spineless filth began to shout, hail Caesar, hail Caesar. I knew I was beaten and that’s when I gave the order. I couldn’t look at him, Gaius. And then I did a childish thing. I called for water and there on the balcony I washed my hands of that whole wretched affair, but as they led him away I did look up and he turned and looked at me. No smile, no pity, he just glanced at my hands and I have felt the weight of his eyes upon them ever since.

But you’re yawning, Gaius, I’ve kept you up. And the fact of the matter is you are in need of some sleep and some holidays. Yes, sleep. Claudia will be asleep by now. Rows of lighted lamps line her couch. She can’t sleep in the dark anymore. No, not since that afternoon you see, since the afternoon when the sun went out and my guards executed him. That’s what I said, I don’t know how or what or why—I only know that I was there and though it was the middle of the day it turned as black as the tunnels of hell in that miserable city and while I tried to compose Claudia and explain how I had been trapped she railed at me with her dream. She has had that dream ever since when she sleeps in the dark—or some form of it—that there was to be a new Caesar and that I had killed him.

Oh, Gaius we have been to Egypt to their seers and magicians. We have listened by the hour to the oracles in the musty temples of Greece chattering their inanities. We have called it an oriental curse that we are under and we have tried to break it a thousand ways, but there is no breaking it.

Do you know why I kept going, Gaius? Deep within the curse is the haunting, driving certainty that he is still somewhere near, that I still have some unfinished business with him, and that now and then as I walk by the lake he is following me and as much as that strikes terror I wonder if that isn’t the only hope. You see, Gaius, if I could walk up to him this time and salute him and tell him that now I know that whoever else he was he was the only man worthy of his name in Judea that day. Tell him that I know I was entrapped—that I trapped myself. Tell him that here is one Roman that wishes he were Caesar. I believe that would do it wouldn’t it Gaius? I believe he would listen and know I meant it and at last I would see him smile.

Quiet tonight isn’t it Gaius? Not a breeze stirring by the lake. Yes, goodnight. You had better run along. Would you please waken the slave outside the door and tell him to bring me a cloak, my heavy one please. I believe I will walk by the lake. Yes, its dark there, Gaius but I won’t be alone. I guess I really haven’t been alone—not since that day. Yes goodnight, Gaius.”

God Required Holiness of Humanity – So God Provided Holiness to Humanity

God said,
“Be Holy because I am Holy.”

Man’s dilemma,
“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

So God came down to man as a man,Immanuel, God with us.

and the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

after the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life,

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting ?

 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,

that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 The Lord has shown his holy arm
    in the sight of all the nations,
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

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.

(Scripture references – 1 Peter 1:16,Romans 3:23,1 Corinthians 15:55, Matthew 1:23,2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 52,53, Ephesians 1:13-14)

Inseparable, Unchangeable, Irrevocable – The Magnificent Love Jesus Christ Has for Us

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Do you know Christ has always loved you?

His love is the most powerful force in the universe.

He loved us so much that He came to us to pay for our sins on the cross.

He loved us so much that He defeated death for us by dying and then coming back to life.

Now Christ gives life to all who choose to receive His love.

Simply ask Him.

He is listening now.

The following passage is from the Bible, God’s Holy Word.

“What then shall we say to these things?

If God is for us, who can  be against us?

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,

how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long;

“We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers,

nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth,

nor any other created thing,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(Rom 8:31-32 ) ( Rom 8:35-39 )

Watch “The Cross – Billy Graham’s Message To America”

Witness the power and reality of a man who knows Christ to such a degree that he became God’s prophet to the nations of the world.

Millions have come to know Christ through the ministry of the Reverend Billy Graham.

Watch this video and see how God has used and is still using Billy Graham as His instrument to bring life through Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.

” For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Christ is the Gospel – He Must Be Our Constant Theme

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By C.H.Spurgeon

“Beloved, because Jesus is the sum of the gospel he must be our constant theme.

“God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

So spake men of old, and so say we. 

When we have done preaching Christ we had better have done preaching; when you have done teaching in your classes Jesus Christ himself, give up Sunday school work, for nothing else is worthy of your pains.

Put out the sun, and light is gone, life is gone, all is gone.

When Jesus is pushed into the background or left out of a minister’s teaching, the darkness is darkness that might be felt, and the people escape from it into gospel light as soon as they can.

A sermon without Jesus in it is savourless, and worthless to God’s tried saints, and they soon seek other food.

The more of Christ in our testimony the more of light and life and power to save.”

Ravi Zacharias Healed After 27 Years of Pain – Audio Sermon

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His associate from RZIM Singapore had to see him while in Atlanta USA.

Despite a busy schedule and flying out the following day, Ravi agreed to meet him for breakfast.

His associate explained that he begins each day with a half hour of nothing but asking God to speak to his spirit.

God had recently told him that two things would occur in Ravi’s life.

Ravi would receive an anointing of God in his ministry even greater than in his previous years.

And Ravi’s back pain that he has lived with for 27 years would be healed.

Then the man told Ravi God said to also tell Ravi “3, 4, 5”, and Ravi would know what that means.

Astounded, Ravi said that the parts of his back giving him pain are called L3, and L4-5.

Ravi’s associate then touched Ravi’s back and prayed for healing.

Shortly thereafter Ravi realized his back pain was gone. Pain had been a continual preoccupation and distraction in his ministry and life and was now gone.

Ravi also testifies that since then he has sensed an anointing on his ministry as never before.

Ravi has always been my favorite Christian speaker and I have noticed greater power and conviction in Ravi lately.

Now I know why, and that I haven’t just been imagining it.

I never would have thought Ravi could get even better than he already was.

Our God can do anything.

We have been given an even greater gift from God through the ongoing work of Ravi Zacharias.

Click the link below.
Ravi starts right of by telling us this story in this 50 minute audio so give it a listen and come back to finish it at a later date if you wish.

http://www.rzim.org/let-my-people-think-broadcasts/chariots-of-fire-part-3-of-3/

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 ?

God’s Love is Unconditional but A Relationship with God is Conditional – All Close Relationships Come With Conditions

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We are saved by Grace. We know this as God’s unconditional  and unmerited love.

Some very wise people question, “How can God’s love be unconditional if I will be sent to Hell for all eternity if I reject Christ as my Savior.”

The answer is found in the realization of understanding the difference between God’s unconditional love to us,

(God so loved the World)

Christ’s having satisfied those conditions for us,

(That He gave His only  Son)

and our having met the only condition for the restoration of a relationship with God.

(that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.)

 “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)

God personally settled the condition for us to be restored to a relationship to Him.

He took responsibility for our debt on Himself.

All He asks is that we freely receive His offer.

He will also allow us to reject Him, 

But we must then accept responsibility for that decision

ourselves.

————————————-

The following link is to a half hour audio by Ravi Zacharias on this subject.

I gave it my own title because Ravi actually covers a lot of theological ground on most occasions, and covered this subject well here.

God’s Love is Unconditional but A Relationship with God is Conditional – All Close Relationships Come With Conditions.

“WHAT ANSWER FOR THE WICKED HUMAN HEART, PART 1 OF 2”

In this audio,Ravi Zacharias reveals how he is often invited to speak with some of the world’s richest and most influential people.

On one occasion, Ravi was invited to go on a private yacht owned by a very wealthy man who had recently come to Christ through attending a Ravi Zacharias event.

 Before the speaking event,this man told Ravi that he only came to fulfill a promise to his own wife that he would be there.

Ravi then told the man that having fulfilled his promise to be there, he could leave at any time while he is speaking if he chooses, and that would be okay.

Instead, the man accepted Christ as his Savior at the event.

This man then invited many of his own friends, and Ravi, to a private yacht cruise along the coast of Sicily.(perhaps in hope they would find new life in Christ as well).

This audio tells of a man on that cruise who also became a Christian when he finally understood true love and relationships all have conditions for them to exist.

Yacht

Yacht (Photo credit: WaterpoloSam)

The Deconstruction of Absolute Truth and Unity – The Reason Society Can No Longer Reason

 

Brumidi, Constantino - Apotheosis of Washingto...

Brumidi, Constantino – Apotheosis of Washington, detail E Pluribus Unum – 1865 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them:

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

(Matthew 12:25)

 

E pluribus unum

E Pluribus Unum, (Out of  Many ,One), is part of the history that made us a great nation and that made the world a better place for many.

We need an anthem of basic truths that inspires us to live in unity again.

These basic truths once formed a general basis for consensus,unity, and resolve for improving our society.

Without a clear definition of right and wrong, truth and error, everything will be a blend of gray without clear meaning.

~Reasoning is based on what is known, such as truth and facts~

To solve problems, reach solutions, make a diagnosis,theory, hypothesis, create, and improve anything, we need known truths to build upon.

(Educated guesses if you will, things we can say we are confident we know).

And the more sure we are, the bolder we will be in our attempts to make solutions to problems.

And the more of us who agree on basic truths, the more frequent and soon we will come to consensus on issues that demand our solution.

But without basic fundamental truths to unite us, we will remain divided, and will fall.

Without a basic assumption that anything can be known, we cannot hope to begin to reason solutions to our problems

by building educated guesses upon known fact and truth

because we deny that truth even exists!

 (such as presuppositions, ideological underpinnings, hierarchical values, and frames of reference)

Truth activates belief, and belief attempts things that doubt ignores.

This is the heart of realizing new realities and achievement.

Related terms are postmodernism, existentialism, and deconstructionism, but what all of these terms have in common is the abandonment of surety in truth.

Without the ability to say with can be confident of anything, we will likely lack the confidence to do or achieve anything.

This is also true in our attempts to create art or theater, be it novel or feature-length movie.

Is it any wonder that good theater seems more miss than hit?

Is it any wonder that the great art, theater and literature is in the past, or is based upon older literature or re-made movies ?

Is it any wonder that the overall approval ratings of government and officials is at an all time low?

Is it any wonder that the greater portion of change our politicians bring is for the worse?

Is it any wonder that political parties almost always make decisions down party lines ?

Is it any wonder that scientific and political debate quickly degrades into personal attacks?

Is it any wonder that thoughtless and absurd political dealings threaten the fabric and integrity of our American government ?

(These men and women are supposed to represent our finest leaders and patriots).

Is it any wonder that ,”we the people”, are often called,” we the sheeple”?

(If we deny the ability to absolutely believe anything we will likely fall for anything).

Is it any wonder that the best days of American ingenuity seem to be behind us?

Yet,we can rediscover truth as a nation and a people.

We can build the basic absolute truths that serve as a basis for consensus.

“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.”

(John 14:6)

Jesus is the truth.

If we reject Jesus, we reject the truth, we lose the way, and we forfeit life as a people, and a nation.

If we know Him we know truth.

Jesus is the way. If we know Him we know the way.

Jesus is life. If we know Him we know life.

This is where you can start.

“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)

Jesus Falls Beneath the Cross

Jesus Falls Beneath the Cross (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Yes. It is that simple. Jesus did all the heavy lifting on the cross).

Just believe and receive Him and His love gift of life that He bought with His blood for you.

Pray ,and He will hear you.

Write me, and I will rejoice with you.

And I pray  that we all can one day soon, rejoice in unity as a nation.

Out of many, one.

Prophetic -“Marking the Watershed”- The Last Book by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Written in 1984 ,Francis Schaeffer’s last book “Marking the Watershed” reads like a prophetic foretelling of what our future would look like if we fail to put Christ first in our hearts. In fact, it reads like a prequel to Ravi Zacharias‘s 2013 open letter to America.

Schaeffer uses a watershed as an illustration.
A Watershed is a place where snow would accumulate in the mountain peaks, and is it melts, the water would separate go in opposite directions and eventually end thousands of miles apart.
Schaeffer saw this beginning to happen to Christianity in regards to Biblical infallibility among evangelical Christian leaders as early as the early 1970’s.

My summary-Christianity ,in the past, has influenced the moral consensus for political debate, art, and books and movies in the United States of America, and the World. Now we are the minority, and so is our ability to influence culture.
As I’ve said before ,the will of the people is good so long as the people are good .</strong

These following excerpts,though almost thirty years old, resonate with current relevance.

“the Bible’s absolutes provide a consensus within which freedom can operate. But once the Christian consensus has been removed, as it has been today, then the very freedoms which have come out of the Reformation become a destructive force leading to chaos in society.” Francis Schaeffer

“The primary emphasis of biblical Christianity is the teaching that the infinite-personal God is the final reality, the Creator of all else, and that an individual can come openly to the holy God upon the basis of the finished work of Christ and that alone. Nothing needs to be added to Christ’s finished work, and nothing can be added to Christ’s finished work. But at the same time where Christianity provides the consensus, as it did in the Reformation countries (and did in the United States up to a relatively few years ago), Christianity also brings with it many secondary blessings. One of these has been titanic freedoms, yet without those freedoms leading to chaos, because the Bible’s absolutes provide a consensus within which freedom can operate. But once the Christian consensus has been removed, as it has been today, then the very freedoms which have come out of the Reformation become a destructive force leading to chaos in society. This is why we see the breakdown of morality everywhere in our society today — the complete devaluation of human life, a total moral relativism, and a thoroughgoing hedonism.”

“Without a strong commitment to God’s absolutes, the early church could never have remained faithful in the face of the constant Roman harassment and persecution. And our situation today is remarkably similar as our own legal, moral, and social structure is based on an increasingly anti-Christian, secularist consensus.”

The New Neo-Orthodoxy 

There is only one way to describe those who no longer hold to a full view of Scripture. Although many of these would like to retain the evangelical name for themselves, the only accurate way to describe this view is that it is a form of neo-orthodox existential theology. The heart of neo-orthodox existential theology is that the Bible gives us a quarry out of which to have religious experience, but that the Bible contains mistakes where it touches that which is verifiable — namely history and science. But unhappily we must say that in some circles this concept now has come into some of that which is called evangelicalism. In short, in these circles the neo-orthodox existential theology is being taught under the name of evangelicalism.

Martin Luther said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” (1)

“For the existentialist it is an illusion to think that we can know anything truly, that there is such a thing as certain objective truth or moral absolutes. All we have is subjective experience, with no final basis for right or wrong or truth or beauty. This existential world view dominates philosophy, and much of art and the general culture such as the novel, poetry, and the cinema.”

Where the Battle Rages, there the Loyalty of the Soldier is Proved

 

Battle Map

Battle Map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“If I proclaim in the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

Martin Luther

Ethos,Pathos,Logos – The Image of God

Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a ...

Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek bronze original by Lysippos from 330 BC; the alabaster mantle is a modern addition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God created man in His image.

Aristotle identified three primary areas of influence and response that comprise the mind, heart, and soul of mankind.

He called them Ethos, Pathos, and logos.

God is sovereign and all Powerful- this is Ethos

God is the author of wisdom and is all knowing- this is Logos

God is Love and so loved the world He gave His Son – this is Pathos

The Psalms puts it this way;

Psalms 139:1-4 “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways. For there  is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”

God knows us, understands us, comprehends us altogether because He loves us.

His pathos brought His ethos and logos to our rescue.

His pathos / love bridged the gap between us and God through Christ.

God wants our love as well.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6)

The most remarkable thing about what God requires from us is that He gave all of himself for us in Christ first.

He expressed all His ethos, pathos, and logos for our benefit through the cross.

Is God not worthy of all our love in return?

“To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.” ~George Washington~

1795 - 1823

1795 – 1823 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.”

~George Washington~

(May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge)

“The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest of purposes.”     

   ~George Washington~

 Moral Principal is no longer a mutually forgone conclusion, and no longer frames healthy debate to the degree that our politicians can agree on anything enough to affectively govern.

Without a clear definition of right and wrong there is no basis for healthy reasoning.

Right and wrong look more like shades of gray instead of black and white.

Instead of civil discourse, power struggles, gridlock, and underhanded dealings rife with slander have become the means of politics of our once great nation.

Hollywood no longer has a clear definition of right and wrong and therefore finds it difficult to effectively tell a good story. Every artist knows contrast gives definition, be it photography,paintings,storytelling, and movie making.

And the church, not the Bride of Christ whom God alone can confirm, but the small ,”c”, institutions church in America, have turned many away through not proclaiming Christ above all else. And moralism drives those seeking genuine compassion away, and likely never to return.

If you want to view a true reflection of what Christianity should be, look at the life of Jesus in the Bible.

You will find nothing wrong with Him.

jesusandalostlamb

“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 said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

(John 14:6)
Jesus is everything Christianity should be.
DON’T FOLLOW CHRISTIANS, FOLLOW CHRIST.
CHRIST WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY.
CHRIST WILL SHOW YOU THE TRUTH,
CHRIST WILL SHOW YOU THE LIFE.

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ – from “The Bible” Series on the History Channel – 4 Minute Video- An Easter Reflection

This video from the History channel series ,”The Bible”, depicts Christ’s sacrifice and death on the cross.

It is my hope and prayer that each of us can see God’s love through the suffering Christ endured for us.

He died so that we can live.

But death could not hold Him.

Sunday is coming.

 “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 , The Bible)

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