Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Virgin Birth of Jesus

The virgin birth of Christ is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian Faith.  It is clearly prophesied in Isaiah 7:14  and it is clearly described as  fulfilled in Matthew 1:18-25   and  Luke 1:26-38. If Jesus was not virgin born, we have no Saviour.

 

To deny the Virgin Birth of Christ, or the truth of His miracles, or the power of His blood sacrifice on the cross as the complete and only atonement for our sins, or to deny  His Bodily Resurrection, or the fact that Jesus is the sinless, holy Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity;  is to deny the Doctrine of Christ. 

 

To deny the Doctrine of Christ is to be without God and condemned to Hell.  II John 9-11  This same warning in this little Epistle next to Revelation, also warns us to reject as a Bible teacher anyone who denies the doctrine of Christ.  Don’t give them your support or your encouragement.  Those who do are partakers of their evil deeds.  If you find yourself to be in a church where the doctrine of Christ is ignored or denied, I urge you to get out now and find a church that proclaims it without compromise.   It is impossible for you to receive Christ as your Saviour from sin and at the same time deny who He is.  To deny the doctrine of who He is, is to deny Christ and be lost in your sins and headed for Hell.

 

A Church that denies the doctrine of Christ is part of  Mystery Babylon, the church of Anti-christ that will be left behind after the Rapture of the True Church,  to face the judgment of God in the Great Tribulation.  Read Revelation 17 for a full description of this church and read Revelation 18:1-4 for God’s warning for you to separate yourself from this false system NOW!  To learn more about Mystery Babylon, you can find that topic in my series on PROPHECY.

 

Why is the doctrine of the Virgin Birth so important?

 

Genealogy of Mary

Consider the genealogy of Mary, the mother of Jesus and Joseph, His step-father.   Luke 3 gives us the genealogy of Mary.    Heli in Luke 3:23 is the father-in-law of Joseph. This genealogy  traces  Jesus, the son of Mary,  all the way back through Nathan, the son of David  and back to Adam and to God who made Adam.   This shows us that Jesus was a man in the same sense that you and I are men and women.  He was totally human, though totally sinless.

 

Genealogy of Joseph

In Matthew 1 we have the genealogy of Joseph, the step-father of Jesus.  This genealogy goes back through Solomon, another son of David,   and  continues back to Abraham showing that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s covenant to Abraham found in Genesis 12.

 

The curse of Coniah

However, in Joseph’s genealogy we go back to a king of Judah whose name was Jehoiachin. He was also known as  Jechoniah or Coniah. He only reigned three months and then was taken into Babylonian captivity.  What’s so interesting about Jechoniah or Coniah is that God cursed him and his descendents. That curse is recorded in Jeremiah 22:24-30. That means that no one from Coniah’s descendents could ever sit on  the throne of David as  King and Messiah.   Joseph, the husband of Mary was from Coniah’s line.  So that ruled out Joseph or any son of Joseph from ever being king.

 

Sin nature passed from father to child

If Jesus has been the biological son of Joseph, He could not have been the promised King.  Furthermore, since the sin nature is passed on from father to child  and not from mother to child,  any son of Joseph or any other human father would have inherited a sinful nature. 

 

Therefore, for two reasons Jesus had to be born of a virgin mother.

1. So that He would not inherit a sinful nature from his father.

2. So He would not be barred from the curse of Coniah which was upon Joseph and his sons.

 

Virgin Birth God’s amazing solution

By being virgin born, Jesus was truly man and truly God. As God in human flesh, He was totally sinless and His death and resurrection made possible the one,  final sacrifice for sin for all the sins of the world. Read about that wonderful sacrifice in Hebrews 10.  There it tells how God prepared a sinless, human body, the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.   Those who have received Christ as their sacrifice for sin are saved.  Those who reject Him are still lost in their sins.  I urge you to trust  Jesus this moment as your sacrifice for sin and discover God’s wonderful salvation from sin. John 1:12

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Jesus | Comments Off on Virgin Birth of Jesus

Jesus, David’s Son and Lord

As we conclude our study of Luke 20:27-47, we continue dealing with Jesus’ final week of earthly ministry before He went to the cross to die as the sacrifice for our sins.  We’ve observed the mounting attacks against Jesus by the religious leaders in Jerusalem as they sought to destroy His credibility among the people and to deliver Him to the Roman authorities for crucifixion. 

 

The scrutiny of Jesus’ life and words intensified after His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. followed by His cleansing of the temple the next day. For examples of how the religious leaders were attempting to trap Him note Luke 19:47-48,  20:1-2,  19-23, and 26-33. 

 

In verse 27-33 the Sadducees who did not believe in a resurrection, asked Jesus a question about the Resurrection to attempt to trap Him.  They presented a case of a woman who had been married to seven different brothers, as described in Deuteronomy 25:5-10  and illustrated in the story of Ruth’s marriage to Mahlon and then Boaz in the Book of Ruth. They asked whose wife she would be in the Resurrection? Jesus answered  that there is no marriage in Heaven, as He clearly states in Luke 20:34-36.  Furthermore, there is no death in Heaven.

 

What does the Bible teach about our resurrection bodies?

 

Job 19:23-27 teaches that we will know one another in Heaven, even to having the same recognizable eyes.  Of course, our bodies will be glorified.  There will be no sin in Heaven and not even any temptation to sin.  We will eat and drink, but our glorified bodies will not have the organs needed for digestion, elimination nor reproduction.

 

In fact, I do not believe we will have blood.  Jesus’ resurrection body apparently did not have blood, when He instructed Thomas to put his hands in the nail holes in His hands and thrust his hand into the spear hole in Jesus side as recorded in John 20. I’m not saying that we will not be men or women. That’s not clear to me, but it appears from Jesus’ resurrection body that those who saw Him recognized Him as the man, Jesus, whom  they had known and with whom they had walked on this earth.

 

There will be no disease, pain nor death in Heaven.   Revelation 22:2 speaks of an interesting curiosity.  It speaks of the Tree of Life being in Heaven.  We first learned about the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. There in Genesis 3:22 Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat of that tree after they sinned, lest they live forever.

 

In Revelation 22:2 it speaks of the leaves of the tree as having therapeutic value. We know that in this life that roots, leaves and fruits of tree have therapeutic value.  Why this is mentioned in Revelation 22:2  I am not sure.

We know for sure that there will be no sickness, pain nor death in Heaven.

 

One thing for certain is that our glorified bodies will bear no evidence of the curse of sin.  Revelation 21:27 makes clear that there will be no sin in Heaven.

 

Our bodies will be just like Jesus resurrected body.  He was recognizable, yet different in a glorified form.  He ate fish and a piece of honey comb in that new body, as recorded in Luke 24.  There will be no pain, no disease and no death in Heaven, as taught in Revelation 21:4 In our resurrection bodies we will travel at the speed of thought.

 

Our bodies will have an altered atomic structure so that we can pass through solid walls and doors just as Jesus did in His resurrection body. We will not be controlled by natural laws such as gravity; nor will we need air to breathe, food to eat or water to drink.  Of course,  all disease and deformities will be a thing of the past.

 

Our relationship with men and women will be pure and chaste as was Jesus when He walked on this earth as a man.  We will have all eternity to get to intimately know one another; not just our friends and family on this earth, but all the saints through all the ages of time.  Of course, our relationship with Jesus will be the most wonderful relationship of Heaven.

 

The assurance of our resurrection is based on Jesus’ resurrection,  If Jesus never rose from the dead, then according to I Corinthians 15  we have absolutely no hope and we who call ourselves Christians are living in delusion.  Yes, Christianity is just a dream if Jesus never rose from the dead.

 

But thank God, we have all the evidence we need to be assured of Jesus’ resurrection.  Go to the  RESURRECTION category  for proof of His resurrection.

 

How will we receive these resurrection bodies?

 

Read I Corinthians 15  and I Thessalonians 4 for all the details. Basically the glorification of our bodies will take place when Jesus returns for us.  The dead in Christ, that is, those whose trust is in Jesus for salvation, will come forth from the graves and from the dust of the earth in their new bodies and immediately we who are living at that time will join them to meet Christ in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  That’s all I need to know about the resurrection to satisfy me.

 

After the Kingdom Age which you can learn about in my series on PROPHECY. The unsaved will rise from the dead to meet Jesus to be judged for their sins and cast into the eternal Lake of Fire where the Anti- Christ, False Prophets, Satan and all his demons will be.  That is described in one of the most awesome and terrifying passages of Scripture,  Revelation 20:11-15.   Every unbeliever should read this and decide if that’s really the direction he wishes to continue.

 

Jesus’ states His final question for his enemies to ponder.

 

After Jesus answered the scribe’s resurrection question, His enemies became silent.  They ceased asking Him anymore questions.  They realized that they were  no match for Jesus’ wisdom.  

 

Jesus’ enemies were getting no where with their attacks on Him.  If Jesus was ever to  be executed, God Himself would have to do it.  That’s exactly what happened.  God the Father executed His own Son, using the Roman soldiers to carry it out.  Isaiah 53:4 prophecies that Jesus would be “smitten of God and afflicted.”  Yes, God the Father poured out His fury on His Son, the fury that should be poured out on everyone of us as sinners.  God poured it out on His innocent, sinless Son as He bore the guilt and penalty for our sins in His body on the cross.  Those who reject His Son as  Saviour, will one day have to bear God’s fury in Hell for eternity.  Each of us has that choice to make: Receive the Son and be saved, or reject the Son and be damned.

 

In Luke 20:41-46  in the presence of all the people Jesus asks a question of the scribes who hand copied the Scriptures and were authorities on the subject. “How can Christ, the Messiah, be both the Son and the Lord of David?” The same question is recorded in Matthew 22:41-45.  Jesus, referring to a statement in Psalm 110:1  questions these people who denied that Jesus was God, Here David is referring to the Lord as His Lord. 

 

It was common knowledge that Jesus was born into the Davidic line, which would make Jesus a Son of David.

 

That gave His enemies something to ponder.  Of course the answer is that Jesus is God in human flesh.  Born into David’s line, Jesus was God come down in human flesh.  Therefore Jesus was both Son and Lord of David.

 

Because they rejected Jesus as God in human flesh, they had no answer and at that point they were silenced.  They ceased asking Jesus questions.

 

How about you? Have you received Jesus as your Saviour?  Have you bowed to Him as your Lord? 

 

When do you plan to receive Christ into your life?  If not today, there is little chance that you will ever be saved.  The only promise you have of being saved is to come to Him NOW.  See II Corinthians 6:1-2 and decide  NOW or NEVER?

January 15, 2009 Posted by | Jesus | Comments Off on Jesus, David’s Son and Lord

The Plot Thickens

In this article we are dealing with Luke 20:19-26. Earlier in this chapter we saw Jesus revealing the plans of the Jewish religious leaders to bring Him to trial before the Roman authorities as an insurrectionist.  Jesus used the Parable of the Vineyard to expose the evil religious leaders who hated Him  and wanted to have Him executed.

 

The leaders understood the meaning of the Parable and this intensified their desire to see Him dead.  They were furious that this Parable of the Vineyard exposed them as the evil vineyard keepers who would kill Jesus, the Son of the Vineyard Owner, God.  If you’ve not yet done it, it would be well to read the erlier articles in this series, before you continue any further.

 

 THE JEW’S TRAP

 

These Jewish leaders were doing everything they could to catch Jesus in something He said that might sound treasonous against Rome, so that the Roman Empire would bring Jesus to trial and execute Him.  So in Luke 20:19-22.  they confronted Jesus on the matter of paying taxes to Rome.

 

These enemies of Christ hated paying taxes to Rome as much as anyone in Israel; so this attack against Jesus was rather hypocritical.

 

They approached Jesus and attempted to flatter Him by addressing Him as Teacher, a term of high respect, even though they despised Him and wanted Him dead.   So they addressed Him as “Teacher, we know you are a true teacher come from God.”  That statement was true, but they said it as flattery with utter contempt for Him. Then they asked the question,  “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 

 

They hoped this would provoke an anti-Roman statement  from Him so they could report Him to the Roman authorities and have Him arrested. Once arrested, the people would realize He was not the Messiah and they would quit following Him.

 

Jesus perceived their craftiness it says in Luke 20:23.  In Matthew’s account of the story in Matthew 22:18 their craftiness is called wickedness.

 

JESUS’ ANSWERED THEIR QUESTION CONCERNING TAXES.

 

Jesus called for someone to show Him a denarius, a Roman gold or silver coin, worth about a day’s wages.  These coins were minted between 300 BC to about 300 AD,  a period of about 600 years.  The coins bore the likeness of the long line of Caesars and were considered idolatrous to carry.

 

When someone produced a coin, Jesus announced in Luke 20:25,  “Render unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s and unto God the things which be God’s.”  The word “render” means pay  back to whom it is owed.

 

WHAT DO WE OWE OUR GOVERNMENT?

 

We must support the government under which God in His sovereignty has placed us; whether it is an anti-Christian government which we eschew  or whether it is a government which reflects our Christian values.  Romans 13:1-7 clearly teaches us that we are to respect, honor and pray for our leaders and pay our taxes, even if we are opposed to how the money is being used. 

 

Of course, we must do all in our power to elect leaders who most reflect our values and we must follow the instructions of II Chronicles 7:14  and plead with God to return our nation to the godly intent of the founders of our Republic.  

 

WHAT DO WE OWE GOD?

 

Our allegiance is to Him first.   We owe Him our bodies and our lives, Romans 12:1-2  and I Corinthians 6:19-20 teach us.  When it comes to a decision between God and man,  Peter reminds us in Acts 5:29 “We ought obey God, rather than man”, even if it means our lives.

 

Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, Shadrack Meschach and Abednego, were willing to die for God before they would bow to an image, even though the Emperor Nebuchadnezzar commanded it.  Read of their boldness and courage and loyalty to God in Daniel 1:1-14,  3:13-21, 6:10.

 

The Apostles and early Christian preachers were willing to die as martyrs before they would disobey God. See Acts 5:18-19,  7:54-60.  16:19-23.  For the glorious end to this last story finish reading Acts 16.

 

We not only owe God our allegiance, but we owe Him our families. God gave our children to us and not to the State.  In this anti-God environment in the school system,  it is imperative that we teach our children at home or in Christian schools, rather than delivering them to the anti-god philosophy of the State.  Read in Exodus 2:1-10  and again in Hebrews 11:23 of how Moses’ mother protected her child as long as she could from the evil influences of the Pharaoh of Egypt.   Read in I Samuel 1 of how Hannah gave her little boy to God’s leaders to train and prepare for his ministry as a prophet.

 

BEWARE OF BEING SPOILED, (ROBBED) OF YOUR CHILDREN

 

In Colossians 2:8 we are warned to beware lest anyone spoil (rob) us of our children through philosophy or vain deceit.   We owe God, not the State,  our life, our family, our church, our Christian school.  They belong to Him and not to the State.   We derive our authority from Him; not the State. Sunday School, church worship services, prayer meetings, evangelistic efforts, Bible studies, are all authorized by God and not by the State.

 

Thank God that we still live in an America where our religious liberties are protected by the First Amendment of our Constitution.  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

 

JESUS BOLDLY SET HIS FACE AS A FLINT

 

Thank God that though Jesus could have escaped His enemies and His crucifixion in any number of ways, He boldly set His face as a flint to go to the cross and endure His sufferings and death for our sins.  It wasn’t the Roman soldiers nor the Jews who took His life.  He laid it down in submission to His Father’s will.  God, in His sovereignty, accomplished it, using the Roman empire and the Jews to carry out His will.  Isaiah 53:4,10 teaches this.   I Timothy 2:5-6 teaches us that Jesus willingly gave His life as a ransom for our sins.  Then He arose from the tomb  three days later for our justification.   Rejoice in our salvation God has given us through His Son.  Do you know Him as your Saviour and are you rejoicing in Him today?

January 10, 2009 Posted by | Jesus | Comments Off on The Plot Thickens

The Corner Stone

This message is a continuation of the previous one, “The Parable of the Vineyard”.  It’s essential that you read that article first in order to have the background for this one.

 

Do you recall that Jesus stated that the unfaithful vine growers would face  two disastrous consequences for their mistreatment of the prophets and the murder of the Son of the owner of the Vineyard?

 

First, they would be destroyed and secondly, the vineyard would be turned over to new vineyard keepers.

 

Israel’s leaders were destroyed in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and killed the inhabitants.  As Jesus had prophesied, the temple and the city was so decimated that not one stone was left upon another. The genealogical records were destroyed so that future Jews did not even know from which tribe they came.

 

The Vineyard, would be cared for by new keepers. Those keepers would be the Apostles of Christ and all those evangelists, pastors and teachers who have taught the Apostle’s Doctrine, the Doctrine of Christ, to  Christ’s Church down through the centuries.

 

The new Vineyard would be composed of regenerated Jews and gentiles who would together be a part of a brand new entity, known as the Church, which would no longer be known as Jews or gentiles.  The Church is not a dual monstrosity composed of Jewish Christians and gentile Christians. Rather,  it is composed of converted Jews and converted gentiles who together form a brand new people known simply as the Church. Read Ephesians chapter two to get this truth firmly established in your thinking.

 

Read Galatians to understand that nothing from the Jewish Ceremonial Law, including circumcision nor the observance of  Sabbaths and Feast Days are carried over into the Church. It was those Jews who kept pestering Paul and confusing his converts by trying to bring Judaism into the Church  that turned out to be Paul’s worst enemies. 

 

Since 70 AD the Jews have been displaced by the church.  Note, that I did not say replaced, but displaced. God still has future plans for the Jews; but they will not begin to unfold until the Church has been caught up to Heaven in what is commonly known as the Rapture.  The rapture is the next prophetic event on God’s calendar. 

 

Once the Church is caught up, the rule of Anti-christ will begin and with it the time of  “Jacob’s Trouble”.  These will be  horrible days for dwellers upon this earth, including the Jews. 

 

It’s during this time that 144,000 Jews will be converted and become  testimonies for Christ.  Their story is told in Revelation 7 and 14.  One thing that is amazing about these 144,000 Jews it that there will be exactly 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.  Only God could know and separate this exact number of Jews from each of the twelve tribes since all those records were destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans.  They are faithful witnesses and as a result of their testimonies,  many Jews will turn to Jesus their Messiah.

 

Read Zechariah 8-12 to learn of the conversion of Jews and their future blessing during the Millennial reign of Christ on earth. To get the big prophetic picture, I encourage you to read through my series on PROPHESY on this web site.

 

Now, let’s learn about the identity of the Corner stone Jesus talked about in Luke 20:17-18.  In those verses we learn the Corner stone is rejected and we learn that those who come into contact with this Stone; whether they fall on it or it falls on them, are crushed to powder.

 

Turn now to Psalm 118. Here’s a wonderful song that was sung by the Jews. In verse 22 we learn it is about the Corner stone. Though it was a perfect stone, it was rejected by the builders.  That’s a prophesy of the rejection of Christ by the Jews.

 

In Isaiah 8:13-15 we learn that the stone is the Lord of Hosts. Go now to Isaiah 28:16 and learn that this corner stone is a sure foundation stone in Zion, which speaks of Jerusalem.  We also learn it is precious and that those who trust that stone will not need to fear or flee from the enemy.

 

I don’t think it is difficult to conclude that this Corner Stone is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, as Ephesians 2:11-22 makes so clear.

 

Now that you have been confronted by Christ, your choice as a Jew or a gentile, is to receive Christ as your Saviour and Messiah and be blessed, or reject Him and be crushed to powder one day.

January 5, 2009 Posted by | Jesus | Comments Off on The Corner Stone

Jesus’ Parable of the Vineyard

As we come to Luke 20 we continue our study of the final week of Jesus’ earthly ministry prior to His crucifixion. He has made His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.  He has cleansed the temple of its corruption and He has taken over the temple; teaching in it daily.  The chief priests and scribes are furious for He has ignored  their authority and destroyed their livelihood.  In verses 9-18  He preaches His final parable which directly attacks the corrupt Jewish spiritual leaders. This same parable is also taught in Matthew 21:33-46

 

The Parable of the Vineyard

 

A man planted a vineyard and then turned it over to tenant vine growers to care for it while He was absent.  At harvest times He sent servants to receive some of the fruit for the owner.  Three times He did this and each time, the servants were mistreated and sent away empty-handed.

 

Finally, the owner sent His Son with the hopes that He would be treated better.  The vine growers, recognizing He was the owner’s Son and heir to the vineyard, killed Him with the hopes the vineyard would one day be their’s.

 

Then Jesus draws His listeners into the story.  He asks them what should be done with the wicked vine growers? In the Matthew 21 account, they rightfully conclude that the owner of the Vineyard should destroy the wicked vineyard workers. In the Luke 20 account as they think on the consequences for Judaism in that day, they cry out, “God forbid!” They are stunned and shocked as they think what it means for Judaism.

 

Jesus then answer His question. The owner will come to the vineyard and destroy the wicked vine growers and turn His vineyard over to new, trustworthy vine keepers.

 

The Meaning of the Parable of the Vineyard

 

It’s quite obvious, is it not?   The Vineyard is Israel and God is the owner. That is taught repeatedly in the Old Testament.  See  Isaiah 5:1-7,  Jeremiah 2:21 and Psalm 80:8, 15-16.

 

God turned the care of His vineyard over to the spiritual leaders, the Levitical priesthood.  Often He sent His prophets to gather fruit for Him. Each time the prophets were mistreated by the spiritual leaders, as II Chronicles 36:14-17 described.   Finally, in the fullness of time, He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus,  to gather spiritual fruit from Israel and they ended up killing Him.

 

What Should be Done to these Evil Vine Growers?

 

Jesus asks His listeners this question. In stunned silence they listen to Jesus answer His own question.  He will destroy the vine growers and turn the vineyard over to faithful vine growers who will produce fruit for God’s glory.  As Jesus announces this judgment on Israel’s spiritual leaders,  they cry out in horror.  NO, NO !  May it never be so! 

 

Why did the listeners respond so negatively?  They were starting to comprehend the full meaning of the parable.  They were hearing Jesus pronounce coming destruction on Israel.  Jesus prophecy was fulfilled forty years later in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the city of Jerusalem and annihilated the inhabitants of the city. 

 

Furthermore, the transition had already begun.  He prophesied that He would turn His vineyard over to new vine keepers who would produce fruit for the glory of God, the owner.  These new custodians of the vineyard were already beginning to take over. They were the twelve Disciples spoken of in Luke 9:1-6.  They were also the 70 other disciples of Jesus, spoken of in Luke 10:1. 

 

Through the conversion and ministry of Saul of Tarsus, described in Acts beginning in chapter 9,  Saul, later renamed Paul, became the Apostle to the gentiles,  Together, these new vineyard keepers began a ministry that continues to this day; that of winning Jews and gentiles to Christ and thus building the spiritual Kingdom of Christ as they build His Church.

 

Read Ephesians 2:11-22 and note that there are only three groups of people in the world:  Jews, gentiles and Christ’s Church.  His Church is composed of converted Jews and gentiles, who are no longer known by those names. Once you are converted to Christ, the Holy Spirit baptizes you into His Church, His Spiritual Body. You are no longer a Jew or a gentile. Though you may have Jewish blood in your veins, your entrance into God’s blessing is not through your Jewishness, but through your new relationship as part of Christ Body, Christ’s Church. Read Paul’s testimony in Philippians 3 to see what Paul thought of his Jewishness as a help in getting him into Heaven, once He was converted to Christ.  It will shock you!

 

And so. in the closing days of Jesus’ ministry on earth,  He met with His disciples in the Upper Room  and in John 14-17.  There He prepared His disciples for their new ministry of bearing fruit for Christ through the power of His indwelling Spirit whom He sent to His Church on the Day of Pentecost after He had ascended back to Heaven.

 

We Christians in this twenty-first century continue the ministry and work of the Apostles as we preach the Gospel and feed the saints so they can bear the Fruit of the Spirit and thus glorify our Heavenly Vineyard Owner, God Himself.   We are the new stewards of the mysteries of God, as described in I Corinthians 4:1-2,  Ephesians 3:1-11  and 4:11-13.

 

As Paul passed on the truth to young Pastor Timothy. He entrusted him with it, as mentioned in I Timothy 6:20 and he challenged him to pass it on to the next generation in II Timothy 2:1-2.   Through my pastoral ministry and through this web site, I continue to pass the message of salvation and the challenge to work in Christ’s vineyard on to my congregation and  to you.

 

Lord willing, we will continue this message next time as we deal with the cornerstone Jesus talked about in this 20th chapter of Luke. In the meantime, Truth has been passed on to you.  You now have the responsibility of dealing with it by obeying what you understand or ignoring it and facing the consequences.

January 2, 2009 Posted by | Jesus | Comments Off on Jesus’ Parable of the Vineyard

Jesus, Who Is He?

I submit to you that there are only  two answers.   Either He is who the Bible  declares Him  to be; Jehovah God, the eternal Son, Creator of the universe, Messiah  and Saviour who is the theme of the Bible and who was prophesied repeatedly throughout the Old Testament or else He is a charlatan and blasphemer, not worthy of our attention.   

JESUS IS GOD! 

In John 1:1-18 we have some of the clearest statements in all of the Bible of who Jesus is. 

1. He is called The Word.  As our words express us, so The Word expressed God.

2. The Word was with God from the beginning.  1:1-23.

3. In fact, The Word is declared to be God.  1:1 4.

4. The Word is Creator of all things.  1:3, 10 5.

5. In The Word is life, God’s eternal life. 1: 46.

6. The Word is the Light who  illumines those who come to Him.  1: 4-9.

7. The Word  is the Saviour to those who receive Him as God and Saviour. 1:11-128.

8.Though God is a spirit and no man has ever seen Him,  when people saw Jesus,The Word, they saw Almighty God in human flesh. 1:18  If you will read through the Gospel of John with an honest, hungry heart to know the truth about Jesus, you will be convinced, beyond anything I could ever say, that Jesus is the eternal Son of God. 

9. He is co-equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Though three separate persons, they are together one God.  

Note especially in John 8  the heart-touching story of a blind man healed by Jesus. Note in Jesus’ conversation with the Pharisees the amazing statement He makes about Himself as being the I AM who existed before Abraham and note the fury of those who heard Him. This is the same fury that unbelievers express towards Jesus today.  They hate Him with a vengeance.   

In Philippians 2:5-11 Paul confirms these truths about Jesus and gives us further information about Him.1. He is equal with God in majesty and  in every attribute.  Philippians 2:62. Jesus willingly submitted Himself as a Son  to His Father when He left the glories of Heaven to come down to this earth to die for our sins.   2:6-83. God the Father, raised His Son from the dead and has made Him Lord of all His creation. One day every knee will bow to Him. 

In Colossians 1 & 2  Paul gives us further information about Jesus. 1.  Paul says in  1:15 that if you want to know exactly what the invisible God is like, look at Jesus.  When you see Jesus,  you have seen the Father.  Jesus said the same thing in John 14:92. When Paul declares in Colossians 1:15 that Jesus is the  first born of every creature, he is not teaching us that Jesus had a beginning and was born in Bethlehem.  Yes, His human body was born in Bethlehem, but The Son of God,  the Second Person of the Trinity, was never born.  He has existed eternally with the Father and will continue to exist forever.   

In Old Testament times,  He existed as Jehovah.  The name Jehovah is used to speak of God as He deals with His own. Wherever you read about Jehovah in the Old Testament, you are reading about the pre-incarnate Son of God.   In the Greek, the word translated firstborn in verse 15 is the word prototokos.  The word does not mean that Jesus was the first to be born, for the eternal Son of God never was born.  Rather, it means that He is the beginning, the cause of all creation.   Verse 16 explains verse 15.  “For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him and by Him all things consist or hold together.  We, as well as everything in this world, are composed of atoms held together supernaturally by the Word of God. 

Colossians 2:9-10  boldly states that in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead in a body.  In that passage we have the comforting statement that we are complete in Him.   If you have Jesus,  you have everything you need for life and for eternity. John says the same thing in I John 5:11-13.    

In Hebrews 1  the writer of Hebrews teaches some of the same truths of the eternal Son of God. In the first three verses Jesus is described as the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person who holds the universe together by the Word of His power.   Verse 3 also reminds us that this same eternal Son of God, as the man Jesus, cleansed us from our sins through His death on the cross and His resurrection and return back to Heaven where He sits today at the right hand of the Majesty on high where according to Hebrews 7:25, He intercedes for us.  

Hebrews 1 continues  to teach us in verse 5  that all the angels are commanded to worship the Son, the baby Jesus whose tiny body was born in a stable.  In that sense He was begotten of the Father and born of the virgin Mary.   But Hebrews 1:8 goes on to teach us that this baby who had a beginning in Bethlehem, is the eternal Son of God.  In verse 10 of that chapter,  He confirms that this same Jesus is the creator of the world. 

In Revelation 1 we are given John’s vision of Jesus as the Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Jesus is our salvation and He is our life from A-Z.  Verses 7-8 tell us that this Jesus who was pierced and crucified on a cross for our sins, has always existed, He came to this earth, and He is returning again one day to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Continue reading through this first chapter of Revelation and see the majesty of Jesus Christ. In verse 18  Jesus states that He LIVES, WAS DEAD, and IS ALIVE FOR EVERMORE.  He has the keys to life and death, Heaven and Hell.  To trust Him is to be saved and Heaven-bound.  To reject Him is to be lost and Hell-bound.  

WHY DO SINNERS HAVE TO GO TO HELL?

God is preparing a Lake of Fire and Brimstone into which one day Satan and his demons will be cast to burn forever. Revelation 20:10 Those who reject Christ’s salvation will also spend eternity in that awful place. Revelation 20:11-15  People go to hell; not only for their sins; but for rejecting God’s salvation offered in Jesus.  Jesus died that horrible death on the cross because He was taking the death that we should have endured in Hell forever because of our sins.  Hebrews 10 shows why Jesus had to come and die for our sins. In that chapter, the writer reminds us that  the Old Testament sacrifice of animals did not change hearts; they only covered sins temporarily from year to year.  It took the death of One, no less than God Himself in a human body, to cleanse us from sin and make us fit for Heaven. 

JESUS’  EXECUTION vs EXECUTIONS TODAY

Today in America when a murderer is executed for his crime,  his death occurs in a quiet, peaceful death chamber.  He is given a sedative and  experiences death quite painlessly and peacefully.  When Jesus died, He who had never sinned but only loved others, experienced  the worst that evil men  could give Him. Not only did they crucify Him, but they relished every minute of it, mocking Him, bashing Him in the face with their fists and spitting at Him,  mercilessly  flogging Him to the point of death and then nailing Him to a cross and watching Him slowly die of asphyxiation as He strained on His nailed feet to lift His body  for another gulp of air. 

Not only did He suffer physical torment, but He suffered the loss of  fellowship with His Heavenly Father as God turned His back on Him and forsook Him  as He took the banishment that we should have endured in Hell.  He cried out,  “My God, My God,  Why has Thou forsaken Me.?”  He took that punishment that we who trust Him might never know that awful experience of being forsaken by God. 

 IT WAS FOR YOU!

Thank God, because He loved us and was willing to experience death in our place,  we who trust Jesus as Saviour can immediately and eternally be delivered from God’s wrath and judgement for sin.  II Corinthians 5:21 make is so simple.  “He  (Jesus) who knew no sin was made sin for us ( on the cross ) (that through trusting Him)  we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”  What wonderful, good news!  This is the Gospel!   Christ died and rose again for my sins and your sins. I Corinthians 15:1-4   I have received that Gift.  Have you?  I challenge you to receive Him now and confess Him openly to others.  He died publicly, bearing the shame of your sins.  Will you right now publicly confess Him as your Saviour before others?  Romans 10:9-13 If you live in the Albuquerque area, I invite you to come and let us know you are trusting Christ.  If you live elsewhere, seek out a church where the Bible is clearly preached and  take a public stand for Christ this week. 

YOU CAN’T BE NEUTRAL

You had better get serious about Jesus.  You cannot be neutral about Him.  You either receive Him as your Saviour and Lord,  or you reject Him and face the eternal consequences.   One day Jesus, who experienced the worst travesty of human justice  will sit on His throne to judge those who have rejected Him.   Read again about that coming Judgment day in Revelation 6:12-17 and 20:11-15. Why does Jesus death matter to you?  Because you must either receive Him now in this Day of Grace  as Paul warned in II Corinthians 6:2   or you must face His wrath and judgment at a later date that has already been set. Acts 17:31  That date is already circled on God’s calendar. It is inescapable. Romans 2:1-16  It matters eternally what you do with Jesus now. 

May 30, 2006 Posted by | Jesus | Comments Off on Jesus, Who Is He?

Crucifixion of Jesus

Years ago I came across the following vivid account by a medical doctor of Christ’s crucifixion. I still cannot read this without shedding tears for what Jesus went through for me. 

CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST 

by C. Truman David, M.D., M.S.

In this paper, I shall discuss some of the physical aspects of the Passion, or suffering of Jesus Christ.  We shall follow Him from
Gethsemane, through His trial, His scourging, His journey to the cross,  to His last dying hours on the cross. 

I  became interested in this about a year ago when I read an account of the Crucifixion in Jim Bishop’s book, The Day Christ Died. I suddenly realized that I had taken the Crucifixion more or less for granted all these years; that I had grown callous to its horror by a too easy familiarity with the grim details and that, as a physician, I didn’t even know the actual cause of death.  The Gospel writers don’t help us very much on this point because crucifixion and scourging were so common during their lifetime and that they undoubtedly considered a detailed description totally superfluous.  So we have the concise words of the Evangelists, “Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to them to be crucified; and they crucified Him.” 

I am indebted to many who have studied this subject in the past, and especially to a contemporary colleague, Dr. Pierre Barbet, a French surgeon who has done exhaustive historical and experimental research and has written extensively on the subject. 

The infinite psychic and spiritual suffering of the incarnate God in  atonement for the sins of fallen man I have no competence to discuss.  However, the physical and anatomical aspects of our Lord’s Passion we can examine in some detail.  What did the body of Jesus of Nazareth actually endure during those hours of torture? 

This led me first to a study of the practice of crucifixion itself.  Crucifixion is a torture and execution of a person by fixation to a cross.  Apparently the first known practice of crucifixion was by the Persians.  Alexander and his generals brought it back to the Mediterranean world; to
Egypt and to
Carthage. The Romans learned the practice from the Carthagenians and (as with most everything the Romans did) rapidly developed a very high degree of efficiency and skill to carry it out.  A number of Roman authors (Liby, Cicero, Tacitus) comment on it.  Several innovations and modifications are described in the ancient literature.  I’ll only mention a few which may have some bearing here. 

The upright portion of the cross could have the cross-arm two or three feet below its top.  This si what we commonly think of today as the classical form of the cross (The one which we have later named the Latin cross.)  However, the common form used in our Lord’s day was the Tau cross (shaped like the Greek letter Tau or like our  “T”). In this cross, the cross-arm was placed in a notch at the top of the upright.  There is fairly overwhelming archeological evidence that it was on this type of cross that Jesus was crucified. 

The upright post was generally permanently fixed in the ground at the site of execution and the condemned man was forced to carry the cross-arm, apparently weighing about 100 pounds, from the prison to the place of execution.  Without any historical or Biblical proof, Medieval and Renaissance painters have given us our picture of Christ carrying the entire cross.   Many of these painters and most of the sculptors of the crucifixion today show the nails through the palms.  Roman historical accounts and experimental work have shown that the nails were driven through the wrists and not the palms.  Nails driven through the palms will strip out between the fingers when they support the weight of a human body.  The misconception may have come through a misunderstanding of Jesus’ words to Thomas, “Observe my hands.”  Anatomists, both modern and ancient, have always considered the wrists as part of the hand. 

A titulus, or small sign, stating the victim’s crime was usually carried at the front of the procession and later nailed to the cross above his head.  This sign with its staff nailed to the top of the cross would have given it somewhat the characteristic form of the Latin cross. 

The physical passion of Christ begins at
Gethsemane.  Of the many aspects of this initial suffering, I shall discuss only one of  physiological interest; the bloody sweat.  It is interesting that the physician of the group, Luke, is the only one to mention this.  He says, “And being in agony He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”  Luke 22:42 

Every attempt imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away this phrase, apparently under the mistaken impression that it just doesn’t happen.  A great deal of effort could be saved by consulting medical literature.  Though very rare, the phenomenon of hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional strain tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat.  This process alone could have produced marked weakness and shock. (The problem here is not with the physical possibility, but with the textual evidence in Luke.) 

We shall move rapidly through the betrayal and arrest.  I must stress again that important portions of the Passion study are missing from this account.   This may be frustrating to you, but, in order to adhere to our purpose of discussing only the purely physical aspects of the Passion, this is necessary. 

After the arrest in the middle of the night Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and Caiphas. The palace guard then blindfolded Him and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they were passing by to spit on Him and strike Him in the face. 

In the early morning Jesus, battered and bruised, dehydrated and exhausted from a sleepless night, is taken to
Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the fortress Antonia, the seat of the government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. You are, of course, familiar with Pilate’s attempt to pass the responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea.  Jesus apparently suffered no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to Pilate.  It was then, in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Barabbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.  There is much disagreement among authorities about scourging as a prelude to crucifixion. Most Roman writers from this period do not associate the two. Many scholars believe that Pilate originally ordered Jesus scourged as His full punishment and that the death sentence by crucifixion came only in response to the taunt by the mob that the Procurator was not properly defending Caesar against this pretender who claimed to be King of the Jews. 

Preparation for the scourging are carried out.  The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied above His head to a post. It is doubtful whether the Romans made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter of scourging.  The Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes.  The Pharisees, always making sure that the Law was strictly kept, insisted that only thirty-nine be given. ( In the case of a miscount they were sure of remaining in the Law.) The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum in his hand.  This is a whip consisting of several heavy leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the end.  The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs.  At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only.  Then as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the underlying tissues producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally arterial bleeding from the vessels in the underlying muscles.  The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows.  Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue.   When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death the beating is finally stopped. 

The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet in His own blood.  The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be king.  They throw a robe across His shoulders and place  a stick in His hand for a scepter.  They still need a crown to make their travesty complete.  A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns are shaped into a cross and this is pressed into His scalp.  Again there is large amounts of bleeding. (The scalp is one of the most vascular areas of the body.) After mocking Him and striking Him across the face the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head driving the thorns deeper into His scalp.  Finally they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back  This had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds and its removal, just as a careless removal of a surgical bandage, causes excruciating pain- almost as though He were again being whipped- and the wounds again begin to bleed. 

In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans return His garments.  The heavy cross-arm of the cross is tied to His shoulders and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and execution detail of Roman soldiers, headed by the centurion, begins its slow journey to
Calvary. In spite of His efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam together with the shock produced by the copious blood loss is too much.  He stumbles and falls.  The rough wooden beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulder.  He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.  The centurion, anxious to get on with the crucifixion, selects a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross.  Jesus follows, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock.  The 650 yard journey from the Fortress Antonia to
Golgotha is finally completed.  The prisoner is stripped of His clothing except for a loin cloth which is allowed the Jews. 

The crucifixion begins.  Jesus is offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic mixture.  He refuses to drink.  Simon is ordered to place the cross-arm on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood.  The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrists.  He drives a heavy square wrought iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood.  Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action being careful not to pull the arm too tightly, to allow for some flexation and movement. The cross-arm is then lifted to its place at the top of the upright and the titulus reading, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed into place. 

The left foot is then placed backwards against the right foot and with both feet extended  toes down, a nail is driven through His feet into the cross. Excruciating  fiery pain shoots down along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain. The nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the middle nerve. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid the torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. 

At this point another phenomenon occurs.  As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain.  With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward.  Hanging by His arms the chest (pectoral) muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act (these help expiration). Air can be drawn into the lungs but cannot be exhaled.  Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath.  Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside.  Spasmodically He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in life giving oxygen.   It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sayings which are recorded. 

At first, looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice for His seamless garment, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  Luke 23:34 

Second, to the penitent thief, “Today thou shalt be with Me in
Paradise.”  Luke 23:43 

The third, looking down at the terrified, grief stricken, adolescent John (the beloved apostle), He said, “Behold thy mother.”  And looking to Mary, His mother, “Woman, behold thy son.”  John 19:26-27 

The fourth cry is from Psalm 22,  “My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken me?  Mark 15:34 

Hours of limitless pain pass, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation (suffocation), searing pain as torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain in the chest as the pericardium (the sac around the heart) slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. Let us again remember the 22nd Psalm, verse 14, “I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted  in the midst of my bowels.” 

It is almost over now.  The loss of tissue fluid has reached a critical level and the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick sluggish blood into tissues. The tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp small gulps of air.  The markedly dehydrated tissue send their flood of stimuli to the brain.  Jesus gasps His fifth cry,  “I thirst”  John 19:28   A sponge soaked in Posca, a cheap sour wine which is a staple drink of the Roman legionnaires, is lifted to His lips.  He apparently doesn’t take any of the liquid.  

 The body of Jesus is now in extremis and He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues.  This realization brings out the sixth word, possibly little more than a tortured whisper, “It is finished!” John 19:30  His mission of atonement has been completed. Finally He can allow His body to die.  With one last surge of strength He once again presses His  torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His last cry, “Father, into Thy hands I commit my Spirit.”  Luke 23:45 

The rest you know.  In order that the Sabbath not be profaned, the Jews asked that the condemned men be dispatched and removed from the crosses.  The common method of ending crucifixion was by  curifracture, the breaking of the bones of the legs.  This prevented the victim from pushing upward, the tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest and rapid suffocation occurred.  The legs of the two thieves were broken but when they came to Jesus they saw this was unnecessary. 

Apparently to make doubly sure of death the legionnaire drove the lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward, through the pericardium and into the heart. John 19:34   “And immediately there came out blood and water.”  Thus there was an escape of the watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart.   We, therefore, have rather conclusive postmortem evidence that our Lord died; not from the crucifixion  death by suffocation,  but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluids in the pericardium. 

Thus we have seen the epitome of evil which man can exhibit toward man and toward God.  This is not a pretty sight and is apt to leave us despondent and depressed.  How grateful  we can be that we have a sequel: a glimpse of the infinite mercy of God towards man, the miracle of the atonement and the expectation of Easter morning.

May 29, 2006 Posted by | Jesus | Comments Off on Crucifixion of Jesus

The Auction

 

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art.  They had everything in their collection from Picasso to Raphael.  They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. 

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war.  He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. 

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door.  A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.  He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life.  He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly.  He often talked about you and your love for art. 

The young man held out his package.  It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man.  He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting.  The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.  He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. 

“Oh, no sir,  I could never repay what your son did for me.  It’s a gift.” 

The father hung the painting over his mantle.  Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected. 

The man died a few months later.  There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings  and having an opportunity to purchase one for  their collection.  On the platform sat the painting of the son. 

The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “We will start the bidding with the picture of the son.  Who will bid for this picture?” 

There was silence.  Then a voice at the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings.  Skip this one.” 

But the auctioneer persisted, “Will someone bid for this painting?  Who will start the bidding?  $100,   $200?” 

Another voice shouted angrily.  “We didn’t come here to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gohs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!” 

But still the auctioneer continued, “The son!  The son!  Who’ll take the son?” 

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room.  It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son.  “I’ll give  $10 for the painting.”  Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.   

“We have $10, who will bid $20?” 

“Give it to him for $10, they shouted.   Let’s see the masters.” 

“$10 is the bid, Won’t someone bid $20?” 

The crowd became angry.  They didn’t want the picture of the son.  They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. 

The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!  

A man sitting on the second row shouted. “Now let’s get on with the collection!”   

The auctioneer laid down his gavel.  “I’m sorry, the auction is over.” 

“What about the paintings?” 

“I am sorry.  When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will.  I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time.  Only the painting of the son would be auctioned.  Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!” 

God gave His Son  2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is,  “The Son, the Son,  who’ll take the Son?”  Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.   ___________________ 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,but have everlasting life.”John 3:16 

“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.”Romans 8:32

______________ 

This story was forwarded to us with the request that we share it with others. We just learned that the author was Woodrow Kroll.It was originally published by Back to the Bible,

PO Box 82808 Lincoln, Nebraska  68501

May 27, 2006 Posted by | Jesus | Comments Off on The Auction

What Will You Do With Jesus?

Who Jesus is and what you do with Him is the most important issue you will ever face on this earth.   Your eternal destiny in Heaven or in Hell rests on your response to Jesus.  

What do others say?

Some think Jesus was simply a good person like Ghandi or Mother Theresa who went about doing good, teaching His values and then dying as a martyr for His cause. If that is all He is,  whether you choose to follow him or some other ancient or modern teacher, doesn’t really matter one way or the other.  Have it your way? 

Others think Jesus was once a man as we are and that eventually He became a god,  one of many gods and that we too can attain to deity some day and be gods over our own universes- if we join the right religion.  That’s a lie of the devil.  In fact, it was the first lie that Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Genesis 3:5 

What men think about Jesus does not determine who He is.  The Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God and it ALONE tells us the truth of who Jesus is.  If the Bible cannot be trusted, then what it says about Jesus or anything else is meaningless and life after death is simply anybody’s guess.   Religion is a farce.  Going to church is a waste of time and I am a fool for devoting my life to serve Him and you are wasting your time reading this web site. 

What does the Bible say about Jesus?

Jesus is the chief issue of your life.  Receive Him and be saved.  Reject Him and be lost.   Your eternity in Heaven or Hell is all based on your relationship with Jesus.  

I challenge you to read carefully and prayerfully through the Gospel of John asking God to reveal to you the Lord Jesus Christ.  In this Gospel account of Jesus  you will discover He is the eternal, almighty God, creator of Heaven and earth;  and He came as a human being to dwell among us and  show us God in human flesh.   He is just as eternal and as powerful as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, yet his human body was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary and the eternal God was born as a helpless baby boy.  

He came as the Lamb of God to shed His blood on the cross for our sins.  He paid the death penalty that He required for sin.  Those who give up trying to impress God with their righteousness and who come as guilty sinners, trusting in Christ’s shed blood as the sacrifice for their sins,  are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are born again into the Family of God.    

What will you do about Jesus?

Will you trust Him right now as your Saviour? He stands ready to work a miracle in your life by making you a new creation.  II Corinthians 5:17  Your heart  will be radically changed and this will result in a changed life.  Trust Him now and you will know you belong to Christ.   Read I John 5:11-13. That’s just before Revelation.   

When you are born again, you will have eternal life and be assured of it; not because of your righteousness, for you will recognize you have nothing to offer God.   Rather,  Jesus will be your only  righteousness, your only glory.  He will become your life,  your whole purpose for existence. You will gladly submit to Him as your Lord.  His Word the Bible, will become precious to you.  Attending a Bible preaching church will become the highlight of your week as the Bible opens up to you for the first time.  

Dear Reader,  I beg you to receive Christ and experience an instant, supernatural change this very moment.  No, you and I will never be perfect until we arrive glorified  in Heaven.  But the heart change will be instant and spiritual growth will begin and continue for the rest of your life. 

To reject Jesus now is to have no hope of another chance.  You are but a heart beat from eternity.  One moment after you breathe your last breath, you will be in hell with no chance of escape throughout eternity. 

Note, I am not begging you to join my church or give money to me.  I am not begging you to get religion.  I am not begging you to turn over a new leaf and start trying to live a better life.  I am begging you to admit your desperate, lost condition and believe the good news about Jesus,  THAT HE DIED FOR YOUR SINS!  Receive Him now and KNOW that you are saved and bound for Heaven.  

May 26, 2006 Posted by | Jesus | Comments Off on What Will You Do With Jesus?