Posts Tagged With: grace
I received the sad news, that a friend of mine past away in Germany. From what I know, it was a heart related issue. I have lost several family members and friends in the past couple of years, and whenever I hear of someones death, several thought go through my mind about death, eternity and the destination of people.
The first thought that went through my mind, when I learned of his death was, did he believe in Jesus as his Lord and Savior? From what I know, he was not a believer the last time I saw him. Neither was I until 2006. Growing up in Germany is pretty much being secular. People in Germany have lost touch with God. That saddens me quite a bit, knowing what I know now. There is however a remnant and many think that Germany will see a revival.
The second thought that went through my mind, was, what happened to him, after his death? What happened to his spirit after it left his physical body? Where did he go? The word of God is pretty clear about what happens to people who are not saved by the blood of the lamb. They will be eternally separated from God. Something the Bible calls Hell. An eternity without the presence of God. That is not an easy thought, even as a believer in Jesus Christ.
Nobody wants to think that a friend or family member is in Hell, because they didn’t believe in Christ. But, that is what the word of God teaches, and I believe it. They have either rejected Christ or didn’t give any thought towards God. They lived a life without thanking God for all the blessings they received, even as unbelievers. The air that we breathe, the food and water and so many other things that sustain us throughout our lives. God created every one of us and we are wonderfully made.
As a believer, I believe in creation, in a God, Who created all things. I can’t adhere to the theory of evolution or people who believe that we are here by accident or natural selection. Darwin was wrong and people who follow his theory are misguided and deceived by his teachings. Darwin led many people astray from the belief in a Creator.
But, back to my friend. What happened to him, now that his spirit passed on into the spiritual realm? What if he did not believe in God and the finished work of Jesus on the cross? If he was not a believer, will he spent eternity in Hell? As I stated before, that is not an easy thought. I don’t want to think of my friends or family member, who did not believe, being in Hell.
I think that’s where many people who are not believers i.e Christians, take issue with. The say, how can a loving God, send people to Hell. What kind of cruel God is that? Are you telling me that everybody that does not believe in Jesus goes to Hell? What about the Muslims, Hindus and people of other faith, they all go to Hell. That’s crazy.
To be honest, I don’t know how Hell feels or looks like, but I know that I don’t want to end up there. Neither do I want anyone else to end up there. God Himself does not want people to go to Hell. That gives me comfort and hope, to know that God will do anything, for people to come to know Him.
I believe that God will reveal Himself to people facing death. They may not have worshiped Him all their lives, but I truly believe that God will somehow show His love, maybe even in a split second before death arrives. I can’t prove it, but somehow it makes sense to me, knowing that God does not want anybody to perish, but have everlasting life. I believe that God reveled Himself to my friend and to my father, who died in 2005 and was not a believer.
God is a loving God and He has sent His Son to reconcile us to Him. God does not want people to end up in Hell. God does not send people to Hell, they send themselves to Hell, because of their unbelief. They either rejected God, or they just did not want to believe in Him. That is a choice that everyone has to make. He does not force Himself on anyone, but He is long-suffering and patient. He wants all to come to the knowledge of truth and in to His marvelous light.
That is what sets Christianity apart from many other religions. We as Christians believe in the true and living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Who send His only begotten Son, to die and shed His blood for us on the cross. Jesus is our propitiation, the passover lamb. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He laid down His life for us, forgiving us of our sins and giving those who believe by faith, eternal life.
The message of the cross is foolishness to many. They believe that all roads lead to God and that they can work out their own salvation, either by good works or religious practices. That is what I like to call, a fig leaf religion. Just as Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leafs to cover their nakedness, to hide their sins. God, however did not approve of that man-made idea and covered them in animal skins, signifying the first sacrifice and that blood was needed to cover their disobedience in the Garden.
God made only one way to be reconciled with Him, and that is through His Son, Jesus the Messiah, Who is a stumbling block to many. Jesus is the only way to the Father and eternal life. Something that many reject and do not believe. They believe that there are many ways besides Jesus. It is not me saying this, it was Jesus Who said it. People can either believe what Jesus said, or reject it and call Him a liar. That is a choice. I would highly recommend to learn about Jesus and seek Him. Eternity apart from God, is a very long time.
“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.
“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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” John 3:16-20.
I hope and pray, that if you are not a believer to at least read about Jesus and what He has done for you. Start with the Gospel of John and read about Him, the only One that can truly save you and give you eternal life. Maranatha Lord Jesus.
My Pastor Ray Bentley talks briefly about his new book “The Holy Land Key” which will be released this month on February 18th. In the book he writes about prophecies and patterns, the Zodiac, the Sphinx, Signs in the Heavens and the Blood Moons which will appear in 2014/15.
What is the significance of these Blood Moons? The last time they fell on a Feast Days (Passover and Tabernacles i.e Sukkot) was in 1967/68, the six days war. Before that in 1949/50 after the re-birth of the nation of Israel. How rare are these Blood Moons falling on the Feast Days? Pretty rare. Since the time of Jesus, it happened only 5 times in history and there will be no more Blood Moons that fall on the Feast Days for the rest of this century.
I’m not making any predictions, but I do believe that we should pay attention as believers. God said that He put the Moon, the Sun and Stars for signs and seasons in the Heavens. Seeing what is unfolding in the Middle East, especially the ongoing peace negotiations between the Palestinian authority and Israel. This could be the year that Israel will be divided as mentioned in the Bible.
“I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.” Joel 3:2
Did you notice? God said, “My Land” Israel belongs to the LORD.
I’m attaching a video about the Blood Moons, so that you can decide for yourself. There are many already talking about the Blood Moons and many are making either predictions about the Rapture on the Feast of Trumpets and judgements of God. As I said before, I’m not even touching that subject, but I believe that we are very close to see the return of the Lord of lords and King of kings. Maranatha Lord Jesus.
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:18.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.” Joel 2:31
Here is the short video with Mark Biltz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi78PmRX46Y&list=PLFB95AF7EAE48A878&index=26
This Interview about the Blood Moons took place a few years ago at Maranatha Chapel. My Pastor Ray Bentley had Mark Biltz as a guest and he talked about the Blood Moons that are coming up in 2014/15. I will let the video speak for itself, but the upcoming Blood Moons that fall on the Feast days of the Lord, will be the last ones for a hundred years.
As you will hear in the video, every-time these moons fell on the Feast Days, something big happened.
This 14/15 occurrence will be the eighth time since Jesus. The number eight also stands for new beginnings.
I’m not making any predictions, but given the history of these blood moons, something may happen this year and in 2015. What exactly? Maybe a possible war in the Middle East? A two state solution between Israel and Palestine, which may lead to war? Some believe that the rapture may happen. To be honest, I don’t know and I do not want to go into date setting as many have in the past and were proven wrong.
I find it interesting however, that in a time like this, we have the last Blood Moons that fall on the Feast Days in my life time. We may be the generation that will see the return of the Lord.
This book encompasses it all, his personal journey of faith, the deep friendships that have been formed because of his love for biblical prophecies and his love for the people of Israel, Palestine, the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
Pastor Ray shares with the reader a unique insight into ancient prophecies, which includes the biblical meaning of the Signs in the Heavens i.e the Mazzaroth (Zodiac), the Riddle of the Sphinx, the Seven Feast-days of the Lord, the Seventy Weeks of Daniel and the significance of the Blood Moons in history and the upcoming once for 2014/15.
Besides the signs in the heavens and prophecies, Pastor Ray also touches on church history and the importance for the church to remember it’s Jewish roots, after all Jesus (Yeshua) was Jewish and the church originated in Jerusalem on Pentecost. Many prophecies have a double or even multiple fulfillment’s and they are pictures of what God did in the past and is going to do in the very near future. The Feast – Days e.g were dress rehearsals.
Pastor Ray challenges the reader not to only study prophecy, but to live it. He is asking us to step into the story.
I highly recommend this book for those who like to go deeper in God’s word. Pastor Ray Bentley invites us all to fall in love with God’s word, to study it and share it with others.
We are truly living in biblical times and now is the time for the church to wake up and look up. This book I hope, will encourage the reader to study the Holy Scriptures and learn about the true meaning of the Feast Days and prophecy in general as they speak to us today. Here is a video about the Blood Moons with Mark Biltz and Pastor Ray Bentley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi78PmRX46Y&feature=share&list=PLFB95AF7EAE48A878&index=25
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1E0zBCojHc
There have been times, when I turned on the News on TV that they interviewed prominent Christian Pastors about the Christian faith and what Christians believe. They ask some general questions and then there is the one direct question that the host will ask the Pastors: “Do you really believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven?”
When I hear that question, I cringe. What answer will this Pastor give and will he tell the truth or trying to avoid a confrontation with the host and the audience?
Sadly, I must say that most of these prominent Pastors failed miserably and danced around the question. Why? Are they afraid to speak the truth, or are the afraid that some people might get offended by the truth?
Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by Me.” John 14:6
This statement alone by Jesus would make Christianity very exclusive. Jesus is plain and simply saying that there are no other ways to be reconciled with the Father but through Him. Was He lying when He made that statement?
Disciples and followers of Christ know this to be true, but there are of course many others that do not agree with that statement. There are for one those of a different faith that would not agree either. Than there are those who have no faith or “religion” at all and lastly those who call themselves Christians, who have become lukewarm and departed from the truth and follow the doctrine of men.
People of a different faith sometimes call Christianity the “exclusive Club” and it is not surprising when they post the question: “What makes you think that you as Christians are the only once that have a relationship with God and we are not? We believe in a god, just not your God.
Was the Apostle Peter lying when he said: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
Muslims claim that Allah is the true god and that all other people of faith are infidels. I have heard Jewish people say that they will automatically go to heaven just because of their Jewish faith.
Hindus worship over 3.3 million gods and Buddhist, which is really not a religion but more of a philosophy, believe that they can reach Nirvana if the follow certain steps and the teachings of Buddha. Buddhist also believe in re-incarnation. A do over if it didn’t work out as they had hoped in this lifetime.
What is the truth and who is right? Christians are not the one that made the statement about the only way to heaven, it was Jesus. So, those who have a problem with what Jesus said have to ask Him. Jesus, Who is God (2nd person of the triune Godhead) is the only One that came to reconcile the world to God, by laying down His life on the cross so that those who believe by faith will find forgiveness, salvation and eternal life. He was the Passover lamb, the promised Messiah.
“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17
“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1John 2:2
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1John 4:10
All other religion are man-made and there is only One true and living God. Christians believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Creator of all things, Who created us for His pleasure and to fellowship with Him just as Adam and Eve did before the fall. When sin entered the world, mankind was spiritually separated from God.
Jesus bridged that gap by going to the cross to die for our sins. It is through His blood that we can be reconciled with the father. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they tried to cover themselves with fig leafs to hide their nakedness. God clothed them in animal skins, signifying the first blood sacrifice. He did not accept a fig leaf religion i.e man made. Later at the time of Moses, God in the law required animal sacrifices for the sins of the people. The passover lamb which took place once a year was a picture of Jesus our propitiation. The blood of the animals could only cover the sins, the blood of Christ on the cross took away the sins once and for all. “
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
God gave His only begotten Son and He paid a very costly price by having Jesus hang on the cross to be the substitute, the propitiation for our sins. Through His blood we are healed because He did what we could not do for ourselves. God the Father looks at the believers through the blood of Christ and he does no longer see our sins, He sees Jesus, Who’s righteousness was imputed onto those who believe by faith, just as Abraham did when he believed God.
So when Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one will come to Father but by Me, I have absolutely no problem believing the words of Jesus. He died for my sins and the sin of the world. Because of Him, we can come boldly before the throne of God and we have once again a relationship with God through faith and not of works. All man-made religions are works based, man trying to reach God on their own merit i.e a Fig Leaf Religion. All other religions are trying to reach God, in pure Christianity, God is reaching down to man.
Not everybody will agree with what I wrote because they will argue that there are many other religions with good people who seek and love God, so why would you even think that only Christians know the real God and are the only once that go to heaven because of Jesus? My answer is that I believe Jesus and I believe that He died and rose for me so that I may have eternal life. No one else can claim that. No Muhammad, no Krishna, or any one else.
If you are of a different faith, you have to ask yourself this question: Does my god love me as a loving father or is my god angry at me because I can’t live up to his/her expectations? Do I have assurance of my salvation? Are my sins forgiven? Can I be sure that I will go to heaven when I die? If you have any uncertainties, you may want to at least learn about Jesus. Jesus said, seek and you shall find. If you feel empty or a void in your heart, ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. He loves you with all of His heart and He does not want you to perish. Many people will perish because they have either rejected the free gift of salvation or they do not want to come to the truth. People make their own choices because of the free will given to us by God. Many people have heard about Jesus, but are not willing to listen or surrender. Bad choice. The following verses are also the words of Jesus:
“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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:16-21
By having a close and personal relationship with my Lord Jesus instead of religion, I am very pleased to be a member of the “Exclusive Club.”
Many of you have heard by now that my beloved Pastor Chuck Smith, the founder and father of Calvary Chapel went to be with the Lord this morning. He will be greatly missed. He was instrumental to so many people over the past 40+ years.
A true man of God and teacher of the word. “Simply teach the Bible simply” was his way to teach the word to many all over the world. He had a great influence in my life, my faith and walk with the Lord.
I feel honored and blessed, that I have met him a couple of times. I can truly say that he was a gentle man who loved the Lord with all of his heart.
He has fought the good fight, ran the race and he heard the words, well done my good and faithful servant when he arrived and saw Jesus’ face to face for the first time. I’m sure, that Jesus had a big smile on his face when He saw Pastor Chuck and welcomed him in His loving arms.
There aren’t enough words to describe what this man has meant to me and many others. Please pray for his family and remember him with joy and gladness in your hearts.
We love you Pastor Chuck and we will see you soon.“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cr 5:8.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1-5.
I quoted John 14:6 which is in case you may not know right off-hand is, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one shall come to the Father but by me.”
As soon as I posted it, it was not Christians that responded, but Atheist. They were all over me, calling me a liar and other things.
When I posted it, I didn’t even have atheism on my mind. I posted it as an encouragement and as biblical truth.
The Atheist came out of the wood works ready to attack.
I engaged with them for a little while and was amazed as always with their talking points.
Makes one wonder what it is about Jesus and Christianity that sets them off. Another funny thing is that Atheist spend a whole lot of time arguing with people about something they believe does not exist. Books have been written, seminars and debates are held worldwide for something they do not believe in.
I believe that deep in their hearts, there is a stirring going on. A spiritual warfare. They already belong to the evil one without even realizing it.
It’s sad really, to deny God’s existence which they have no proof of. This denial of God and His existence is by faith and I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist.
Please pray for them, they are too blind to see or refuse to see. They refuse to come to the light which is Jesus. Jesus Himself said so: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3 :19.
Jesus is the only way, not a way as many want to believe and teach. Even among Christians and some denominations, this statement of Jesus is being disputed. It’s a movement called “Religious Pluralism” Our God is not a Burger King, we can’t have it our way. God has provided us with only one way to be reconciled with Him and that is through Christ Jesus and His precious blood.
We are a new creation, the old things that we once loved and worshiped have passed away.
All things have become new. The old man is dead and we are now made alive in Christ.
It is not by our righteousness that justifies and reconciles us to God the Father. It is His righteousness that was imputed onto all those who believe by faith.
Abraham was declared righteous before God, not by his work, but because of his faith in the Creator of all things.
We as true believers have already received eternal life because of our faith in Jesus and His finished work on the cross. He has done it all.
I am thankful to know Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Thanks to Him, I am forgiven of my sins, past, present and future.
His blood did not just cover my sins as the animal sacrifices did under the law in the old covenant, He nailed them to the cross once and for all.
God has forgotten our sins as far as the East is from the West and He will remember then no more.
Don’t let Satan remind you of your past. Remind him of his future.
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Phl 3: 7-11.