The “Freedom of Religion Organization” http://www.forf.org a very outspoken Anti-theist group has been lobbying for some time now to have “In God we Trust” removed from our currency. They absolutely see no problem with: “In Reason We Trust which would take away the faith in God and “religion.” They instead like to replace it with a humanistic secular world viewpoint. The believe is that “human reasoning” will set the world free from the oppression that “religion” places on today’s society. Hawkins and other Anti-theist like him i.e. Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens love to proclaim boldly that God does not exist and that He is not needed. They claim religion has suppressed the freedom of the people and is hindering the progress of a new society that is freed from God and religious zealots. They believe that with reasoning and humanist thinking the world will be a better place one day. If we can only silence the “people of faith” then we can all live together in peace and harmony just as John Lennon envisioned it in his song “Imagine”.
What has human philosophy and reason done so far for society? We are living in a world of violence, murder rape, theft, you name it. Society is on a moral decline and if we continue the way progressives are dictating us to go, the moral decline of our nation and the world will grow worse. The progressive movement is not a step forward, but a step back into paganism and heathenism. Who set’s the moral standards? Who will get to decide what is right and what is wrong? God has said: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20
Do we set moral values from the viewpoint of man or from the viewpoint of God? God has given mankind moral values that cannot be denied and every human has those values written on their hearts, we intuitively know when we are doing something wrong. Our conscience bears witness to the fact. God has given us the 10 commandments, you shall not murder steal, lie, commit adultery, coveting your neighbors goods and so on. These are all good moral values and I believe that not many would disagree with them. However many do not want to obey them, or are trying to get around them with some human philosophy. In their moral world God’s views are obsolete, they agree that murdering somebody is wrong and needs to be punished, they would also agree that stealing and lying is wrong. Humanistic thinkers look on the outside of man, God however looks inside at the heart of man, and it was Jesus that demonstrated to us how God looks at His perfect and moral standards.
Jesus did not abolish the 10 commandments as many like to think, He took them and raised them up a notch. Showing that God does not look at the outside appearance of man but at the heart. Many will say, “I have never murdered anyone.” Jesus said: if you hate your brother, you have already committed murder in your heart. That person may not have murdered anybody physically, but he/she may have hated someone wishing them to be dead. In the eyes of God that is just like murdering someone. From the heart comes all evil thinking, from the heart comes murder, theft, lies and covetousness. It is a heart issue. God declares in Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jer. 17:9.
God declares every human being guilty of sin. The word sin is not very much liked these days, but what the word sin really means is “missed the mark, or “fallen short.” God declares in His word that we have all missed the mark and have fallen short of His glory. Therefore man will make all kinds of excuses for their actions, society is to blame, religion is to blame, politicians are to blame. “If we would just have more tolerance towards one another”. “If we would not be so narrow-minded about things, the world would be a much better place to live in”. Jesus said: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Mat 7:13, 14.
In my opinion, I rather go the narrow way. I believe that if we let go of God and His perfect standards and rather put our trust in humanity and human reasoning, today’s society will face dire consequences in the future. Every Kingdom or Empire that let go of their moral values in the past has perished. Humanist today want to replace God’s wisdom with a humanistic atheistic philosophy. They simply deny the existence of God and do not acknowledge Him. One day the ultimate Judge will have the last word and no human excuses will ever hold up before the throne of God. Man’s wisdom is foolishness before God. It is never too late to turn and embrace God. Today is the day of salvation. God is waiting patiently and He is longsuffering towards mankind, wanting nobody to perish.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer 29:11
P.S. True Biblical Christianity is not a “religion, but a meaningful loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Some days I find myself contemplating about life, death and eternity. What is life and what is the purpose of our being here for an appointed time and then we die? Last year my good friend Don passed away and went to be with the Lord. It came suddenly and unexpected and no one was really prepared for it. I just had lunch with him not too long before and we had a great time conversing about many things. He was a good man, a very gentle soul. He always had a smile and a kind words of encouragement to anyone he would meet.
I guess you could say we were the odd couple, he was about 25 years older than me and sometimes people would ask me, is that your Dad? We had an instant bond from the day we met about 6 years ago and our friendship grew stronger year after year. I will miss him a lot and I will always keep him in my heart until I will see him again in heaven.
As believers in Jesus Christ we have the blessed hope of eternal life. We don’t have to fear death. Jesus said: “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” John 11:25. Jesus is the life and all those who believe in him have the promise of eternal life. “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.
That is what sets Christianity apart from all other man made religions, the promise of eternal life through the the Savior Christ Jesus. Jesus died on the cross and He rose on the third day, defeating death. That is the blessed hope Peter spoke off: “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 1:3-5.
This is the blessed hope that the Christian enjoys. Of course we mourn the loss of a loved one. We miss that person, the husband, the wife, the brother the sister or friend. But we as believers don’t have to be sorrowful as those who do not believe and have no hope because of their unbelief.
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep (died), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” 1Th 4:13, 14.
Unfortunately many will reject this truth and call it nonsense. They mock the Christians and call us names. Jesus gave us the reason why so many will not believe and will perish. These are the following verses of John 3:16, which many people leave out:
“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 3:17-20.
Jesus makes it very clear why so many will reject the truth and the free offer of salvation by faith in Him and that they are already condemned because of it. Many people want to live their lives as they please and they do not want to be accountable to anyone. That is their choice and free will which by the way is given by God. One thing is for sure, there is one thing the believer and unbelievers have in common, all of us have to face death at one point. The statistics are not good, one out of one dies. There is not one that has lived forever, no matter how rich or famous that person may be, death has no partiality.
It’s always easy for an Atheist to say, there is no God and that Christians are delusional and worship the flying spaghetti monster. That’s easy to say when someone is still somewhat young and healthy, who writes books, makes it on the media circles and earns a pretty good penny by denying the existence of God. Life takes funny turns and I would like to see that person one day lying on their death-bed facing death. I assure you that they are in fear of death. They may deny it now, but one day every knee shall bow and confess Jesus is Lord. No one will escape death. And those who do not believe, can they say for sure that there is nothing after death? I don’t think so. Can I prove that there is life after death? No, but I do believe God and He cannot lie. I know in my heart that the believers will be with God for eternity, just as my friend Don is now.
That’s why I believe the words of Jesus, that those who believe in Him have eternal life. I will miss Don and his friendship, his wife Beverly will miss him as well as his children, but we all know and are comforted that Don is in a much better place now and one day whenever the Lord decides, we will see him again, that smile and his humor. Thank you Don for your friendship, you have touched many people and I know that you do not want me to be depressed and sad, but to press on and run the race until the Lord calls me home. Farewell my friend.
“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.” Mat 11:28-30
Choose Jesus today before it is too late because death can come so suddenly. If your are not sure what happens after death, maybe you should consider the words of Jesus. Receive Him now, because you will meet Him one day no matter what. I encourage you to at least learn about Jesus. Pick up the Bible and start with reading the Gospel of John. Seek Him and you shall find Him.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom 10:17.
“The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands,” Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros, Greek Melkite archbishop of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston Mass., and president of the “Commission for the Message,” said at Saturday’s Vatican press conference. “We Christians cannot speak of the ‘promised land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.”
I believe that the Vatican and the institution of the Roman Catholic Church as well as some other denominational churches are gravely mistaken and have embraced the “replacement theology” and are in the process of abandoning Israel.
Replacement theology also known as supersessionism teaches that the Church has replaced the nation of Israel regarding the plan, purpose, and promises of God. There is no biblical evidence that God has cast Israel aside, quite the opposite is true. God has made an everlasting covenant with Israel, in Genesis God made a covenant with Abraham: “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.” Gen 17:7
God said everlasting, not just for a certain time period. God promised Abraham that through his offspring all the nation shall be blessed i.e. the promised Messiah would come through the nation of Israel (Gen 3:17) from the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God made another covenant through Abraham’s son Isaac: “Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.” Gen 17:19
The word everlasting appears 100 times in the KJV/NKJV and if God says everlasting it means everlasting i.e. forever. The replacement theology has been around for a long time, but is contradictory to what the Bible teaches. Israel and the Church are two different entities, God has not made a covenant with the Church as He did with the nation of Israel as for example the mosaic law which was conditional and involved works.
The New Testament covenant is unconditional, no works, such as animal sacrifices or the keeping of dietary laws etc. We come through faith not by works. God made an unconditional covenant with Abram in Genesis 15. It was unconditional, God put Abram to sleep and walked among the animals and it was God that upheld the covenant without any works or doings of Abram. Please note, at that time his name was still Abram not Abraham which came later when God promised him that he would be the father of a great nation which were the twelve tribe of Israel.
Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. We as the bride of Christ come through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is His righteousness that is imputed onto every believer. God’s sovereign plan of salvation. We are saved by His grace through faith. It is true and documented in the Bible that Israel disobeyed God many times, which caused them many afflictions, enslaved to Egypt for 400 years, captivity in Babylon for 70 years and much strives and wars with the neighboring nations.
They rejected Jesus as their Messiah at His first coming, which resulted ultimately in the destruction of the temple in 70 AD by Titus and the fall of Jerusalem which caused them to exist as a nation, resulting them to be dispersed all over the world. Because of their rejection of Jesus/Yahshua as Messiah, the Gentile nations became heirs, with that God fulfilled the promise He made to Abraham, that, through him all nations will be blessed: “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,…” Eph 3:1-6
God wanted the nation of Israel to be a shinning light before the pagan nations, He chose them not because they were special people but because He loved them and keeps His promises: “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; “but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; “and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face.” Deu 7:7-10
Israel did not keep the commandments, and they even went in to idolatry, something the LORD hates, they failed miserably, despite all this, God has not cast them out or broken His covenant with them. Currently we are in what is called by many the Church age, which began at the time of Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the believers. (Acts 2) God is using the Church to preach the gospel of salvation in Christ and Him alone. The Church was chosen by God for a specific time period i.e. Church age, to preach the gospel and reach the lost, the church was grafted in. (Rom 11:17)
The apostle Paul certainly did not believe that Israel was cast out by God, he wrote: “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Rom 11:1-4
God has always preserve a Jewish remnant. One of the biggest evidence of God not breaking His covenant is manifested in the re-birth of the nation of Israel on May 14th 1948. After almost 2000 years of Israel not existing, God brought them back into the land as prophesied by the Prophet Ezekiel in chapter 36. The Jews are back in the land, as one nation/kingdom not two as it was before the dispersion, ( 2 southern tribes Judah and Benjamin and the 10 northern tribes) they speak one common which is Hebrew and the shekel is their currency. Today Israel is one of the most fruitful areas in the Middle East, they are the biggest vegetable and fruit exporters in the region. Israel is on the news daily and Jerusalem with the temple mount has been a sore point to many nations and has become the epicenter of the world. Israel is surrounded by many hostile Islamic nations, and one day the war of Gog and Magog will take place as described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Most scholars believe that at the time of the rapture of the believers in Christ, the church age will end and will usher in a 7 year tribulation period on the earth spoken of in Daniel chapter 9. 70 weeks were determined for Israel, 69 weeks or 483 years or 173880 days have been fulfilled, from the commandment by King Artaxerxes in 445BC to rebuild the walls and Jerusalem and with Jesus riding into Jerusalem April 6 AD 32 as prophesied by Zechariah: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech 9:9
The Messiah was cut off as prophesied in Daniel 9 i.e the crucifixion and finished work of Christ upon the cross. This leaves a seven-year/one week period which has not been fulfilled, commonly referred to as Jacobs troubles or the seven years of great tribulation. It is in these seven years of tribulation that God will once again turn to Israel and they will recognize that Jesus is their promised Messiah, and they will embrace Him as such. The tribulation period will be a time of trouble like the world has never seen before or ever will again, God will pour out His wrath upon the unbelieving world and Christ will come again with all the believers, which is the second coming, this time He will come not as a lamb but as the Lion from the tribe of Judah. Christ will judge the nations, and the once who made it through the seven-year tribulation period who did not take the mark of the beast will enter into the millennial reign of Christ here upon the earth. This is the separation of the sheep from the goats.
“I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” Rev 20:4-6
Many Jews will receive Christ as their Lord and Savior during the great tribulation, many Jews and Gentiles will have to die/martyred, but because they have not worshiped or bowed down to the Antichrist , they will be saved and enter into the kingdom of God and have everlasting life. God has not cast out the Jews, neither has He forgotten them, God keeps His promises, to us as Christians and to His chosen people; Israel. God has always preserved for Himself a remnant.
The Roman Catholic Church is wrong regarding Israel and the Bishops are contradicting what the word of God clearly states. As true followers of Jesus, we must stand with Israel and love them, they may not have yet embraced Yeshuah as Messiah, but in due time God will open their eyes. We should bless them and not cast them aside.
“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen 12:3
It seems to me that some Christians are quick to attack and judge various ministries and servants of God. Let me say this up front , I strongly believe that we as believers need to speak out against false teachers, heresies, etc. The Bible even exhorts us to expose these false ministers and teachers and those who contradict the word of God and teach others to follow their example. But I see people on social networks and blogs criticizing true servants of God, like for example, Billy Graham. They are quick to point out that Billy Graham said this or he said that. Billy Graham has been a faithful minister and follower of Jesus Christ from his early days as an evangelist. Today in his nineties, he still proclaims Christ when appearing on TV or in public. His son Franklin Graham, carries on the ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association and Samaritan Purse.
Franklin has been raised by Godly parents and the evidence is shown in their faithful ministry and the compassion and love for the less fortunate and needy of the world. Their love for Christ is evident, exemplified by their world-wide ministry that bears fruit and helps people all over the world in places like Haiti, after the devastating earth quake. None of this would have been possible without Billy Graham and the groundwork he laid. God has blessed his ministry and who are those who criticize him? They point to something that he may have said in an interview or on TV like the Larry King show, something that they may not agree with. Even if at times Billy may have said something that appeared to be compromising to some, I feel they have no grounds to persecute him as bad Christian. How many times have we said something that didn’t come out the way we meant it, or was misunderstood or taken out of context? Some Christians find fault in almost anybody else but themselves, which to me borders on self-righteousness. Who are we to judge another servant of God? Who are we to judge another believer in Christ Jesus? If we judge, do we not do those very things Jesus told us not to do?
“Judge not, that you be not judged. “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Mat 7:1-5
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37
How many people have come to the Lord through ministries like Billy Graham’s and others? How many have received the love of Christ and the forgiveness that He gives to those who believe? The Billy Graham crusades have brought thousand upon thousands to Christ. How many have come to Christ by those who love to criticize and judge others? How many have they led to the Lord? I think we all need to reflect sometimes on ourselves. Judging comes very easily to us, it is our human nature. I catch myself from time to time engaging in criticism or judgment, which leads nowhere. We as believers should have love for one another and if some are found in error, we should gently correct them. None of us is perfect, none of us is sinless but we should all be of the same mind and spirit. Those who frequently love to judge others are divisive and cause strive among other believers. The are critical of others, not looking at themselves, they have a spirit of contention and not of love. Therefore, let us not judge one another. Let us walk in love and if some believers are caught up with false teachers or live in a compromised state, let us gently exhort them and show them their error in love, found in the infallible word of God.
“Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4
“But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:-12
I think that say’s it all, believers in Christ will not face the great white throne judgment of God, but we will all have to stand before the Bema seat of Christ.
“This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:2, 3
Nicodemus came to Jesus because he knew in his heart that Jesus was someone special, nothing that he had ever seen or heard before. He saw the miracles Jesus performed, he heard Him teach with authority. He knew Jesus was no ordinary man, he saw the glory of God in Him. What did Jesus mean when He said to Nicodemus, “you must be born again?” I’m sure many people have heard Christians use that term, “born again”. What does it mean to be born again? Nicodemus ask Jesus that very question, not clearly understanding what Jesus was talking about. Jesus was talking about a spiritual rebirth.
Every person that is born, is born of the flesh with a sin nature due to the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the garden. The result of their disobedience was sin entering the world and sin brought forth death i.e. spiritual death. Mankind was separated from God because of the inherent sin nature that is passed on throughout the generations. The Bible speaks of iniquity and that all were all born in iniquity. What is the definition of iniquity? 1) lack of justice or righteousness; wickedness; injustice. 2) a wicked act; sin. King David wrote about iniquity in the Psalms.
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” Ps 51:5. God also spoke about iniquity when He gave the ten commandments: “…you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:5, 6.
This passage makes it pretty clear, that those who hate God and reject Him have a curse upon them, from one generation to another. There is a lot of truth to this, character defects, personality and behaviors get passed on from generation to generation. Many times we hear of people ending up doing the same things previous family generations have done. For example, the son that had an alcoholic father, has a tendency to be an alcoholic himself. The children of a dysfunctional family have the tendency to be dysfunctional themselves when they start a family. People that are born out-of-wedlock, most likely end up doing the same thing, bringing forth children born out-of-wedlock, just as their parent did. Divorces are another example, many children of parents that got divorced end up in divorce themselves. These tendencies get passed on from one generation to another and it is an endless cycle unless that cycle gets broken. The good news is that this generational curse can be broken when a person turns to God. The passage in Exodus states that He will visit the iniquity of people from generation to generation, but only to those who hate Him. “…but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Ex 20:6.
Once a person turns to God, by repentance i.e. change of mind, that person has broken that endless cycle. He or she has becomes a new person, old things have passed away and all things have become new. There are countless testimonies of people who have come to faith in Jesus Christ that had a life transforming experience and not only that, many times other family members will come to faith in Christ because of their radical transformation. I am no exception, I grew up in a non believing family and I inherited many of these iniquities/tendencies. My two grandfathers were alcoholics, my three uncles were alcoholic and I ended up being an alcoholic. I had the tendencies to become an alcoholic and I did. There are many other things that I did. Today I can see certain family members displaying the same behaviors and they have not changed, they go around in circles blaming everybody else or society. So many say, I cannot help myself, I am an addict or this is how I was made. I don’t believe that they were made that way. There is a way out to break free from this inherent curse. The way to true freedom is through Jesus Christ, He can change the life of anybody, if they are willing to come to Him and submit their will.
Most people are self-willed, they want to do as they please, without being accountable for their actions. Actions have consequences and unless the cycle is broken, people will go around in circles doing the same things over and over again, just as the once that came before them, and as the once following them. Jesus wants to set people free from all of this bondage, this heavy load upon people’s lives. Jesus can break this vicious cycle. If you are reading this and find yourself in bondage to sin or in a seemingly endless cycle with no hope or end in sight, may I say that there is? The way out is through Jesus Christ the Savior of mankind who calls you out of this lifestyle of bondage, pain and grief. He wants to set you free from all of this and break the cycle. God loves you and He wants you to return to Him. Turn to Him now and He will shower you with His love and will embrace you into His loving arms. It is never too late to turn, to turn away from those things that offend God. He will change you life, as He has changed mine and the life of countless others. He will give the believers a life of abundance.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
A lifestyle of sin steals the person of true joy. Sin is deceiving and may look inciting for a while, but in the end it stings, making life miserable. That is not what God wants for us. He wants us to be free from the heavy load of sin in our lives. Whatever you may be facing in your life right now, turn it over to Jesus and He will set you free. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
“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 Christ; our Propitiation (media4lifeministries.wordpress.com)
- My personal testimony and how Jesus transformed my life. (media4lifeministries.com)
- Relationship or Religion? (media4lifeministries.wordpress.com)
- Jesus or Muhammad? (media4lifeministries.wordpress.com)
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” Mat 7:6
Dogs and swine in this context are those who are hostile to the gospel i.e. the good news. There are many who hear the gospel, but do not receive it and even mock the once sharing the truth of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Pearls of the precious gospel is foolishness to those who do not want to believe. They are blinded by the god of this age (2Cr 4:4).
The gospel is foolishness to them: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 2Cr 2:14.
Instead of receiving the gospel with joy as many, they ridicule and reject the good news of salvation and eternal life. Jesus is basically saying, don’t waste your time on those who will not hear, they are too blind to see and they do not want to come to the knowledge of the truth but in return mock and ridicule the Christian who shares with them. This should not discourage us from sharing the gospel, but if rejected over and over again by the same person(s) we are witnessing to, than we need to know when to stop and let the Holy Spirit do the work on that person’s heart, we ourselves can not save anybody, it is God that saves. We can only share the good news and know when to step aside, we might miss another opportunity witnessing to someone with a more open heart.
There are many that are seeking the truth, the truth is in Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. He paid our penalty that was due, because God loved us even when we were yet sinners. He demonstrated His love for us at he cross.
I was doing some maintenance on my computer this morning, using an application that cleans the disk drive from junk etc. While I was doing that these following passages came to mind, I’m sure most of you know the story in the Gospel of John, when they had finished the last supper how Jesus got up to wash the feet of the disciples. “After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter]said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” John 13: 5-10.
Jesus cleansed us by His blood, we as believers are washed and justified and declared righteous before the Father, He does not remember our sins, they are removed from us as far as the east is from the west. It is not by our righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ that was imputed onto every believer. But we do live in a fallen world and stumble from time to time, we are not perfect or sinless. Just as Jesus said we are clean, but our will feet get dirty in the world and need cleaning.
That’s just like the computer needs some cleaning, we as disciple of Jesus need some cleaning from the junk of the world. Thanks to Jesus we have direct access to the Father and can come boldly before His the heavenly throne and confess our sins and the blood of Jesus will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thank you Lord for your continues cleansing.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1John 1:8-10
- The humbleness of Jesus (media4lifeministries.wordpress.com)
- Thankfulness to God (media4lifeministries.wordpress.com)
It was May 14th 2006, a Sunday morning that began like many other mornings. I felt hung over and lousy after a week of drinking. This wasn’t the first time for me. I had plenty of those lousy days. Alcohol Had become a big problem in my life, in fact, a huge problem. Growing up Germany, alcohol was a part of my lifestyle and the culture. Many of my friends that I hung out with started drinking from an early age. Meeting friends, hang out in the Gasthaus/Pub and drink beers, was a daily routine. Getting up for work and meeting my friends afterwards for some beers in the Pub.
I moved from Germany to San Diego, California at the age of 22. I was pretty tired of Germany, mainly because of the weather. It rained a lot and I loved the sunshine. I had visited California a few times in the late 70’s and thought, “that’s the place where I want to be”. I liked the sun, the beaches, the palm trees and the relaxed lifestyle that so many enjoy here in Southern California. I had good times after I moved to the USA. I had my own Piano business, played in a Reggae band and just enjoyed the relaxed lifestyle.
Later I worked for Taylor Guitars and after that, landed a great job with a major furniture manufacturer. Things were going pretty well for me. I got married in 1995 to my wife and we lived in a nice place near the beach. Alcohol has always been part of my life. Drinking some beers after work was the norm. That was my life, meeting my drinking buddies and playing darts or whatever else came about. Once the alcohol took over, the judgment went out the window. I came home very late some days or not at all. I wasn’t thinking about my wife, my work. It was all about me. Seeking my own pleasures was way more important than my marriage and the responsibilities that came with it. In 2003 things got worse. My drinking increased quite a bit. I moved out of the house and found my own place. I thought of it as my own little paradise, my sanctuary. But things only got worse from there.
I got involved with people who were heavy drinkers and we hung out in various bars around town. Alcohol influences people and brings out the worse in them. I was never a violent person when drinking, I was just drinking to have a good time. Many people believe that drinking is relaxing and brings about a better attitude. I used to think the same way. Somehow I thought after the 2nd or 3rd pint things looked much better and oh, how much fun I had. I used to call it an attitude adjustment. Have you ever hung around people who had a bit too much to drink and they thought they were cool and funny? They are really not that funny, when you are sober. Life becomes very miserable when alcohol takes over your life and controls you. Everything starts to revolve around drinking and nothing else matters. It becomes a snare that entangles people. I always denied having an alcohol problem. Even when people pointed it out to me. I was just in denial as many others, that drink or do drugs. Alcohol and drugs are deceivers. They give pleasure for a short time but then they sting like a viper and take control over peoples lives .
It was in early 2005 that I received the news that my father had died in Germany. I attended the funeral with my mom and some of my relatives. Hearing the news was terrible. It really hit me hard while I was sitting in the small chapel facing my dad’s coffin. I loved my dad, he was a good man. I always had a good relationship with him. My mom of course was devastated and I stayed for 3 month with her in Germany. I started going out and drinking in the local pubs. I think I was just tuning out not wanting to deal with the reality that my dad had passed away. I was drowning my sorrows with alcohol. That was my way of suppressing things.
Coming back to the States, I continued that trend. Drinking before work, during work and of course after work. The drinking started to take over my life. It affected my work and one day I just walked off the job. I began to drink around the clock, going on binges that would last for at least a week. After those binges I got really sick for a few days, promising myself never to drink again. That promise would maybe last for a week or two and I was right back doing the same thing. A terrible cycle with the same results, feeling sick.
I remember the morning of May 14th very well. I sat on my patio chair feeling extremely sick from a week of heavy drinking. As I was sitting there all by myself as I began to cry out: “God, please help me. I don’t want to be like this anymore. This is not me. Please if You are there, help me.”
From that moment on, my life changed. I was still feeling sick, but something happened to me. Something wonderful. I had totally lost the desire of drinking and I started to seek God. I bought a Bible and read for hours and hours, taking in every word. Looking at my first Bible that I bought and seeing all the notes I scribbled and the many verses that I underlined, I find myself wondering, when did I do all that?
To be honest, I didn’t know much about God before and what the Bible revealed about Him. I didn’t know anything about repentance, forgiveness, justification and sanctification. I heard about God and of course I heard about Jesus and that He died on the cross, but that’s about it. I never really understood what it really meant, God giving His only begotten Son for me and my sins. I never knew how wonderful God’s Grace is.
Reading God’s word opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on life and I believed. The word of God is so wonderful and healing and it is the absolute truth. Jesus is the Savior of the world and He became my personal Lord and Savior that day.
Today, I am so grateful to God. He continues to change my life day by day. I have become a new creation, old things have passed away. I have since reconciled with my wife, left the old things behind and I never looked back. Satan may accuse me everyday before God, calling me unworthy and a failure. He is right, I am. But I also know this, I am what I am, but I am not what I used to be.
It is not my righteousness that God looks at, it is the imputed righteousness of Jesus that the Father looks upon. I don’t have any righteousness on my own. I can never please God on my own. The gospel i.e. the good news is that God did for me what I could not do for myself. “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.
For me, it is all about Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross. The word that became flesh and dwelled among us. Who is this Jesus that transformed my life? He is God the Son Who became one of us. He came as the suffering servant to shed His blood on the cross for the sin of the world. Jesus was beaten to a bloody pulp beyond recognition. The Roman soldiers plucked His beard out, beating Him repeatedly. He endured the cross, the shame and the mocking of His own countrymen and the Romans because He loved us. Jesus came for that very purpose, to die on the cross at the appointed time for sinners like me.
From the beginning of His ministry to the arrival to Jerusalem on a donkey to the death on the cross, was not only prophesied. Jesus was on a divine timeline determined by the Father long before the foundation of the world. The death of Christ was no accident or just another criminal dying at the hands of the Roman government. Jesus committed no crime, yet He was condemned to death. Jesus despite the shame, willingly laid down His life for you and me. He gave His life to give eternal life to those who would believe in Him. All you need to do is to ask God for forgiveness and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There is no sin that you or anyone else has committed that God will and cannot not forgive, no matter what a person may have done. God loves mankind. All He wants is for us to return to Him and He will heal us and cleanse us from all sin. Jesus has transformed my life and He is continuing to transform my life. He will do the same for you. All you need to do is ask Him to come into your life.
God is not distant at all. Stop whatever you are doing, turn around and He is right there with arms wide open.
“Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6, 7
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Mat 7:7, 8
Jesus is Lord, yet He declares His Lordship through the power of humility and grace…
“Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty and then for three years was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of those things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself….
“While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed on a cross between two thieves. While he was dying his executors gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth – His coat. When he was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
“Nineteen long centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.” Jesus is Lord – Excerpts from “One Solitary Life” (author unknown)
Jesus is the only true and living God. I am thankful that He has saved me. He is the only One that can transform a person’s life. Religions can not transform a person. Certain philosophies cannot transform a person. All religions and philosophies are man centered and futile. Man cannot save himself by empty and vain attempts, trying to reach God on their own merit. God reached down to mankind through His Son Jesus Christ, Who is mighty to save. Only He can change the heart and only He can transform a person’s life. Thank you Jesus for the truth and Your love that You have shown to me. May others that are currently in a similar situation as I was, seek You and find You. Maranatha Lord Jesus.
- “You Must Be Born Again” (media4lifeministries.com)
- Faith a gift from God (media4lifeministries.wordpress.com)
- Come as you are (media4lifeministries.wordpress.com)
- Memories of a brother lost to alcohol (greystew.wordpress.com)
I believe among others, that Christianity is the oldest “religion” known to man. There are many religions that were way before Christianity that came along about 2000 years ago. Did Christianity begin 2000 years ago with a man named Jesus? Let me begin with saying that Jesus did not come to bring something completely new, He did not start a new religion and new doctrines. God’s truth is never-changing. Jesus did not just suddenly appear and brought a new message or believe to the people. The Old Testament is all about Jesus and the promise of a Savior was given long ago, long before Jesus came to the earth. The first gospel message can be found in Genesis: “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Gen 3:15.
It is widely understood that this verse is a Messianic prophesy. This prophesy was given by God in the Garden of Eden, you can not go any further back as the Garden. Throughout the Old Testament God gave progressive prophesies concerning the Messiah. In the old the new is concealed, in the new the old is revealed. When we get to the New Testament, and we look back at the Old Testament, it’s all clear. In the Old Testament the gospel was there from the early beginning. The Bible is a book of redemption. The Bible does contain history like the creation and the beginning of mankind, kingdoms, people and places, but the main purpose of the Bible is redemption, God’s plan of salvation for fallen man.
Jesus is all over the pages of the Old Testament, there are many prophesies concerning His first coming and many allegories that pointed to Christ. Abraham offering up Isaac on Mount Moriah which is the temple mount today, a picture of what God would do 2000 years later. Joseph in Egypt, he was not recognized by his brothers at the first meeting, but they recognized him at the second time they met. A picture of the first coming of Jesus and He was not recognized as Israel’s Messiah, which will happen at His second coming. Moses lifting up the bronze serpent in the wildness on a pole, and everybody that looked up to it was healed, a picture of Jesus lifted up on the cross dying for the sin of the world and giving healing and life to those who would look upon Him and believe. He was the Rock in the wildness bringing forth water, He was the Bread that came from heaven and so much more.
The 70 weeks of Daniel given by the angel Gabriel gave the exact time and day when the Messiah would ride into the city of Jerusalem. Zechariah prophesied that the King would come riding lowly on a donkey. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on what we now know as Palm Sunday. Nothing was by coincidence, God had a divine plan and time schedule and Jesus came at the appointed time, His hour. The day the Lord has made. There are over 300 prophesies concerning the first coming of Christ, and He has fulfilled them all. Jesus was nailed the cross at the time of the morning offering on passover, He gave up His Spirit at the time of the evening sacrifices. This day was also predicted long ago and God had a certain day in mind and Jesus died on that exact appointed day. Old Testament believers were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, they believed God, thus it was accounted to them as righteousness.
Today we look back at the cross and the finished work of Christ and because we believe by faith we are accounted righteous before God through Christ who is our righteousness. The gospel i.e the good news is therefore much older than 2000 years, the gospel and the coming of the Messiah goes all the way back to the beginning. There are many religions today and in the past, but they are all man-made and they are all man centered. The Christian faith is not really a religion per say, it is a relationship with the true and living God. Christians worship and serve the God of creation, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The God that is truth and His word which is sharper than a two-edged sword. If you read this and you are of another faith, like Islam or maybe Hinduism etc. consider Jesus and the claims He made. He came to die in our place, God did what we could not do for ourselves. He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus said that He came to set us free from bondage. Are you in bondage to sin or religion? Do you want to be forgiven of your sins and have eternal life? Jesus promised that those who would believe will never die. He died for us and rose from the dead to overcome death and give eternal life to those who would believe. Jesus is God and only God can forgive sins, all other gods are impostors and they do not exist.
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” Exd 20:2-5
Many religions have made their own gods made out of wood, metal, in the likeness of man, they worship the creature rather than the Creator. These gods do not move, they can’t hear or speak. They are dead, they cannot give life eternal, only the true and living God of the Bible can. There is only one way to be reconciled to God the Father, and that is through His Son Christ Jesus. May you find Him and feel His peace and His love. May you realize how much He loves you.
“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.” John 3:16