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.
Posts Tagged With: Agape
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.
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
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.”
Media 4 Life Ministries is exited to announce that our new apps will be available for download this fall.
At no time in history has it been easier to be a true Christian as today. We all want convenience and we here at Media 4 Life Ministries have made that possible with our new apps soon to be released for the iPhone.
(Sorry Android users, you may have to wait a bit longer.) We are working hard, so you don’t have to. Here is a preview of what’s to come. We are getting great reviews from the public. Don’t miss out on this new way of doing church.
Need forgiveness? No problem, with our app you can ask God for forgiveness without even talking to a Pastor or Priest. This app will give you a 100% assurance that you are forgiven. Monthly subscription fee and registration are required.
Done something wrong? Use this app to confess your wrongs and they will be erased. This app comes with a monitoring dashboard which can be used to keep track and lets you see the history of your past wrongs. Easy to use and never fails.
Want to know how much faith you have if any? This app gives you an easy way to monitor and test your current faith level. Is you faith at an all time low?
For a monthly subscription we can show you how to increase your faith and keep it that way. No more worrying and sleepless nights.
Not sure if you are saved? Answer a few simple questions and this app will show you whether you are saved or not. 100% guaranteed results. If you are not saved, use the iRepent app.
Are you an habitual sinner? No problem, with this app you can check your progress with an easy instruction manual that will help you to forsake your habitual sins, step by step, one day at a time. Free with the purchase of complete app package.
Are you tired of coming to the church early for worship? No problem this app will let you worship in the car while you on the way to church.
Tired of getting out of bed on Sunday mornings? This virtual church app lets you attend church anytime you want, without getting out of bed. No shirt or shoes required. This is a free app and our love gift to you.
Not sure if you are going to heaven?
Our apps lets you monitor your progress. Media 4 Life Ministries wants nothing more than to make sure that you to go to heaven. That’s why we are making these apps available at a low-cost to you.
“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.
Today we celebrated the triumphant entry of Jesus into the City of David, Jerusalem. His arrival was not any arrival, He had gone to feast of Passover before, but this was the day the Lord had made.
It was God’s divinely appointed day. Jesus would be crucified a few days later on Passover, the sacrificial lamb of God, the One that Abraham spoke of when he was asked to sacrifice Issac. “The Lord will provide a sacrifice.” Gen 22:8.
Jesus was that lamb on Mount Moriah 2000 years later. Our propitiation. By His stripes we are healed. By His blood we are cleansed and forgiven and have eternal life. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
“This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps 118:24
Today, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Day. He was a great man of faith, a man with convictions and without compromise, believing in love, honor and respect.
I am writing this post to pay my respect and homage to him. Tomorrow will also be the inauguration for President Obama’s second term.
There will be a lot of references towards Dr.King Jr. and after seeing his niece Aveda King on TV talking about her uncle and criticizing the President and the Washington Establishment, I felt to write some thoughts of mine down about the hypocrisy of this current administration and politicians in general.
Pres. Obama is the most pro abortion President in history.
He is advocating gun control, because of the tragedy that happened in Newtown, Connecticut. Many young innocent children and adults got killed that day and people are mourning their senseless death. A truly sad day in America, but his proposals on gun control won’t change anything. Criminals do not abide by the law. They are law breakers by nature.
The President spoke much about Sandy Hook, Columbine and Colorado and other tragic events like the shooting in Ft Hood, which was deemed a workplace violence instead of what it really was a terrorist attack.
Yet, this President has no problems with millions of young innocent life’s killed since Roe vs Wade in 1973. He has changed position in his beliefs on abortions during the last campaign, ensuring votes from many of the female voters. Labeling it women’s rights.
Today, on Dr. Martin Luther King Day, we as a nation are celebrating the life and great achievements of this truly amazing leader.
Aveda King, the niece of MLK, spoke out against this hypocrisy on national TV. She said that many give lip service to Dr. King, but are doing the opposite of what he believed in and stood for.
Dr. King Jr. did not believe in this wide scale abortion or same-sex marriage. Those, in my opinion are not civil rights issues.
There is much hypocrisy in Washington on both side of the aisle. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be honored tomorrow and politicians will quote him, yet they are far from him.
Dr. King Jr. believed in and preached love, Agape love. He believed in the message of Jesus, the message of love.
The inauguration of Pres. Obama today, will sadly overshadow Martin Luther King Day.
Pres. Obama will use this day also to honor Dr. King, which is fine, but in all reality, I believe that MLK would not be pleased with the policies of this President, when it comes to the abortion issue or same-sex marriage. President Obama flipped flopped on many issues because of political reasons. He compromised for political gain.
Dr. King Jr. was real, he was a man of faith. He had convictions and he stuck to his convictions. He did not compromise on his beliefs and the word of God and what it teaches.
He would not be in agreement with the abortion of so many innocent children since 1973.
“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) That is the shortest verse in the entire Bible. Yet, those two words are so profound and powerful. Why did Jesus weep? Might it be because Jesus seeing Martha and Mary in such a grief and anguish over the loss of their beloved brother Lazarus? Jesus already knew that He would raise Lazarus in just a few moments, but He still wept.
I believe that Jesus felt compassion, seeing the grief death causes to those who have lost a loved one. Death is not natural and came into the world because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Their sin caused first of all spiritual death i.e. eternal separation from God, and secondly physical death. When God made Adam and Eve, He made them perfect, they were sinless and in communion with him. They had a relationship that was close and intimate, and I believe that they would have lived forever in eternity with God, if it were not for that one-act of disobedience. Just think about it, one sin and they were banished from the garden. God gave them the world and they forfeited it to Satan by their disobedience and listening to the deceiver rather than God. Sin brought forth death and with it dire consequences, the first murder, Cain killing his brother Abel.
I can just imagine how Adam and Eve must have felt seeing the death of Abel by his brother as a result of their sin. And as we know things got worse from there, being separated from God, people lived after the flesh and the works of the flesh are evident even today: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like (Gal 5:19-21).
I believe that at the time of Jesus, people had lost hope and Jesus seeing this wept out of compassion for them. People were lost and felt helpless. Jesus came for that very reason, to reconcile mankind to God, to die for the sin of the world and overcome death so that those who believe will have eternal life with God. Jesus loved Martha and Mary and He raised Lazarus from the dead, not only for their benefit but for ours also.
Jesus demonstrated His power even over death. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25, 26.
We may all die physically, but the spirit of the believers will be with Jesus at the moment of death. Mankind is lost and it is by the mercy and grace of God, that He has sent His only begotten Son to die in our place. When Jesus saw the anguish and pain in the faces of Martha and Mary, He wept for a moment, but knowing full-well that He a few days later would lay down His life for them. Jesus loves us so much that He became sin for us and willingly went to the cross and faced the wrath of God which was reserved for us. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves, He paid the price and appeased and reconciled us to God the Father.
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:17-19.
That is glorious news in which we as believers can rejoice in. Believers in Jesus Christ are justified before God and the righteousness of Christ was imputed onto them. We as believers have nothing to fear, death can not hold us and Satan has no more power over our lives (unless we let him). Just as Jesus wept over the condition of man, so should we have the heart of God for our fellow-man, the once that are lost and without hope. Seeing the condition of the world should bring us to tears, weeping as Jesus did. It should make us wanting to share the gospel the good news about Jesus and the salvation through Him. Do we have the compassion Jesus had for the lost? Are we willing to share with our friends and neighbors about the coming judgment, or are we just plainly satisfied with our own salvation? I hope that we all have a heart for the lost and are eager to share the gospel of truth with them.
I hope that we all have the heart of God, the compassion, the mercy, the love that He demonstrated for us by going to the cross. “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
Propitiation, is a word that many liberal Christians do not like at all. What is propitiation? The Greek word is “hilasterion” which means appeasing or expiating. Another meaning for the word propitiation can also be mercy-seat. Paul when writing to the Romans expounded on why the wrath of God would fall on all of mankind who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.He also makes the point that no one can be saved by the works of the law. The law could make no one righteous before God. The rabbinical teachers of Paul’s days taught that by keeping the law i. e. the Torah with its 613 commandments would save a person.Paul makes it very clear that no one can keep the law perfectly and that righteousness before God cannot be attained by the works of the law. “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Rom 3:20. Righteousness can only come by faith i.e. believing in God and His promises. There is not one righteous, no not one”.Paul writes: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…” Romans 3:9. Since there is none righteous before God and the works of the law cannot save a person, how than is someone saved? This is where the word propitiation comes in, God in His mercy and grace provided the atonement necessary to appease Him and justify the believer.“ But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Rom 3:21-26“whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, by His blood.” The phrase “by His blood” is to be taken in immediate connection with “propitiation.” Christ, through His expiatory death, is the personal means by whom God shows the mercy of His justifying grace to the sinner who believes. His “blood” stands for the voluntary giving up of His life, by the shedding of His blood in expiatory sacrifice, under Divine judgment righteously due to us as sinners, faith being the sole condition on man’s part.Liberal Christians are very uneasy about this wrath of God and that God needed to be appeased. Some of them even go so far to say that the God of the OT is an angry and blood thirsty God and so different from the God of the NT. Nothing could be further from the truth.The God of the OT is the same God of the NT. “For I am the LORD, I do not change…Mal 3:6. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Heb 13:8. God who is a just and righteous God has to punish sin, He cannot compromise or overlook sin. Otherwise He would not be a just Judge. In the OT before Christ, God judged people, nations and sin either directly or indirectly. In some cases God used Israel as His instrument through which the judgment came to the pagan nations that surrounded Israel.In other instances He brought the wrath directly i.e. the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the rebellion of Korah and others recorded for us in the OT. In the OT times God gave the nations many warnings through His prophets about His judgment if they would not turn from their sins. God was and is long-suffering, take for instance the Amorites, God waited 400 years before He judged them for their iniquities.“Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. “And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. “Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. “But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” Gen 15:13-16.God gave this prophesy to Abram before his son Isaac was even born. We need to keep one thing in mind when unbelievers make the argument that God is a blood thirsty cruel god, who loves to punish people and wipe them out. The nations that God punished in the OT, were the most vile and brutal people. They sacrificed their children on altars to their many gods or burned them. These pagan nations did many ungodly practices that offended the true and living God. Throughout the OT we can read about the judgments of God against these nations and their vile and evil practices, which are also recorded in secular historical writings.When we come to the NT, God through His Son Jesus the Messiah judged sin once and for all. The sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross paid for the sin of the world. There were no more blood sacrifices needed to atone for the sins of the people of Israel as instructed in the law given to Moses. God provided the sacrifice needed to appease Him and justice was served by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross.God did what Abraham told Isaac on mount Moriah, when God tested him and ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son. “But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” Gen 22:7, 8.This is a beautiful picture of what God did 2000 years later on the very same spot. God provided the sacrifice, His son as a propitiation for the sins of the people. The blood of Jesus was sufficient to pay the penalty of sin. The instituted blood sacrifices of animals were done away with, they could only cover sins, the blood of Jesus took away the sins once and for all. The price was paid in full. Believers in Jesus Christ are justified before God by faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. God looks at the believers through the blood of Christ and the believer is declared righteous before God because of what Jesus did for them. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves.It is the imputed righteousness of Christ that is imputed onto the believer. There is nothing that anyone can do to appease God, not by works or any other means. People must come through Jesus Christ, the propitiator, the appeaser that justifies the believer. For those who do not believe in the wrath of God and object the propitiation of Jesus, they will have no excuse at the time of the divine judgment. God has paid a very high price to redeem mankind, the precious blood of Christ.Those who reject will be judged accordingly and the wrath of God abides on them. These are not my words, but the words of Jesus: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-3, 14.
Some of the most beautiful passages in all of the Bible. Jesus, second person of the triune Godhead became one of us. God became flesh and dwelled (tabernacled) among us. That is something to meditate on and to grasp. Jesus, even before the foundation of the world already knew that He would become one of us and to voluntarily lay down His life for mankind.
“He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1Peter 1:20, 21.
Jesus came despite the fact that He would be rejected by His people, He came into the world as prophesied long before by the prophets. He became the suffering servant spoken of in Isaiah 53. It blows my mind, thinking about Jesus becoming one of us, because God’s love for us is so big that He gave His only begotten Son. “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.
God in the flesh, who died for the sin of the world. He was full of grace mercy and love. He demonstrated the love of God on the cross at Calvary. His ministry lasted only about 3 1/2 years and He healed the many sick and forgave their sins. He showed love to everyone, without any partiality.
Although He is God, at that time He humbled Himself. Paul put it this way: Let “this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Phl 2:5-8.
Jesus was in full obedience to the Father, fulfilling the plan of redemption for mankind. This humbleness is something to be behold and comprehend. Even the night before His death on the cross, Jesus was the servant. The disciple on many occasions, argued who would be the greatest among them. Jesus knew man’s heart and He gave the disciples an example that night, that they would never forget.
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 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.” John 13:3-5.
It was custom in the middle eastern culture to wash the feet of guest before entering the home. It was regarded however one of the lowest task. Here Jesus who is God in the flesh, stoops down and washes the feet of the disciples. I think they must have felt pretty bad, considering that they argued so many times about who’s being the greatest. Jesus was giving an illustration and He explained it to the disciples after Peter wanted no part of the washing, acting like he was so much more humble than the other disciples over there.
“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.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” John 13:8-15.
Jesus makes a point here, the believers in Him are already washed of their sins, being human however the believers will not be sinless in these earthly fleshly bodies. All of us who believe need our feet washed, the body is already clean but we walk in the filth of this world. If we do stumble or fall or step into some dirt, Jesus will wash our feet.
Oh, the humbleness of Jesus. I see many so-called servants of God today exalting themselves, the wear fancy religious outfits, giving themselves titles and have others bow down to them. The wear gold, purple robes and live a life of luxury, getting served and love to rule over the people. They are put in offices and exercising power over people. They drive around in a bullet proof car, allowing themselves to be worshiped. There are many that think very highly of themselves. That is not humble and a far cry from what Jesus demonstrated. Jesus my Lord and Savior who is God, humbled Himself. He left the glory of heaven to come down to this fallen world and to redeem man. He shed His blood for us, it is He who should be exalted and not these arrogant puffed up so-called religious leaders. Thank you Lord Jesus for your love and your mercy and grace. I bow my knees before you and thank for your sacrifice
and that by believing in you I will have eternal life and spend eternity with You.
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,..” 1Peter 5:6.
“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.
Christmas is right around the corner and every year we hear the same rhetoric. There is much opposition to this particular religious holiday from many people, secularist, atheist and others. Mainly from liberals that call for tolerance as long as it has nothing to do with Christianity, Jesus or the Bible.
Christianity is under attack in this country and this year the same people come forward to speak out against the name of Christmas, the Christmas tree and other Christian symbols. To be honest, personally I do not believe that Christmas as we know it was celebrated by the early church or that the early church used a Christmas tree to commemorate the birth of Christ.
I can’t find anything in the Bible that teaches the believers to celebrate Christmas i.e. the birth of Christ as we traditionally do in many places around the world. I do believe that it is a man-made holiday and that some aspects of it are rooted in ancient paganism, adopted by Constantine, who compromised with the world, mixing Christianity with Paganism.
Many books have been written about this subject and people have discussed this issue for many years. I don’t really care to go into too many details about this. Christmas has been a longstanding tradition and I’m not opposed to it.
Jesus wasn’t born on Dec 25th but since no one knows the exact date, the world settled on that date. The world celebrates Christmas and it has become nothing more than a commercial holiday, especially over the last few decades.
I participate in the celebration of Christmas with the family and the exchange of gifts etc. and I do enjoy a decorated tree in my living room, but I firmly believe that the only Holidays the Lord cares about are His seven divine appointed Feast which are: Passover, Unleavened bread, First fruits, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles. Three of the Feast are in the Spring and four in the fall. Some could argue that Jesus may have been born during the feast of Tabernacles.
Those are the Holidays that we should learn and care about. Whenever God has done great things, He has many times done them on His divine appointed times. Jesus was crucified on Passover, He was in the tomb for Unleavened bread and rose on First fruits. The Holy Spirit inaugurated the church age on Pentecost. I believe that the rapture will happen on the feast of trumpets, the world will be judged on Yom Kippur and God will dwell with us on the Feast of Tabernacles.
Once again we will celebrate Christmas this year almost like the world celebrates it, with the one difference that we think of Jesus Who became flesh, dwelled among us and took our sins and nailed them to the cross. We believe in Him by faith. Many Christians have Christmas trees in their homes and many churches display them these days. I used to have a problem with seeing a Christmas tree in the church, but I’m over it now.
Then there are those who believe that the tree is a pagan symbol and that the Bible speaks about it in the book of Jeremiah chapter 10. Louis Farrakhan, who I would not consider to be a biblical Christian in light of various statements he has made over the years and his antisemitic views. Farrakhan has come out again addressing the Christmas tree and points to a passage in Jeremiah. Many people have used these passages over the years to supposedly prove that God is against a decorated Christmas tree.
That of course is absolute nonsense and those passages have nothing to do with a Christmas tree or any other Christmas decorations. Here is another classic example showing how people use certain passages or verse to twist it in order to fit their agenda and ideology.
“For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright, like a palm tree, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good.” Jeremiah 10:3-5
Those verses clearly talk about people cutting a piece of wood, to make idols that they bowed down to and worshiped. The Israelites turned their backs many times on the Lord and worshiped pagan idols, decorating them with gold and silver. Many idols had a human likeness. Instead of worshiping and praising the true and living God, they bowed down to a dead piece of wood.
That is one thing God does not like, man making idols and bow down to them. Israel was punished many times because the turned to idols and today we as the church i.e the bride of Christ, need to be careful not to make idols or worship something that is not real. Some people worship wealth, material things and themselves. There are three things that we need to guard against, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life.
There is nothing wrong with having some nice things, as long as they do not come before God. The Christmas tree is not an idol and I have not seen anyone bowing down to the tree or worship the tree.
I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, a time to reflect and realize that God send His Son, Who humbled Himself and left Heaven to become one of us, God in the flesh.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.