Faith; a gift of God


faithNow faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1

Many people claim to have faith, faith in something or someone, but what is faith from a biblical perspective? Can faith be proven or can it be seen? God’s word says,  that the just shall live by faith and without faith it is impossible to please God.  Can a Christian prove his or her faith to an unbelieving world and how do we explain faith? Paul in writing to the church in Corinth writes: “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.” 1Cr 2:14 

Jesus in speaking to Nicodemus who came to Him at night said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 

Jesus is saying,  that without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life, there is no way for them to know God or to see things from a spiritual heavenly view. Unbelievers are blind to the things pertaining to God and His kingdom,  they cannot see beyond the human realm which the Bible calls the flesh. They go by their instincts, feelings and emotion that are purely  from a human level and not a divine level.

Most people live by what they can see touch or smell and they disregard faith as something childish or foolishness. Many Atheist are very outspoken these days about people of faith, especially the Christian faith. I like what Norman Geisler once said in his book: “I do not have enough faith to be an Atheist.” What is this faith within the believer, is it something that can be learned or can be earned by some kind of practice or ritual? Where does this faith come from?  Christians walk by faith, a faith that was not earned or attained. 

I believe that faith is a gift of God just as salvation is a free gift of God for those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Before anybody was a true believer and disciple of Christ, they walked in darkness just as everybody else. I came to Christ pretty late in life, at the age of 46 years. What took me so long, and why wasn’t I a believer much earlier in my life? Certainly I had heard about Jesus, and that He died on the cross for my sins.  I heard about His resurrection from the dead and that He promised eternal life to those who would believe and follow Him. I’m pretty sure that most people know John 3:16

It seems that knowing about Jesus and reading about Jesus is not enough. There are many people saying: “I think He was a good man and a great teacher.”  They put Him in the same category as Buddha, Krishna and others.  And that is as far as most people will go,  they refuse to come any closer towards the truth of God that would set them free. Why is there such hostility towards Christ?  Why would people not receive Christ by faith and the forgiveness of their sins by repenting of their former ways?  God’s promise is  forgiveness and eternal life. Could it be because there is no faith nor hope in them,  unless God draws them?  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Eph 2:8  
 
How come that some received grace and some not?  Did God predestined some to be saved and some not?  I do not believe that God has chosen some unto salvation and some to hell for eternity (although He knows in His foreknowledge who would come to Him and who not).  People have a free will to choose, and that those who reach out to God asking Him for forgiveness will be saved by His grace.  I can only go from my experience,  how I came to the Lord.  I can’t speak for others, everybody has their own unique story.  I’m not going into a long-winded story, but I had a severe alcohol problem, and my life was going downhill real fast.  I would go on binges days upon days drinking until I would be sick. I took me about a week to get better after these binges and a couple of weeks to get back to drinking resulting in another collapse. Well, long story short, one Sunday morning, May 14th 2006 to be precise, I hit rock bottom. I sat on my patio chair feeling pretty lousy and I remember as if it were today, I cried out to God saying, “please help me, I don’t want to be like this anymore, please God help me I am sorry.” From that moment on, my life completely changed, I was still feeling sick, but something happened, something I can’t fully explain. God took the desire of drinking away and I have not had a drink or desire to have a drink one ever since. 

That day God changed me, He transformed my life. There used to be twelve packs of beer in my car and Ozzy on my radio. That all changed that day,  I went and bought a Bible. Not knowing anything about which translation to get, the first Bible I bought was a NASB version. I’m using the NKJV now, but have others as well to get a better flavor on some passages. I was reading everyday and because I didn’t work at that time and spent all day and night reading God’s word. Looking back, I know that the moment I cried out to God that He saved me from a life of destruction, and the transformation within me started.

Did I have true faith at that early stage? To be honest I don’t know. What I do know is that reading the word of God brought me closer and closer to Him. I had a change of mind which came through His word. His word ministered to me. Reading the Bible and studying it, showed me without a doubt that I was reading the truth and that God had a wonderful plan for my life.  Faith came by reading the word of God just as it say’s it in the Bible. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom10:17
 
Today,  I have absolute faith in God. It is not a “blind faith” as many atheist like to call it. I know in my heart that God is the truth and that He is faithful. He keeps His promises, and one day I will see Him face to face. Can I prove faith to an unbeliever?  Maybe not, but I believe that faith can be shown by the conduct and behaviors of  Christians in the world.  Genuine faith brings forth good fruit.

Many will laugh at believers and mock them, but the genuine believers have a blessed hope of salvation and eternal life. They have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, something the unbeliever searches for but will not find apart from God.  Jesus explained why many will resist Him and fight tooth and nails against His Lordship: “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

The unbelievers are already condemned because they do not want to acknowledge God.  Many want to keep living in darkness, they want to live a life without being accountable to anyone. They love the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life.

Hope


In 1957 Dr. Richter of John Hopkins Medical School did an experiment on laboratory rats. He placed a few rats in a cylinder filled with water and placed the rats into the water. Frantically the rats were trying to stay afloat, resulting in them drowning within a few minutes. The next day Dr. Richter placed some more rats into the water, he waited just before they started drowning, and pulled them out of the water for just a few moments, he placed them back into the water, this time the rats stayed afloat for more than three days. Why? Because they had hope, they were rescued once before from certain death by drowning.

The rats had hope, a savior in the form of a hand. It was hope that made them continue to stay above the water, waiting for the hand to once again pull them to safety. Hope is something that we as Christians have, hope of eternal life because of a Savior Who saved us from drowning and certain death. Hope is a beautiful thing and as Christians we have a sure hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Rom 5:1-5

As Christians, we are to live by faith, not sight, feelings or emotions, we know that Christ died for us, cleansed us from all sin and gave us eternal life through faith. That is a faith and hope that the heathens don’t have. We as believers have the Holy Spirit within us who testifies to us of this truth. We can face any kind of trial, tribulations and hardships, knowing that God will uphold us by the power of His Spirit. As long as we abide in Christ and seek His wisdom, guidance and direction for our daily life we have a hope, a blessed hope that will not disappoint. God has promised the believers to never leave them nor forsake them. Joshua 1:5

We are never alone, in times of despair, He is there, in times of trouble, He is there, in times of tribulations, He is there to lift us up and pulls us out of the water. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” 1Th 2:19

Unlike the first batch of rats that drowned fanatically without hope, so will the people who reject Christ drown in the judgment of God, unlike the Christians who were saved by the mighty hand of God, these unbelievers have no hope of eternal life. Christ has given us a hope and peace that surpasses all understanding, the world is frantic, almost hopeless, they are drowning and most don’t even know it. It is my hope and prayer that we as believers would feel the need to pray for the lost. God does not want anybody to perish but come to repentance. Let us be good witnesses and tell them about the hope that we as believers have. This world as we know will come to an end, things will change dramatically in the very near future. The Bible tells us what is going to happen, we have the comfort of God’s word for the believer, let us warn people of the danger to come and save those who want to listen to us from drowning and certain death, (spiritual death).

“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.” 1Peter 1:3-5

The Muslim Dilemma


As Christians we have many opportunities to come in contact with Muslims, maybe at Starbucks, the grocery store or at work. It is not very tough these days to meet them. They are our neighbors, colleagues and fellow citizen of this great nation. Because so many people from different parts of the world with various backgrounds and different beliefs have come to this country,  makes it much easier for us to share what we believe as Christians. We don’t necessarily have to travel abroad on mission trips. I do respect and admire those who do have the calling of God to go out into the world. God has brought many of them right here to America, from Europe, China, Asia and of course the Middle East.  In the past I had plenty of conversations with Muslims, some of them were moderates almost secular and some of them very religious following the Quran. It is always exiting and interesting to me, starting up a conversation about God and faith.

I like to share my faith when the opportunity arises, and as Paul said: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Gentiles).  Rom 1:16.

In the past I  have tried to show them that the Bible is the true word of God versus the Quran. That Jesus was and is more than just a prophet of God.  But those conversation never really went anywhere. Most Muslims have made up there mind that the Bible is corrupted and the Quran is the true book and that Muhammad  is the greatest prophet of God.  Most of these conversations or debates just go back and forth without any real outcome or a changed mind on either side. I believe that we have to go to the fundamentals, one of them is the subject of a just God.

Asking Muslims about Allah and how they view him, they will answer most likely with that Allah is just. Allah is a just god. My second question to them is, I am a sinner and you are a sinner, both of us will die and one day and stand before God to face judgment. If Allah is just, how do you as a Muslim have assurance to make into paradise?  If Allah is a just god, he has to punish sin, he cannot let sin go unpunished.

Most likely the answer is that Allah is also merciful. That is what Muslims believe. Allah is just and at the same time merciful.  If sin demands justice i.e. the punishment for the offense, how can Allah be just and at the time be merciful. If Allah is just and merciful at the same time, would he not compromise being just? 

It would be like a criminal found guilty before the jury for his crime and the judge saying, well I feel really good this morning, I will let you off the hook. That judge would not be just. He would have compromised justice. Some may argue that they can be merciful and just let someone go. That is a human perspective and many people may think that way, but none of them or any of us for that matter know true righteousness. If Allah is a just god, he cannot be just and merciful at the same time. And that in my view is a dilemma for the Muslims.

A dilemma, because Muslims cannot be sure if they are good enough to make it into paradise. There is no loving relationship with Allah. So they try to weigh out the good and bad they have done, in hope that Allah will be merciful and let them into Paradise.

That is another reason that we see so many suicide bombers. For them according to the radical Islamist, it’s a short cut and assured entry into paradise where they will be welcomed by 72 virgins.

Do Christians have the same dilemma as the Muslims? The Bible clearly teaches the God is just and cannot let sin go unpunished. God is also perfect in His Holiness and a perfect God cannot compromise His justness. The Bible declares that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all have offended God, no matter who we are or from where we are, we all have fallen short i.e. missed the mark. How can God be appeased? How can we get a right standing before Almighty God?

The Bible says that we cannot come before God and stand on our own righteousness or by our works. The Bible also says that the law cannot make us righteous and save us from the wrath of God. What are we to do, how can we escape the punishment for our sins?  May I say, nothing? God has provided a way out, and that way is Jesus Christ.

God in His foreknowledge has determined long ago before the foundation of the world that He would send His only begotten Son. Jesus Christ is the propitiation i.e. satisfaction or appeasement for our sins.  Jesus who knew no sin became sin for the sinners. He suffered on the cross and paid the penalty that we deserved as sinners with His blood.  Justice was served without God compromising His justness, and because the penalty for the sin of the world was paid in Christ, God by His grace showed mercy to those who will believe by faith in His Son Jesus. God loves us so much that He provided, the unblemished passover lamb, the only acceptable sacrifice and payment for fallen man.

The God of the Bible YHWH is truly just and merciful without compromising His perfect Holiness. For a Christian there is no dilemma, God is Holy,  just and merciful to those who believe in His Son and His finished work on the cross.

The Islamic faith however has a dilemma, and if you are a Muslim, you have to ask yourself this question: How can Allah be just and at the same time be merciful? Do I have assurance of eternal life?

“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

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Eph 1:3-6

The Christian Dilemma


“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel…Phl 1:27

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Phl 2:1, 2

When Paul made these statement to the Church in Philippi, division and false teaching had already crept into the churches. Paul exhorted the believers to be like-minded and to be of one spirit and of one mind. Just as in the past, we see much division in the body of Christ today. We have denominations that vary in doctrine i.e. teachings. Some are so liberal that they deny the inerrancy of the scriptures. Pastors today preach a seeker friendly message from the pulpit in order not to offend anybody.

Many are driven by the prosperity gospel, thinking God is a ATM machine and others have embraced the “green gospel”.  Paul and the other apostles had to deal with a lot of false teachers, deceivers and heretics. Looking at Christianity today around the world, the picture is not much different. Some churches have completely departed from the faith, denying sin, denying the deity of Christ His blood sacrifice on the cross and they do not want to talk about hell at all. The goal is to make people comfortable and cozy by preaching a watered down gospel, which really is no gospel at all.

I heard someone say once that if John Wesley, who founded the Methodist church, would preach a sermon today,  he would be kicked out of his own church. There are so many divisions within the church today that it can get very confusing to the unbelievers who may be seeking God and instead are getting bombarded with different doctrines. How is it that if we all read the same book, come up with so many different opinions, views and teachings? Are we not suppose to have the same Holy Spirit living within us and teachings us all the same truth? How is it that some that call themselves Christians come up with false teachings, taking scriptures and twisting them to fit their own theology?

Could it be that many that claim to be Christians never really study the Bible and rather listen with itching ears what others teach? They follow men rather than the word of God. They call themselves Calvinist, Armenians, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons and the list goes on and on. Every one of them claims to have the truth, but obviously are not of the same mind and spirit as Paul exhorted us to be. The Bible is the infallible word of God and the absolute truth, by which we must abide. It is the responsibility of every believer to study the Bible and to know the word, so that they would not listen to false teachings or getting trapped into legalism.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2Timothy 2:15

Paul is making it very clear, we as believers need to study the word with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth and if we do we will not listen to false doctrine. We who know the word will not be lead astray from the truth and we will have the knowledge to defend the truth against those who are contrary to the teaching of the Bible.  The institution of the Roman Catholic Church kept the people in darkness for over 1100 years, telling the people that they can not understand the Bible and that they need to be taught by the priest, rather than reading and learning for themselves. Until today, most Roman Catholics don’t know the Bible.

Many believers in other denominational churches are in the same boat, because they are not getting encouraged by their pastors to read and study the Bible. I believe that knowing the word of God, by studying and attending a Bible believing and teaching church is crucial to every believer. If not, many that confess to be Christian can easily be drawn into false teachings and liberal views and there is a  danger to fall into the hands of a cult or legalistic oriented church. These false fellowships are all over the place and many are drawn to these movements like the Toronto blessings, the Holy laughter movement, the emergent church headed by Brian McLaren and Rob Bell and the many seeker friendly, make me feel good churches. The Christian dilemma is that we look divided, striving with one another and are not of the same mind and spirit. To the outsider, the churches do appear to be divided and striving against each other.

That is not what the Bible teaches. We as believers are the body with Christ being the head of His church. We are to follow Christ and His teachings and not the teachings of men. Do we trust and believe in Men or do we put our faith and trust solely in Christ Jesus?

“For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” 1Cr 1:11-13

Just as in Paul’s days, today we have many that follow certain men and their teachings rather than being one and all in Christ. Christ is all-sufficient and we do not need anybody to lead us into the truth. God has given us His truth and it is not hidden or in secret for some select people. God wants us to know the truth and it is revealed in His word. Christians, I exhort you to read and study God’s word, the word of truth.

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31, 32

Jesus or Muhammad?


Muslims around the world believe that Muhammad and Jesus/ Issa were prophets of God. The Muslims however regard Muhammad as the greater prophet.

My question to my Muslim friends is, if Muhammad was the greatest prophet, why was there no prophesy given of his coming? Not even one? The first coming of Jesus was prophesied long beforehand by the prophets of God in the Holy Scriptures. There are more than 300 prophesies concerning the first coming of the Messiah Jesus i.e. Yahshuah which means “God is salvation”. there are over 300 prophesies that were fulfilled by the Messiah. Why is there not one prophesy concerning the greatest prophet of them all, Muhammad? I find that very odd.

If God or Allah as the Muslims call him gave us so much information in His Holy Book about Jesus, why not once did He give us any indications of the coming of Muhammad? If we compare Jesus and Muhammad, we find that Jesus performed miracles. He healed the sick, made the blind see. He cast out demons and raised the dead. He set the captives free. He rebuked nature. He forgave sins, something only God can do. To top it all off, He died for the sinners by shedding His own blood on the cross. He than raised Himself from the dead and ascended to heaven. He overcame death and defeated sin. He promised that those who would believe in Him would have their sins forgiven and have eternal life, to be for eternity in Heaven with Him.

Did Muhammad do any miracles at all, did he heal the sick, made the blind see? Did he raise the dead, was he able to forgive sins? When Muhammad died did he raise himself and ascended to heaven? Jesus’ tomb is empty. Muhammad’s bones are still in his tomb in the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet) in the city of Medina. Muhammad thought that he was demon possessed. Jesus cast out demons. Jesus who was sinless taught His disciple and followers to, “love one another as I have loved you”. He came as prophesied to die for the sin of the world. He who knew no sin became sin for us. He gave His life because God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son. Muhammad on the other hand conquered with the sword and killed those who would not convert to Islam. Muhammad did not teach love but hate. Many Muslims would say that their religion is a religion of peace. Looking at the world and the history of Islam, I think it is quite the opposite.

Jesus came to give us eternal life and peace. As Christians we know that we have eternal life through Christ because of His sacrifice and our faith in His finished work. Ask any Muslim if he or she will go to heaven, and they are not sure if they will. They don’t know if they are good enough to apeace Allah. That to me is no security at all. The Bible, the word of God gives the Christians assurance of their salvation. Salvation is a gift of God by His grace through faith and faith alone. No one can be saved by doing good works or by working themselves into heaven, trying their best to somehow please God and hopefully God will accept their good works. God clearly said: “They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.” Psalm 14:3. And in another place He said: “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6

No one, none of us can stand on his or her own righteousness, God regards our righteousness as filthy rags. Thanks be to God who imputed the righteousness of Christ onto the believers. Christians stand in the righteousness of Christ and not on their own. How glorious is that? My Muslim friend, consider Father Abraham. He believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness as it is written in the good book: “And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6.

The Apostle Paul addresses justification through faith in his epistle to the Romans:

“For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Romans 4:13.

“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:20-22.

Paul goes on to say that it was not only imputed onto Abraham but to all that come by faith: “Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” Romans 4:23-25.

Believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior justifies the sinner before God. It is not what we have done, but what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus cleanses the sinner from all unrighteousness. King David knew this very well after his sin with Bathsheba: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1, 2.

The blood of Jesus was sufficient for the to the Father. He has forgotten every sin that was committed and He will not remember them. “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear (reverence) Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:11,12.

My Muslim friend do you have that kind of assurance from Allah and his prophet Muhammad in the Quran? Can Muhammad give you forgiveness and eternal life? Can he wash your sins away and cleanse you from all unrighteousness? If you are not sure that you will go to heaven, don’t you think that is pretty risky not knowing were you will end up? Consider Jesus/Issa and His words. He is the only one that can reconcile you or anyone to the Father. He is the only way to the Father. But we must come through Him. I pray that you my Muslim friend would pick up the Bible the holy scriptures of God and get to know Jesus. Why He came and why He will come again for the believer and set up His kingdom here on earth. Not knowing were you are going for eternity, either heaven or hell, does that not scare you? Read the word of God and you will find Him. He will reveal Himself to you because He loves you and does not want you to perish.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

“Jesus Wept”


“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

Peaceful Christianity?


DrRowan-WilliamsThroughout Church history there have been times of peace. The early apostolic church suffered from very heavy persecutions under Nero, who was trying to wipe out the church and killed many, but instead of wiping out the church, the church grew. The early church continued suffering persecution until Constantine embraced Christianity. Unfortunately Constantine compromised with the world and kept many of the pagan symbols and customs of various religions in order to unite all people under the banner of Christianity.

At that time there was relative peace in the Empire and the known world. When the Roman Catholic church came into existence in the 4th century, there was relative peace, but they also lorded over the people and kept them in darkness. People didn’t have Bibles on their own to read and they followed whatever the Pope and the Priest would tell them, many things that had and have no biblical grounds and it was taught in Latin. In the pre- reformation period, the Roman Catholic Church persecuted and killed those who translated the Bible into English.

Later with the reformation at the time of Luther, many suffered persecution and death. The reformation gave the word of God back to the people into their own hands. People were finally able to read the Bible in their own language and they learned from it that salvation is by God’s mercy and Grace. Luther re-introduced the biblical teaching that was lost, that “the just shall live by faith.” Something that the Roman Catholic Church did not teach then and even until today. They still teach that salvation is based on works, good behavior and continues membership in the Roman Catholic Church.

There always have been some kind of persecutions throughout the history of the church. In the 20th century alone, more Christians have been persecuted and killed worldwide then in the 19 previous centuries. Christian are persecuted in the Middle East, Africa, China and many other places. In the US for example there is relative peace to worship and live as a Christian at this time, which may change in the future. The problem with “peaceful Christianity” is that it can lead some Christian’s to become complacent and comfortable.

The believers that are persecuted worldwide, live out their faith, even unto death. The church has always grown under persecution. For example here in the US we have Bibles, we have technology to reach the world, but for whatever reason, there are still many unreached people. Why is that? Have we become comfortable and complacent? Unless someone goes into those unreached areas and preaches the gospel, how will they know about Jesus and the free gift of salvation?  Many sit in the pews on Sunday’s and think, well, that was my service for the Lord and they go on with their busy lives during the week.

That maybe peaceful but at the same time very comfortable and complacent.  Jesus Himself said this: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33.

There can be peace for a Christian, but that also means that they may have compromised with the world. If anyone anywhere in the world lives and proclaims the name of Jesus and teaches biblical principles, he or she will face some kind of persecution on way or another,  either from the government, religious leader and people in general.

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2Timothy 3:12.
Here is a so-called Christian (I chose him just as an example) that has compromised the Gospel and compromised with the world: The Archbishop of Canterbury. “Dr Rowan Williams also criticized Christianity’s history for its violence, its use of harsh punishments and its betrayal of its peaceful principles.” That in part is true, I can not make any excuse for the history of the Church, some terrible things were done in the name of the Lord.

But were those crusaders real biblical Christians? Or the inquisitions led by the Roman Catholic church, real biblical Christianity? I think not. Many horrible things have been done throughout the history by the organized church. Just because someone or a denomination calls themselves Christian, does not necessary make it so. Jesus never told His followers to kill and overthrow governments or persecute those who do not agree with certain dogmas. He said: “love your enemy, do good to those who hate you”.

Dr Rowan Williams also said the Christian belief in the Trinity; “that God is Father, Son and Holy Ghost at the same time – “is difficult, sometimes offensive, to Muslims”.
“Trinitarian doctrine conflicts with the Islamic view that there is just one all-powerful God.”

Considering his influence as a church leader, maybe he could reach out to the Muslim leadership and community and explain why Christians believe in a triune Godhead i.e. the Trinity. The concept of the triune nature of God is found in the very first page of the Bible in the book of Genesis. We as Christians believe in One God, we are monotheist. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation through Him alone is offensive to many, including Islam, Atheist who really are Anti-theist and many that do not want to believe or are blinded by the god of this age.  

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1Cr 1:18.

We can either compromise with the world, being quiet trying not to offend anyone, or we can speak the truth in love to those who will perish without the Son. Let us pray that many around the world would have their eyes opened through the love of Christ. It is all about Jesus, not a church or denomination, we follow Jesus, not the teachings and opinions of man.

The humbleness of Jesus


“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.

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