Archive for the ‘love’ Category

But, How Do We Love?

March 13, 2018

Here’s a question to answer:

Do we love (someone/others) because (______________ ) (fill in the blank)?

When first falling in love with someone, can it be “like breathing?”

Because of great “chemistry?”

 

Or,  do we love (someone/others) although (______________) (fill in the blank)?

Often, the thought that “we love although” happens when others hurt us.

I put that question in a search engine to see if it had been addressed elsewhere online, but after going seven pages deep, I did not find that exact phrase, however, I did find something close to it.  Lo and behold, it was written at a link to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.

The question was written specifically, but the answer was more valuable because it was written as a general answer to that person’s question.

Here is a copy of the question:

I’ve heard that the Bible tells us to love others, but everyone in our family agrees that one of our cousins is impossible to love. He’s obnoxious and conceited, and no one likes being around him. How can you love someone you don’t like?

Here is a copy of the answer:

Yes, the Bible certainly tells us to love others, even if they aren’t very lovable! When Jesus was asked which were the most important of God’s laws, He summarized them in two commands: to love God, and to love others (see Mark 12:28-34).

But what does it mean to love others? All too often, I’m afraid, we confuse liking someone with loving them. In other words, we think loving someone is similar to liking them, only much stronger. And this isn’t necessarily wrong, as far as it goes; a husband (for example) should genuinely like his wife and enjoy being in her company.

Does this mean we can’t love someone who’s difficult to like? No, it doesn’t, not if we understand the kind of love God has for us. God loves us not because we’re perfect, or even likeable, because we aren’t. We fall far short of what He wants us to be, yet the Bible says He still loves us. And unlike our love for others, His love means He always wants what’s best for us, although we don’t deserve it.

This is the way God wants us to love others — by seeking what’s best for them. No, your cousin may not be likeable, but have you ever asked God to change him? Have you ever gone out of your way to show love for him, even if he doesn’t deserve it? Open your heart and life to Christ’s transforming love. Then remember: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

 

I love you this much!

~ Jesus

Hat tip: Billy Graham.org.

Leaders Can Be Either a Blessing or a Punishment

January 12, 2017

Yesterday, I had some time in the morning to watch the hearing on Rex Tillerson’s appointment to be the next Secretary of State.  I wasn’t able to watch all of it (had to go for a follow-up root canal appointment…ugh!), but what I did watch and then observe through news broadcasts later made me both proud of Tillerson and absolutely cringe at his detractors!  It was expected that the Dems would try to trip up Rex and rip his nomination bid apart.  But when a GOPe harpylike devourer Rubio comes along and tries to act more intelligent than the nominee (but then gets destroyed by Tillerson’s great response) it’s even more painful to watch.

Marco Rubio needs to grow up…A LOT…before he ever runs for president again. On second thought, I don’t think he should ever run for president!

Tillerson’s response to all of his detractors yesterday (at least the ones I saw before I watched Trump’s press conference) were all brilliant!
I wonder…how many readers here and others are noticing what I have noticed? I now see many (not all) politicians as ignorant or definitely biased in either their thinking or ideology; whereas those who have been successful in business (like Trump and Tillerson) have much more intelligence, savvy, knowledge and proper demeanor on how the world REALLY is and how to work successfully with our allies! They also have the smarts to not jump to conclusions regarding our enemies and are more thoughtful and wise in how to deal with them.

Perhaps it has been the eight long years of hubris and deceit under Barry’s BADministration that has caused many politicians to lose their minds?!  But I think that it probably is more likely that they were really on the other side and “secretly” agreed with Barry and HiLIARy.  Unconscionable…to say the least!

God saw fit to enable Trump to win the presidency.  However, should we go so far as this man (now deceased – God rest his soul) did in his “prophetic” ideas regarding Trump?

See: WND: Did This Man Predict Trump Presidency in 2007?

I liked one response written by “Informed” to the article that reads:

Informed • an hour ago

God is sovereign. He grants us leaders to be a blessing and a punishment. Whether Trump is more blessing or more punishment will not be known for a long time. I pray he brings much more respect for God’s moral truth, some good sense and efficiency to our delusional, self worshiping, wasteful and inefficient federal government.

Yes.  We will have to wait and see whether Trump will be “more a blessing or more punishment.”  We have already experienced punishment via the outgoing BADministration!  I second “Informed’s” prayer and sentiment!

It will be very interesting to see what an ordinary American businessman can achieve in the position of President of the United States.  A majority of Americans are absolutely fed up with career politicians who make promises that they don’t ever intend to keep!

Career politicians (like John McCain) are being revealed for what they are…in government for their own gain!   See Lame Cherry’s latest post about McCain!  Chilling…

Hat tips to all links.

*******

1Pe 2:4

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

1Pe 2:5

you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1Pe 2:6

Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”[fn]

1Pe 2:7

Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,[fn]

“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”[fn]

1Pe 2:8

and

“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”[fn]
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

1Pe 2:9

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

1Pe 2:10

who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

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One Thing Remains…

Commenter suggests: I should “apologize to all the people [I’ve] lied to over the years, and then shut down this blog.”

May 1, 2016

A commenter here at this blog took issue with what was written in this post and then proceeded to suggest that I “apologize to all the people [I’ve] lied to over the years, and then shut down this blog.”

Since this person has been commenting at several sites I have had over the course of ten years, I asked him:

But then…if I did as you requested…what would you do with yourself when you no longer have me here to give you the opportunity to rail against the True God of the Bible?

Luk 10:16
“He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

When Jesus was asked “who is my neighbor?”

See Luke 10:29-37

Back to my comment:

I was awoken last night at 11:30 p.m. because one of our dogs was agitated and barking. He most likely heard a coyote howling in a nearby yard. I turned on the outside lights, waited a bit, looked around the yard with my flashlight and then let the dogs out to do their business. Sometimes it’s difficult to go back to sleep after that, so while I made myself a cup of tea, I checked my email and saw his comment.

[Note: Visitors can scroll down and read the entire comment HERE.]

This is what I thought about saying to him while I was drinking my tea last night:

Wow…for someone who holds equal hatred towards the True God of the Bible (and rejects His Son, Jesus Christ for salvation) as well as the false god of Islam, how could you know what true, genuine, agape love is and what is required of us in return?

Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

Jeremiahs 17:10 – I, the LORD search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

About the love issue.  The Bible tells us:

Jhn 15:13
 
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

 

Continuing with what I wrote in answer to that comment:

 

Rejection of this greater love puts you and all who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in the same boat.

As for the likes of Zuckerberg? I would never trust a person like him who labels his so-called “followers” on FB as “dumb f***s” and plays “god” over them by manipulating them in various ways via the site; as well as his blatantly evil use of employees to be told to spy on FB users and misuse his “authority” in order to control their free speech as well as dismissing their privacy concerns.

The pride of life is the oldest sin in the world. It is especially egregious when it’s used against God and used as a weapon against His redeemed.

I would suggest that you also read Jeremiah 17:11-13.

Jeremiah 17:14 has some advice for both you and him.

This morning, I watched the final sermon in an awesome series about “The Seven Churches of the Revelation” by Dr. David Jeremiah entitled, A Look Into Heaven.

I am often amazed that the Lord provides for me the right answers to situations that I encounter.  I am humbled when He graciously leads me to His Word to counter statements that non-believers might say or write against me.

In this instance where you would accuse me of “going off the rails” and tell me “to apologize and shut this blog down,” I’d have to say that the look into heaven that I heard this morning gave me an even better perspective (and answer) than the one that I just shared above. God has a great way of doing that for His own!

Now, I’m sure that you would not take the time to watch the entire segment. But I place a link to it here for anyone who reads this thread and would like to view and hear the sermon. Dear readers! If you do take the time – you will be truly blessed today!!!

I came away from hearing and listening to that particular sermon and the following verses came to my mind.  They certainly compliment the Scriptures that have already been shared and add far more wisdom than my initial response.   I praise my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for enabling the Holy Spirit to lead my mind to them!

Pro 1:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Psa 111:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.

Pro 9:10

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Hat tips to all links.

Mary Did You Know?

December 28, 2015

One of the most beautiful songs ever written about Jesus Christ is “Mary Did You Know?”  It not only covers the birth of Christ but includes the future miracles done by our Messiah and the purpose for which he came to us in the form of a pure Child to save people from their sins.

 

If video doesn’t play here, please view on Youtube:

Mary Did You Know? by Pentatonix.

 

This video has been viewed over 57 million times!

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]
Mary did you know that your baby boy will some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

[Verse 2]
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

[Verse 3]
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I Am!

What ever information Mary had, or did not have, we know what her two responses and one question was to the angel who came to her with the glorious news.

Luk 1:26

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,

Luk 1:27

to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

Luk 1:28

And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” [fn]

Luk 1:29

But when she saw him, [fn] she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

Luk 1:30

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Luk 1:31

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.

Luk 1:32

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

Luk 1:33

“And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Luk 1:34

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

Luk 1:35

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Mary’s response?

Luk 1:38

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Truly a woman of great faith! The end result would be that her Baby Boy that she delivered would one day deliver her – as well as all who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

This is not only a beautiful Christmas song – it is a song that reminds us daily of our desperate need for Jesus who saves people from their sins.

Another woman (Elizabeth) of great faith (who was filled with the Holy Spirit) had the following verses to say to Mary when her baby (John the Baptist) leaped in her womb upon the greeting of Mary!

Luk 1:39

Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,

Luk 1:40

and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.

Luk 1:41

And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luk 1:42

Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

Luk 1:43

“But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Luk 1:44

“For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luk 1:45

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

It was after Elizabeth spoke with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that Mary understood much more!

Luk 1:46

And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

Luk 1:47

And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Luk 1:48

For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.

Luk 1:49

For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.

Luk 1:50

And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.

Luk 1:51

He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Luk 1:52

He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.

Luk 1:53

He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.

Luk 1:54

He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,

Luk 1:55

As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

One comment sums it all up quite well:

dotrocka1 Dec 30, 2014 at 8:38 pm

It has become increasingly clear to me that at the cross, every aspect of the character of God, His holiness, His righteousness, His justice, His wrath, His love, His mercy, His grace, all converged at one point in time, accomplishing our redemption. Between this awareness and the song, Mary Did You Know, This Christmas I was in a nearly constant state of worship. It’s too big to put into words, but thank you for this song that sums up the purpose of Christ’s coming so well.

Amen!

Little Miracles

December 22, 2015

 

Have you ever seen, heard of, or experienced a spiritual message from God?  I have!   They are not easily forgotten and when I share them with other believers, they often share a little miracle with me that had happened to them.

Today, a blogger in my Reader feed shared how prayer healed a young girl of a tumor. Now THAT’S a huge miracle! Praise God and His Son, Jesus Christ, for that answer to prayer!

I have experienced both little miracles and spiritual messages in my life. When I shared my journey to Christ years ago at my former blog, I left out an early miracle that had happened when I was a teenager.

I lived in N.J. back then. Shortly after getting my license to drive, I asked my parents if I could take the old station wagon down the shore with one of my female friends from high school. They said no. My parents went away that weekend and so I decided to disobey them and drive down the shore anyway.

As I recall, the houses that we visited were filled with drunk teenagers and it wasn’t much fun. My friend was hoping to find this guy that she was crazy about, and I don’t recall whether or not he was at any of the parties we attended. I knew that I would be driving to the house where we would stay the night so I didn’t drink alcohol. By the time my friend was ready to leave, it was 1:00 a.m. and it was raining.

I was driving through a green lighted intersection on a divided highway.   The road had two lanes in each direction. I was chatting with my friend, looking straight ahead when all of a sudden she turned to look at me and grabbed my arm, pulling me hard over towards her seat. Suddenly, we were hit broadside on my driver’s side with a loud crashing sound!   We  began spinning around on the slick highway. I was screaming! It felt like an eternity before the car banged up against the right side curb and came to a stop. I continued to scream and cry.  My friend was hurt. She had hit the windshield with her forehead and a little blood trickled down her face. Glass was strewn about inside the car.  Her knee banged up under the passenger side dash board. We sat there for the longest time waiting for someone to come along and get us out of the car. The station wagon was totaled in the crash! I can still remember sitting on the curb weeping and saying, “my parents are going to kill me!” I worried more and more about what they would say and do once they found out that I had disobeyed them and had taken the station wagon down the shore when they had forbid me not to.

When the police and paramedics arrived, I recall hearing several of them saying, “It’s a miracle that the driver wasn’t killed.” This made me shudder in the rain and cold night air even more! My friend Debbie was taken to the hospital as a precaution for observation. Hours later, my parents showed up to take me home. Of course, they were very glad that I wasn’t seriously hurt. My neck bothered me a bit and my back ached days later, but there was not a scratch on me.

The next day, the man at the repair shop where the station wagon was towed gave my dad his evaluation. It was totaled. Then, he said something else. “It’s a miracle that the driver of this car wasn’t killed.”

I had heard this several times and now it was irking me! I wasn’t a born again Christian yet at this point in my life.  Within my teenage arrogant thoughts at the time I said to myself, “why is everyone saying that?!”

Years later, I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I started to look at this incident in a completely different way. I realized that if Debbie had not been looking my way, she would have never seen the car running the red light and heading towards the station wagon. I also thought about the fact that seat belts were not mandatory yet back in the 1970’s. This was another reason why I wasn’t killed. Debbie was able to grab me and pull me across the bench seat towards her so that the mangled side of the wagon didn’t impale me. Being an old vehicle, the steel frame that separated the front from the back seats took the brunt of the impact. However, if I had been in the driver seat instead of pulled away by my friend, that v-shaped steel frame would have gone right into my flesh.

I know. Some people may not consider this a “miracle,” but I do. I think that one of God’s angels was in the car that night, protecting me from deadly harm! Of course I can’t prove this, but recalling all of the events of that horrible night causes me to pause and thank the Lord for His mercy and protection!

Another incident and one of the most riveting moments of my life happened when my dad was dying of mesothelioma – an inoperable lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. You can read about that in my Remembering Dad post.

I often thought, why did God spare me and not others? Was it because He knew that my journey to Christ was down the road of my life and for this reason He protected me during that dreadful accident? Was it because my destiny was laid out for me and I was meant to marry, have two children, and (so-far) one grandchild?

These are questions that we can only answer with faith on this side of heaven! If you read my journey to Christ, you would have seen that my life included some tragic circumstances.

Jesus told us:

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you willfn have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Galatians 5 informs us that the fruit of the Spirit does contain one negative – that of longsuffering.

Gal 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal 5:23

gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Gal 5:24

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Gal 5:25

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The ultimate end of the suffering portions of my life was that God saw me through them and they all actually ended up strengthening my faith in Christ!

There is a quote from Dr. David Jeremiah that seems appropriate to share here. He said:

“God’s man or woman in the center of God’s will is immortal until God is finished with him or her.”

I think that Jeremiah’s quote is in line with Roman’s 8.

Our lives on this earth are but a brief moment in time compared to eternity! As Isaiah 64:6 tells us, “we all fade as a leaf” in our earthly existence.   Yet, Romans 8:37-39 tells us the rest of the story because Christ is our ultimate hope!

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In closing, I want to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers and visitors to this blog a Merry and Blessed Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

In Christ’s service,

~Christine

Hat tips to all links.

There’s One Way to Peace…

September 15, 2015

This morning, I ran across a worship song and music video that sounded vaguely familiar.  However, the lyrics were a bit different.

Then, I recalled that another longer version of the song was often sung at the church’s children’s AWANA program!  I was an AWANA leader for three years back when my now-adult daughter attended.   It has probably been over 20 years since I have heard this beautiful song!

If the music video does not play at this blog, please go to the Youtube link:

Youtube: His Banner Over Me is Love.

The children’s version contained the following additional lyrics:

The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love,
There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love,
There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

*******

Yes!  There IS ONE WAY TO PEACE – and it is through Jesus Christ and the power of the Cross!

The text from the song comes from the Song of Solomon:

Sng 2:4

The Shulamite to the Daughters of Jerusalem
He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.

The beautiful commentary HERE describes how this Scripture applies to Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom for eternity, and His Church – the Bride.

The banqueting table spoken of in the song can also be applied towards the future marriage supper of the Lamb as recorded and described in Revelation 19.
Rev 19:9

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

 

Hat tips to all links.

The most thought provoking blog comment ever

September 9, 2015

That is a terrific comment! Beautifully biblical, uplifting, and Christ centered!

One For Israel.Org Is Bringing The Gospel Of Jesus Christ To All The Land Of Israel

August 4, 2015

Geoffrey Grider over at Now The End Begins blog has shared some wonderful information regarding a group of Christian evangelists working in Israel to help both Jews and Arabs come to the knowledge of the true Messiah – Yeshua (Jesus)!

Now The End Begins: One For Israel.Org Is Bringing The Gospel Of Jesus Christ To All The Land Of Israel.

Excerpt:

One For Israel is an initiative of native born Israelis on the forefront of high tech evangelism, proclaiming salvation to Israel, raising up leaders and equipping them with the tools they need to transform our communities.

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” Zechariah 8:3 (KJV)

We here at NTEB would like very much to personally introduce you to the amazing end times work that the Lord is doing through our friends at the OneForIsrael.org group located in Central Israel. They are an on-fire group of Jewish believers in Jesus Christ, or as He is known in Hebrew, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach.

Read it all HERE!

Be sure to visit One For Israel.org

Jew and Arab

Ephesians 2:14

Eph 2:14

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

Evangelism in Israel

Romans 1:16

Rom 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,fn for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Training and Equipping

1 Peter 3:15

1Pe 3:15

But sanctify the Lord Godfn in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

 

Out of Zion

Psalms 14:7

Psa 14:7

Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the LORD brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

Hat tips:

Now The End Begins: One For Israel.Org Is Bringing The Gospel Of Jesus Christ To All The Land Of Israel.

One For Israel.org

 

There is a Cost to be Paid For Our Sins

August 3, 2015

Through years of experience, I have found that a person is usually not brought towards faith in Jesus Christ through intellectual arguments. When someone is focused on “winning the debate” rather than realizing that their sin separates them from our Holy and Righteous God (which exposes the fact that they are in desperate need of the Savior, Jesus Christ), then the only thing that generally happens during such “debates” is a stalemate.

I agree with what Bill Keller wrote:

The anger of the lost keeps many people from sharing their faith. Never forget, they are angry at God, NOT you. Your job is simply to tell them the truth, and share with them the hope and love of Christ. What they choose to do with that truth is then between them and God.

It helps to remember this: someone who is lost and simply trying to justify their rejection of Christ will always have more questions than you will ever have answers.

Keep in mind that you will rarely, if ever, win a debate with someone who is lost – especially when they exhibit no desire to accept what you are saying. Your time is best spent praying for these people rather than debating them.

However, you will meet many people who are searching for reconciliation with God; and therefore, will be honestly open to looking into having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

It is for the sake of people who are genuinely searching that I continue to answer the questions of skeptics. Reading through such arguments may help another person (who happens to come here and read them) end up taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ seriously.

The original skeptic,  who originally poses such questions is may or may not ever become a believer. But that’s O.K. !  My job, our job as followers of Christ is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ!  The Bible (NKJV) instructs us to be evangelists:

1Pe 3:15   But sanctify the Lord God[fn4] in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

1Pe 3:16   having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

1Pe 3:17   For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

1Pe 3:18   For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us[fn5] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

3:15 NU-Text reads Christ as Lord.
3:18 NU-Text and M-Text read you.
3:20 NU-Text and M-Text read when the longsuffering of God waited patiently.

I have found that oftentimes, the non-believer has objections against Christ’s crucifixion on the cross to pay for our sins. Even some liberal theologians try to claim that this concept of substitutionary atonement is somehow “outmoded.”  That is REALLY a sad state of affairs!  It leads to confusion, non-repentance,  and ultimately the rejection of the Cross of Christ for the needed redemption for our sins.  What’s worse, is that the reconciliation between Holy God and sinful man is not possible without Someone paying the penalty for our sins.  Jesus Christ is the only genuine Savior in history who accomplished this for us!

For anyone interested, below is a link to a video and post where a caller stated that he questions why Jesus Christ would die on the cross for his sins.

Answering Muslims: Muslim Caller Hears the Gospel and Becomes a Christian.

Lee Strobel is a former atheist turned Christian. In his book, “The Case for the Real Jesus,” he shares an example of a supposedly “Christian” Episcopal bishop who created and stated a negative analogy in order to disparage the truth and our need for Jesus’ death on the cross at Calvary.

“Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong said, ‘A human father who would nail his son to a cross for any purpose would be arrested for child abuse.'”

Over the years of actively “giving an answer to those (who are perishing) for the hope that is in you (me);” I have found that many detractors like to use the “cosmic child abuse” argument against Christians.

Paul Copan’s great explanation for the necessity of substitutionary atonement through Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on the cross at Calvary in order for sinners (which includes all of us) to be reconciled back unto God totally obliterates Spong’s argumentative comment!

Paul Copan wrote:

“We have to be careful about this notion being outmoded,” came Copan’s reply. “C.S. Lewis rightly warns us against chronological snobbery — saying, ‘Oh, they used to do things that way, but we know better now because we’re more enlightened.’ Sometimes there is a mind-set that if no one believes something anymore, surely it has got to be false. G.K. Chesterton said if you take that view, you may as well say that on certain days of the week something is true and on others it’s not. The question should be: Is there anything to this notion of substitutionary atonement?”

“Well, is there?” I asked. “Why can’t God just say he forgives the sins of the world?”

Copan’s answer came swiftly. “Why can’t judges just forgive criminals? Why can’t they let rapists and thieves back on the street and just say, ‘It’s okay, I forgive you’? For God to do something like this would be an insult to his holiness. It would look like he was simply endorsing rebellion against himself and his character. He is a righteous judge, and therefore he must find us guilty of sin because the truth of the matter is that we are guilty. We have fallen short of how God wants us to live. We violate even our own moral standards, so certainly we violate God’s higher standard. To pretend otherwise would be a lie — and God is not a liar.

“Also, if God simply forgives, then he hasn’t taken human responsibility with much seriousness at all. To simply let people go does not hold them accountable to the standards that people know they’ve transgressed. And he would be denying the gravity of sin, which we take far too lightly but which God takes very, very seriously.”

That last remark made me think of a comment in a book I had been reading on the plane to Florida for the interview. As James R. Edwards, a professor of biblical languages and literature as well as a Presbyterian minister, said in Is Jesus the Only Savior?:

The doctrine of atonement obviously hangs on the doctrine of sin. A physician who removes a leg because of a splinter is a monster. A physician who removes a leg because of cancer or gangrene, on the other hand, is a hero who saves his or her patients life. It all depends on the nature and seriousness of the problem. Spong and others see sin as a splinter; the New Testament sees it as a cancer that is fatal if left untreated. And that accounts for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on a cross of cruelty and shame. The cross is indeed an outrage — an outrage of grace. If this is the kind of world in which we live–and I believe it is–then the death of God’s Son for the sins of the world is the only way the world can be reunited with its Maker and Redeemer.

Nevertheless, I continued to press the issue about why God simply couldn’t magnanimously forgive people without having to sacrifice his Son. “What about the story in Matthew 18 about the king who forgave an enormous debt that was owed to him by his servant?” I asked Copan. “He seemed capable of forgiveness without sacrificing anyone on a cross.”

Copan’s eyebrows went up. “Ah, but notice what happens in that parable: the king doesn’t just forgive; he also absorbs the debt,” He said. “The king basically says he’s going to bear the burden of the loss even though the servant owes the money. Similarly, Jesus pays the cost of our sin on the cross. It’s sort of like a child who breaks a neighbor’s window. He may be too young to pay the price himself, so his parents pay it for him. Or when a small corporation is bought out by a larger one, the new corporation has to assume its debts.

There’s a cost to sin: Romans 6:23 says it’s death, or eternal separation from God. That’s the penalty we owe. That’s the cost we incur when our sins separate us from God. But Jesus willingly paid the price in our place, as our substitute–and offers forgiveness as a free gift. There’s nothing illegitimate about that kind of representation. If we aren’t able to handle our situation, what’s wrong with someone who’s willing to assume our indebtedness?

“From one perspective, Jesus’ death was the very low point of God’s career–he is crucified as if he were a criminal, exposed naked to the world, cursed on this tree, and tortured though he was innocent. But despite this ultimate degradation, John talks about the Son of God being ‘lifted up,’ which is a double entendre. Yes, Jesus was physically lifted up on the cross, but this is also the point of God’s exaltation. The crucifixion turns out to be a high point of God’s career. The point is, Jesus was willing to go this low for our salvation–to be humiliated, to be degraded, to be insulted, that through this selfless act he was able to rescue us, bring an end to the powers of darkness, and bring about the restoration of a fallen world into a new creation.

“God isn’t guilty of cosmic child abuse. It’s not as though the Father consigns the Son to this humiliating death on the cross; it’s something Jesus does voluntarily. Jesus says in John 10 that he lays down his life of his own accord. It’s important to see the Trinity being involved in this whole process. As 2 Corinthians 5 says, God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself. God the Father and God the Spirit suffer along with the Son as he hangs on the cross. The Father isn’t pitted against his Son; this is something the Son willingly takes upon himself in order to pay the debt that humankind could not pay on its own.”

“Some people say this seems utterly drastic,” I observed.

“Well, yeah, if this were to happen to you or me, we would be terribly embittered and completely overwhelmed. But Christ bears the punishment perfectly. As British theologian John Stott said, ‘For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man.'”

“The atonement, then, is not illogical or unfair,” I suggested.

“That’s right,” Copan agreed. “Remember, the Scriptures have a number of different pictures or metaphors for what was accomplished on the cross. But the substitutionary aspect of the atonement is deeply significant in that Christ our representative accomplishes for us what we can’t do for ourselves.”

“So what should our response be? Gratitude–the Christian faith is a religion of gratitude. Why would we be reluctant to humble ourselves and receive the free gift of forgiveness that Christ purchased through his death–and also receive the gift-giver himself as the leader of our life?”

Source: “The Case for the Real Jesus,” by Lee Strobel, published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2007 pp. 254-256.

*******

Three awesome verses uttered by Jesus Christ himself in John 10  explains why Jesus is God, loves the Father, loves us sinners, and the fact that by His own power, He arose from the dead!

Jhn 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Jhn 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

Jhn 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

The rest of the verses in 1 Peter 3 explains exactly why Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection to life was necessary to save us!

1Pe 3:18

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us [fn] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

1Pe 3:19

by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

1Pe 3:20

who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited [fn] in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

1Pe 3:21

There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

1Pe 3:22

who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

Hat tips to all links.

 

Headlines Cause Us to Eagerly Await Christ’s Return for His Own

July 29, 2015

My blogging friend Black3Actual has two posts up that every person who happens to come to this blog should read today!

Oil For Your Lamp: UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE: God’s Love Will NOT Save You From Hell!

Within the post, Rob Bell is described as an “ex-pastor” who now falls more in line with those teaching heresy because this ex-pastor does not adhere to the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. As our author at the link excellently points out, Bell is more of an “itching ears” type of preacher. [See 2 Timothy 4:3-4]

Myths like Bell’s views do not save ANYONE. In fact, he is guilty of turning people to the wayside where they will miss the true totality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and thus end up lost for all eternity. It REALLY MATTERS who you listen to in this day and age of deception!

Next, Black3Actual wrote a post entitled News Headlines Affirm OYL Posts: Islam Working Toward End Of Days!.

Excerpt:

I have written about the importance of the black flags of Islam and how the Obama/Iran deal is setting the stage for Christ’s return.  I am fully aware that those who do not believe the Bible do not believe what I have been trying to explain, but I cannot help them.  They have chosen to remain willfully ignorant.  For those who wish to see and understand, the signs are coming more often and more clearly every day.  Just this week the news has started to affirm and support everything I have been trying to explain.  This story is just one such example:

Islamic State recruitment document seeks to provoke ‘end of the world’

Whether you believe in Bible or Islamic prophecy or not, ISIS does and it is working to bring about the fulfillment of their prophecies.  Ignoring them is no different from the Allies ignoring the clear declarations by Hitler of what he intended to do.

Read the rest: News Headlines Affirm OYL Posts: Islam Working Toward End Of Days!.

Oil For Your Lamp is a blog that I highly recommend as a daily read! Add the link to your favorites so that visitors to your own blogs will find this Holy Spirit led writer’s posts!

The Gospel of Christ can be revealed and understood by a child!

Mat 11:25

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Mat 19:14

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Mat 18:3

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

However, once a person trusts in Christ and is saved, the next step is the study of Scripture (including knowing about end times prophecy) for it is a life-long endeavor!  We have “never arrived” while here on this earth regarding the Wisdom, Knowledge, Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness and the All Encompassing Love of God!  However, the Bible tells us that one day we will know!

1Jo 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

There are certain individuals who will not heed the warnings that Christians are sharing. However, we know that there will be (and are, right now!) a remnant who are born-again in Christ.  We also can celebrate the fact that there are Christians who are well-informed regarding Bible prophecy. We are heeding what Jesus told us regarding “the signs of the times” and sharing this information with the lost.

My hope is that there will be many more who are quickened by the Holy Spirit of God, knocking on the door of their hearts,  to come to repentance at the cross of Christ. Only His shed blood can… not just “cover” sins temporarily as was the purpose of the shed blood of unblemished animals in the Old Testament… but permanently take away our sins!  Belief in Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life;  for only He provides the mercy and grace in order to be reconciled back unto God.

Jesus Christ was the final sacrifice for sins, and His resurrection back unto life proves His claim that He is the Son of God, the Messiah who was long awaited throughout biblical history. Jesus Christ brings us back unto God for the “it is finished” forgiveness that we all so desperately need!

As we eagerly await Christ’s return for His own (the Rapture), we need to preach the true Gospel, watch for the signs of the times, work for His kingdom, and evangelize those who do not know Him. All that we can do is share the Gospel, as Jesus instructed us to do just before His ascension into heaven.

It is God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, who ultimately does the saving!  He will be with us ALWAYS – even unto the end of the world!

Hat tip:
Oil For Your Lamp

Please see:

How To Know God Personally.


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