The night before…

Regardless of which day you believe that Jesus was crucified, the night before was His worst. It started out good with the meal with His disciples but then as the hours passed, He knew the time was getting closer. The time in the Garden of Gethsemane stressed Jesus to the point of sweating blood while He was praying. I mean, come on, sweating blood! You know that had to be some serious stress!

No, I’m not being trite with this. Jesus’ human side was truly scared and wishing, even praying that He didn’t have to go through with this. But, He did and He did it for you and for me and everyone else in this world. Why? Because His sacrifice and death on the cross was necessary to pay for ALL of our sins. He was the only man who could do this. Not the Pope nor any other religious figure in the past could pay for our sins because none of them could live a sinless life.

The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. That is Who Jesus was and who He still is. So why do people have so much angst over His name? Is it because He claimed and proved that He is the Son of God? Maybe. His suffering was prophesied many years before He was even born and yet the prophecies all were fulfilled in His Life and His death on the cross and by His resurrection after three days. Regardless of how you calculate His death and the feast which was taking place, He still fulfilled the prophecies about Himself. No mere man could do that!

Jesus, Yeshua, the Son of Man and the Son of God is the only man who could be the Savior of the world and the only begotten Son of God! If this bothers you enough that you never want to read this again…then don’t. Walk away from His Spirit which is touching your heart and letting you know that you need Him as your Savior. It will be the worst mistake of your life if you do. Why do I say that? Because you have no idea if you will ever have the chance to give your heart to Him and ask Him into your life. We are not given a guarantee of a certain number of years on this planet. You or I may die tonight before the sunrises tomorrow.

Don’t turn away from His call in your life because that is a call you don’t want to miss. It is like a call from a “lottery” about a number that could make you rich, it will likely come only once in a lifetime. Don’t pass it up. Giving your heart to Jesus is more valuable than any amount of money you could win because in eternity the money you have here is worthless. Please, don’t turn away from Jesus.

Jesus gave His Life so that you could have eternity.

No one is an accident…

We are not accidents

Psalm 139

1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, a God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them, my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

God doesn’t cause accidents in His creation and each of us is a person that He caused to come into being for a reason. He has a purpose for you and for me and for all of those on the Earth. What that purpose is only He knows. He has given each of us gifts and abilities to be able to glorify Him and to be useful to Him in His Kingdom. So we need to start acting like we have a place in His Kingdom. If you don’t want to have a place in His Kingdom, that is fine. He doesn’t force anyone to be a part of His design and His will for His creation. Our God and Savior is the only pathway to Heaven, there is no other. Seek Him while you can find Him because when the shout comes and the dead are raised incorruptible and the church rises to meet Him, the easy time of coming to Jesus will be over. The time of “Jacob’s trouble” will be upon the world and giving your heart to Jesus will carry a death sentence soon after. I pray that all of you will be counted among those who rise to meet Him in the air. Amen

What could you do?

If your life was going to come to an end and you knew it, what could you do about your eternity? Do you know where you will spend eternity and are you sure of that?

Truthfully, there is nothing that you can do on your own to gain an eternity in heaven. The only pathway lies through Jesus and your acceptance of Him as your Savior. Repentance from your sinful life and turning toward Him to follow Him the rest of your life is the only way. Regardless of what you have been taught or what you may have heard, Jesus really is the Way, the Truth and the Life and nobody comes to the Father except through Him.

Our idea of righteousness, whether it is through religion or our own works, is nothing. It will not bring you into heaven but it will bring you into judgement. You will stand before God and Jesus to give account for your life and your reasons for your decision to live the way that you did. If you gave your heart to Jesus and repented of your sinful ways in order to follow Him until the end of your life then the meeting will go very differently. I can’t tell you exactly how it will go, but in the first instance you will be sent to hell. If you belong to Jesus and your life reflects that, then your sins are covered and your will be allowed into Heaven.

What is your view of Scripture?

For many people today it seems that God’s Word, the Bible or Scripture has no real meaning for today. It is even more outdated than the Constitution of the United States and if you are speaking of its age you would be correct. But God’s Word is alive and speaks of a future which hasn’t happened yet in some of its books. Even the prophecy which foretold of the Savior began all the way back in the third chapter of Genesis and it was nearly four thousand years before Jesus was born from that point of view in the past.

So, is the Bible an old, musty and outdated collection of books? No and it never will be. God’s Word written down by writers who were inspired by Him is just as relevant now as it was then but we have to interpret it through the more modern translations which have searched the Hebrew and Greek translations in order to know the modern meanings. Is it an old book? Yes but it is not one which is useless. There are Truths contained in it along with God’s Wisdom which is above the wisdom of man. That doesn’t mean that it is too hard for us to understand because a child can understand it.

What it does mean is if we are to understand God’s Word then we should study it and learn from it more than one or two thirty to forty-five minute sermons in a week’s time can give. Learning from God’s Word is a lifelong process of reading and study just as living in this world is. You cannot live in this world without water and food usually more than once per day of your life. You cannot be a successful Christian without taking in some of God’s Word each day and studying it to the point of placing His Word in your heart. Because it is the Word of God which gives each of us the ability to withstand the temptations of sin and Satan.

Your own wisdom or mine cannot protect us from the world around us, only God’s Word can do this. Although, even God’s Word cannot protect you if you don’t know it well enough to use it. Like a sword or a gun, if you don’t know how to use them they are no good to you for protection and it is the same with the Word of God! Seeking His Wisdom and protection can only be done by learning from the Bible and that comes only with study and reading more than you can by going to church every once in a while. It is a daily process. The fault of some in the church today is being biblical without applying it to contemporary living and today’s “liberal Christians” live contemporary lives without Biblical principles to guide them. Although very few can balance these two ideals at the same time and do it successfully.

There is no way to do this if you don’t know the Bible well unless you can quote it by chapter and verse and be able to apply it in your daily life. Few people can do this who are Christians that attend church and read their Bible and those outside the church in the world haven’t a clue about it at all. Satan knows God’s Word very well and he can quote it to you if necessary which is why we need to know it too. I urge you therefore to study God’s Word so that you can counter any attack of Satan which is from a “twisted scripture” or one which has been changed to suit someone’s idea or their agenda.

Jesus is the only Messiah!

John wrote this in the first chapter of his gospel:

The Beginning

(Genesis 1:1-2)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Jesus is the only Way to get into Heaven. He is the Door of the Sheepfold. He is the Commander of the Lord’s army. The names of Jesus are listed in many verses of the Bible but the one name which John was writing about is “The Living Word”. Jesus is that and more but let’s concentrate on that for a few minutes.

The Living Word of God is the Creator and our Savior, it is only through Him and belief in His atonement for you and me and for our sins that we can enter into Heaven and it’s glorious vista one day. There is no other religion or cult or opinion which will gain you or your family access to God’s Heavenly Home. It doesn’t matter what you have done in this life, good or bad, but the decision to give your life to Jesus and to repent (walk away from the sinful life which you were living) is the only way to be granted access to Heaven.

There is no other name under Heaven by which man can be saved. Your eternal life is before you and whether you make that decision in this life or not determines where your eternity will be. Accepting Jesus as your Savior when you feel the conviction of the Spirit brings you into Heaven, rejecting or refusing to accept Jesus will give you an eternity in hell.

God is…

Oh that I could adequately fill this writing with all of the descriptions and attributes of God. He is described as All Powerful and Knowing. He is the Creator of everything. He is Love and the Finisher of All that is. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Lover of our souls and the Pillar of Fire and Cloud. He was the Burning bush and the Finger that wrote the Commandments. God is.

There are so many descriptions of His awesome power and His gentle love for His Creation until it is hard to write this. God loves us and all of His creation not because of His needs but because of His Glory which comes through when we see His creation for His Glory.

Your life and mine bring glory to God when we acknowledge that He is and always has been in control. Your life and your accomplishments are possible because of His blessings in your life and they are not because of your own power but because of His grace toward you as well. God is much more than our Savior and our Creator but until we give Him the honor and the glory that He deserves many of us just consider Him as being the Intelligence behind evolution or the creation and nothing more.

He is much more than I can describe in a short article here. A better description of Him is found in His Word, the Bible. All of His attributes and His power are demonstrated in the Word and will be even more evident when the time of Tribulation comes upon the world soon. I pray that many of you who still question God and His power will seek Him out as your Savior before that time of testing and wrath comes upon the world because even though it won’t last but seven years it will be hell on Earth.

The beginning of the church

Why is belief in Jesus so important? Because “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God 14 And the Word was made 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.”

In Acts 4:12, the Bible says: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Belief is necessary because Jesus is the Living Word of God and He came to redeem the lost of this world. You may think that you have done some things which would allow you into Heaven but if what you have done in this life was done out of pride and your own self-righteousness and without Jesus’ guiding hand then it was a waste. Nothing that we do with our good intentions and our own ideas of self-righteousness can ever bring us into the Presence of God. Well, it can bring us there but it will be in judgement and not reward because without Jesus and our repentant heart and His Spirit guiding us…everything that we do is dust and filthy rags.

There are many words which God has placed in the Bible which point the way to a life of service to Him. Such as believe or obedience or humility.

God honors those who humble themselves to Him and recognize that He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith in Christ Jesus. Only through Him can we gain entrance to the City which is not built by hands but by the Word of God. I pray that any who read this small letter might turn to the One Messiah, Jesus Christ because it is only through belief in Him and repentance from your own sins can you be saved to walk the streets of Heaven one day.

Follow Jesus because He is the only way into Heaven.

The Passover and Easter

Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Seder meal or Passover meal, which Christians call the Last Supper and it was just before His arrest and the “mock trial” before His crucifixion. But how did three full days elapse between the crucifixion and His resurrection? Some say there was another sabbath which was prior to the Passover that year so what was it?

The part that we, as Christians, don’t understand is the Jewish holiday itself. Passover is a Holy Day and therefore is considered a sabbath day when no work is allowed regardless of the day that it falls on. Since their calendar is based on a Lunar calendar month the dates and days change from year to year. I have found a chart which shows the differences between the calendar days and the holy days for the year when Jesus (Yeshua) was crucified.

Does this validate or change anything? Not really. In fact it just shows that the days before the Sabbath for that year had significance for those who were celebrating the feasts (Feast of Unleavened Bread) and the Passover.

Why bring this up? Because, regardless of whether you consider a part of a day as a day, there is no way to make three days fit between Friday afternoon and Sunday at daybreak in the way that tradition has held that Jesus was crucified on Friday. Does this really matter in the grand scheme of things? No, because God worked it out however He wanted it to work.

Our salvation is paid for because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and our belief in the atonement provided by Him. The number of nights or days doesn’t change what Jesus did, if you don’t count the time that He told the Pharisees that the “only sign that they would get would be the sign of Jonah“. They were the priests and the teachers of Israel and they knew their scriptures by heart and yet they didn’t see that He was their Messiah or they didn’t want to believe that He was and chose not to recognize Him. Whichever version you want to go with is fine with me.

Jesus told them before His crucifixion that “since they didn’t recognize Him their blindness would remain“. God has provided a way for all who hear His call in their lives to come to repentance and salvation IF they will believe in and accept Jesus as their Savior. I pray that anyone who is looking for their Savior will give Jesus a chance because He is the only Savior there is…period.

Our condition doesn’t change

Of all of the preachers and evangelists that I have read their sermons or their books, it seems that the spiritual condition of humanity hasn’t really changed much. When I read something like “Pilgrim’s Progress” there were still many in the world who were content in their own sins and felt that they had no need to seek Jesus or a Savior. Then there are the sermons of Jonathan Edwards in the 1700’s and he is speaking of a world full of sin and strife against all that is holy. The same can be said for the prince of preachers, C.H. Spurgeon. He talked and preached to a crowd sometimes in excess of three thousand people and yet he spoke of sins which we hear about today.

Sins have not changed over the years between the time when Jesus walked in Galilee and today. The sinners have changed and the severity of the sins have changed but the sins have not. We have newer ways to sin if you consider those committed on the Internet today. There is a whole generation of people who have not grown up in the church and who don’t know any of the stories from God’s Word. Even if they did know some of the stories they would likely think they were made up or fairy tales rather than the inspired Word of God.

Even life on Earth hasn’t really changed that much, except in the last century or so. Until the 1900’s most people got around by horse and buggy or by their own horse or by carriage. Then the car was invented and the airplane and so much more. In the last one hundred years there have been many advances in so many areas of our life.

Seek out your Savior while there is time to do so because He loved you enough to die for your sins so you wouldn’t have to.

He does love you this much, don’t turn away from Him.

What can I do to have eternal life?

In the sentence above is one mistake which many people cling to and never realize that they are wrong in doing so. The word “I” has no place in this sentence. There is nothing that we can do which will bring us into eternity with Jesus. Only by giving your life and your heart to Him and asking for His forgiveness of your sins can you obtain eternal Life. “The soul which sins will die” is a promise in God’s Word, not a suggestion.

But, the death that this soul which sins will endure is not an instant, one-time death. It is an eternal separation from God and His Life in heaven. So, in effect we are all immortal it just depends upon your choices in this life whether you will truly live into eternity or endure suffering and pain for eternity by being separated from the Author of Life, which is Jesus our Savior.

If it were possible for us to contribute anything to attaining or grasping eternal life then why did Jesus have to die? If we could do it and be successful at it, by being righteous and holy in everything that we do in our lives, He didn’t have to die on the cross and be raised on the third day. But we cannot be perfectly righteous and holy in our life.

Our holiness comes through striving to be more like Christ and not being like the person we were before our relationship with Him. That is what “taking up your cross” means. Put down your old way of life and turn away from it and follow Jesus Christ every day because only by doing this can you begin to understand His wisdom and His Word. If you are wondering how this is possible if we can’t do it ourselves, it is because of the Holy Spirit’s conviction which brings you to the place where you know you need Jesus. Then the Spirit changes your heart to be a little bit more like Him each day when you read the Bible and study it with prayer.

Prior to my acceptance of Jesus as my Savior I couldn’t understand the message in the Bible whether it was in the Old Testament or the New Testament. It just seemed to be stories and history of a people that I had heard about in movies. God’s Spirit does have a way of teaching us even when we don’t know we are being taught. The title of this article is the same question which the rich young ruler asked Jesus but when he learned that he should give up his wealth…he turned away.

Money and fame can lead many people away from the message of salvation simply because with both of those we don’t feel the need for God in our lives unless a true tragedy happens to us. Even then some people will blame God for it rather than turn to Him for their comfort and healing. I pray that anyone who reads this will seek Jesus out as their Savior before the church is taken up one day soon.