For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1th.4.14-17.KJV
Before I became a Christian many years ago I wondered why Jesus came to settle the accounts of humanity? What was the purpose? During the past decade I’ve tried my best to teach and preach from the Bible the whole counsel of God and tell those who would listen about my Savior and Lord even if they were only reading something that was published here. Sounds tedious doesn’t it? Well, not so much. Until last year when this “new” corona virus showed up and scared almost everyone out of the church, things looked pretty good actually. When the lock down began many went into hiding or at least “sheltering in place”.
The church that I had been a pastor of for nine years shut down with no idea when we might start back up again. So, I began a daily post here…sometimes more than once a day and it seemed to be what many people were looking for. I had more visitors and people looking at those posts than I had in previous years. I’m not blowing my own horn but the fact was that people needed to find some encouragement and good news and I suppose some of the words that I was given helped. Mainly because I sought God’s words just as I am still doing today and just like I sought His input for the sermons that I preached.
So truly…what is our purpose and what was the purpose for Jesus’ death and resurrection? The first is easy in a way. My purpose and yours is to accept the calling on our life when we feel the Spirit move our heart to accept Jesus as our Savior. Ignoring that call is a very dangerous thing to do because you might not have time to accept Him if you have a wreck on the way home or even if you had a heart attack tonight. When your time is up…that’s it.
The purpose for Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection was simply to be the Spotless Lamb of God to pay for ALL of the sins of mankind once and for all time. Sacrifices don’t have to be made afterward for something that you did on Friday night, Jesus paid the price so all you have to do is believe in Him for your salvation, repent of your sinful life and follow Him daily. Is it easy to follow Jesus? No, it isn’t at all easy but the reward is tremendous! If you have never given your heart to Jesus you will need someone to guide you through the early days because you likely didn’t read and study the Bible before. It will be strange to read and unless someone can help you, it can discourage you in your new life with Jesus.
That is why I have so many different translations of the Bible. Some of them are paraphrased like the Living Bible or the Message. The original translations from Greek and Aramaic to Latin and then to English are the King James Bible and the Gutenberg Bible. Today you also have the Christian Standard Bible, the New International Version, the New King James Bible, and a host of others that I won’t list here. The Living Bible or the Message are the easiest to read and get the ideas which are presented in the text, especially for a new believer. But you need to compare those ideas with the words from another version in order to get all that you can from God’s Word. Ask God to help you understand His Word and He will so don’t give up on reading it.
God inspired His prophets and others to write the words, His Word down so that we would have a complete understanding of His story and Who He is. If He had not done this, we would be clueless about His plan of salvation that began in Genesis and is shown all the way through until the book of Revelation. God doesn’t want anyone to die apart from Him but He gave us the ability to choose to follow His instructions and be redeemed or we can choose to reject His offer of salvation and be condemned…it is up to us.
“Then, the Arrival of the Son of Man! It will fill the skies—no one will miss it. Unready people all over the world, outsiders to the splendor and power, will raise a huge lament as they watch the Son of Man blazing out of heaven. At that same moment, he’ll dispatch his angels with a trumpet-blast summons, pulling in God’s chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole. “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out. Matthew 24:30-35 MSG https://bible.com/bible/97/mat.24.30-35.MSG
There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. 1 Corinthians 6:16-20 MSG https://bible.com/bible/97/1co.6.16-20.MSG
All around us, below us, in the ground and under the sea, out in space and across the sky…His majesty and glory are declared every day! God is THE Creator and our Savior. Theories and theorems and ideas from the mind of man have no effect on God because He did all of His work on His own time and at the pace that HE wanted it to happen. God’s love is shown and proved toward us because of the wonderful properties of light and sound and gravity and heat and cold that we experience on Earth to show that He is God and there is no other.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.5.9.KJV
Today we see so much violence and hate, but we are supposed to be peacemakers. Show Jesus’ love to those around you so that they will want it too.
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. Proverbs 11:24 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.11.24.KJV
Tithes should be given with a generous heart, then God can reward you generously. When you withhold what should be given, God can too.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Colossians 1:13 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/col.1.13.KJV
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. Psalms 95:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.95.6.KJV
Worship is not just a “church” thing, it is a state of mind that you should have every day. Merry Christmas!
In Romans 6:23, Paul writes that “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.
Why would God give us such a gift? It is worth more than we could ever begin to pay because there is no way that we can earn our way into heaven! But God sent Jesus Christ to Bethlehem as a human baby born to Mary the wife of Joseph. He came into the world as the son of David through His Earthly father and mother but He had the nature of God the Father. He came with no sin and He never faltered throughout His life. Just so He could go through the punishment of a criminal and be scourged and then hung up on a cross to die for humanity’s sins.
God the Father sent Jesus the Son to bear humanity’s shame and punishment, paying for our sins before most of us had even been born. I don’t know what the population of the world was at the time but He had looked down through history and He could see many people who needed salvation which could only come by His sacrifice. Clearly, God loved and still loves each of us far more completely and more deeply than we could ever imagine.
Your salvation and mine only comes by our belief in Jesus and our taking that belief into our hearts. Repenting of those sins which all of us have and seeking His Kingdom and His teachings so that we could be His until our death and then into eternity. It is our choice to do this but God already knows who will make that choice and who will not. God strung together your DNA in order to send you and many others like you and me into the world to be doctors or teachers or farmers or nurses but in doing so, He also knew which person would be a good fit for being a Christian. Your personality, your strength and your witness were all known before you were born. Just as God told Jeremiah, “….in the womb you were consecrated to Me”.
God loves each of us so much that He sent His own Son to die for our sins, paying the penalty for them and making atonement for us so that we could be allowed in His Presence one day. Isn’t that AWESOME! It is also humbling because the Creator of the universe cares about us on this little ball of dirt that He created for us. Life on this planet didn’t evolve from a single cell into multiple cells and then one day become all of life on this world! It was created in the mind of God and brought into existence by Him and for His pleasure. Why? I have no idea, but God does. Give Jesus your heart and make sure that it is done as soon as possible because not one of us knows how long we have to live and that decision has to be made while we live.