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.

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.

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.

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.

The world will change…

When the Tribulation is over and Jesus comes to set up His Kingdom on Earth everything will change. There will be no more crime or war or drugs or any of the bad stuff we hear on the news today. It sounds like a wonderful place doesn’t it? It will be for those who believe in Him and live during this time, even those who have died and gone to Heaven will return to reign with Him. Those believers who have managed to come to faith in Him during the Tribulation and live through it will spend the next one thousand years working with those who need to know and believe in Jesus.

It is hard to believe that there will be people living during that time, with Jesus ruling the world, who will not give their heart to Him and believe in Him for their salvation. But there will be many, so many in fact that Satan will have an army at the end of that time which is larger than any army on Earth now or ever! Yes, the book of Revelation is real and it is the Word of God so it is True and will come about in the future. You can choose to believe God and His Word or not but since God doesn’t lie, I would suggest that you believe His Word!

Why am I bringing this subject up? Because there is no way to know when Jesus will come for His church and when He does the whole world will become much worse than it is right now. He could come tonight or tomorrow or next week or next year but the point is that we don’t know the hour or day. If you aren’t ready when He does call for His Bride then you will be here when the Anti-Christ takes over the world. For a few years his rule will be tolerable but it will get much worse before the seven years are done. I pray that all who read this will be ready when Jesus calls for His church (those who have believed in Him for their salvation).

I pray that many will come to know Him as their Savior before that time comes so I can meet all of you in Heaven one day. Seek Him for your salvation and your soul.

Does Jesus know you?

In America the polls show that around 80% of the population claim to be Christians but are they really? I mean that there are many people who truly claim and believe that they are Christians. But…what if it came down to a life or death scenario where your faith would be the deciding factor of whether you lived another day? Would you still hold to your faith in Jesus or would you choose to follow another man claiming to be “god”?

It is a tough question and it isn’t one which very many people have even considered in their lifetime. Some of them may not even know that the gospel and Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins is even contained in the Bible! There are many in the so-called “Bible belt” who have been in church ever since they could walk or even before then. Those who fit in this group think that they are Christians because they have been in church all of their lives.

Jesus told His disciples that “many will say to me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Belief in Jesus and doing many works in His name are great things to do but if you don’t have a relationship with Him so that you know Him and He knows you, then He will say “Depart from Me because I never knew you“.

Knowing about Jesus and being on the “roll” of the church does nothing to bring you righteousness. Belief in Who He is and having faith in Him for your salvation begins a relationship with Him that should last for the rest of your life on Earth and into eternity! Going through the motions and sitting in the pew every Sunday does nothing for your eternal salvation except it exposes you to the teaching of God’s Word, if you attend a Bible teaching church. If you don’t then you are likely hearing the “wisdom” of a man with a few religious sounding words thrown in.

As Paul wrote, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,”. Many churches are like that today. Their “preachers” teach them more of man’s wisdom than they do from God’s Word. This is the reason that there will be many on that day who will think they are saved but they will find that their “salvation” is false and hollow…but it will be too late.

I pray that many who read this will search Jesus out and find a Bible teaching church so that they can learn from God’s Word directly and not hear the foolish wisdom of a man.

Survivor or Saint?

Do you live and work in this world just to survive or are you a saved and sanctified saint of Jesus the Messiah? Surviving isn’t really living. It is just existing from one paycheck to the next getting by on the “stuff” which the money of this world can get for you. But what will you do at the end of your life? Survive what exactly? Will you continue on into eternity with Jesus or will you survive into eternity with Satan and his demons? All of these are valid questions but do you know for sure about your answer?

Many people in our world just think that they know the answer because they have been to Bible school and they belong to the church that their parents belong to. They try to go to church at least once or twice a month, maybe. Some only make it to church when they feel like it or on the holidays like Easter and Christmas. How long would your relationship with your spouse last if you only visited for an hour every week or only once or twice a year? That isn’t a relationship at all if you only visit a couple of times every year.

When Jesus called you into a relationship with Him it really was supposed to be a lifetime relationship not just a once in a while visit! His disciples wouldn’t have learned much from Him at all if He had only taught them once or twice each year.

God cares about all of us but He knows which ones will answer when He touches their heart. I pray that many of you who haven’t made that decision will make it and choose to have a daily relationship with Jesus and repent of your sins and follow Him.

Who is Jesus the Christ?

Ooh, this could be a long list. He is the Seed of the Woman and the Captain of the Lord’s army. He is the Rock and the Manna which sustained Israel. He is the Bread of Life and the Living Water. He is the Good Shepherd and the Root of Jesse. He is the Rock cut from the mountain without tools and the King of Kings. He is our Savior and Lord and the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. He is the Messiah and the Suffering Servant. He is the Great Physician and the Creator of all things. He is the Lover of my soul and the Prince of Peace. He is the Bright and Morning Star and the Lily of the valley. He is the Firstborn of those who will be raised from the grave and the Spotless Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

There are many names which describe Him and all of them are true and right because they all describe some part of Who Jesus is. He is the Lord of Lords and the Living Word of God. All of these names and more have been given to Him and I don’t claim to know them all but Jesus is everything to all of those who have accepted Him as their Savior. He is Creation and the Creator. He is the only begotten Son of God and the Son of Man. Why do I speak these words about my Lord with reverence and awe? Because He deserves so much adoration that I can’t express it adequately.

God sent His Son to Earth to redeem mankind from their sins and yet there are many who don’t want to know Him. Why is that? Because of the work of Satan in this world, that’s why! He has been at work since the Garden of Eden and the fall of mankind and his work is not over until Jesus comes back and sets up His Kingdom here. Satan knows his time is drawing to a close and it will soon come to an end, at least for a thousand years. Then he gets to try again but God will utterly defeat him at that point and he will be thrown into the lake of fire.

I pray that anyone who might be seeking to know about Jesus will read some of my other posts here and find a Bible teaching church and truly seek Him out while there is time. God doesn’t wish for any to be sent to hell but if you choose to ignore the Truth in God’s Word then that is your choice and God will not try to change your mind. If you are convicted of your sin then please seek Him in the Word and ask Him to forgive you and help you to believe in Him.

What do I need to do?

This is a question which many people ask when they feel the need for salvation but they have never been introduced to their Savior. Truthfully, there is not much that you need to do to obtain salvation because most of the “work” has been taken care of by Jesus Himself. When you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and you realize that you need to repent and change your life, your only option is to believe that the atonement has been bought for you by Jesus. Believe and repent of your sins, turn away from your “old life” and follow Jesus into a new life which will never really end!

From the point of your repentance and your acceptance of Jesus as your Savior you have a new life and a new purpose and that is to tell others about your Savior so they can meet Him and get to know Him. Life for you and anyone who accepts Jesus as their Savior will never really end, you will just transition from this life into eternity. That is the best way to describe it because death just sounds too final and for someone who is serving Jesus and has accepted Him as their Savior, the end of this life is really the beginning of your real Life! This life is just a sort of “practice” for the next one so make sure to learn everything that you can about God and His Son while you are here.

When you pass through the door which leads to eternity you won’t need to learn more about Him because at that point you will “know and be known“. Life in eternity will be different and wonderful and beyond anything on Earth that we can imagine. I cannot imagine what it will be like to be in His Presence. It will likely be a feeling and an experience which doesn’t have an equal here and the grandeur and majesty of Heaven will be so far above anything that we know until any description of it would be futile in the attempt.

God has provided a way for you and I and anyone else who feels the conviction of His Spirit to know Jesus as our Savior if we will believe in Him and the atonement which He provided and paid for on the cross. Don’t turn the chance for eternity with Him down. Please accept His Presence in your heart and in your life while there is time. Because you can only make that decision in this life, so make the right one.

Communication is necessary

Even in the Garden in the beginning, God wanted to communicate with Adam. He would come down to walk with him in the evening. God likes to hear from you and me. What is communication in the Bible between God and mankind? Prayer. Now, I don’t mean that Adam prayed when God was visiting. They talked to each other just like we do. Wouldn’t that be great! It will be when we are with Him in Heaven. Actually, He will know what we need or want without our asking for it.

While we are here, however, prayer is necessary for us. He already knows what we need but we need to get in touch with Him about it. Our problem, most of the time, is that we don’t ask Him for an actual need. We ask for something that we want…a luxury or something like that. Why do we have a problem with communication with our Savior? Is it because we have the same problem communicating with each other? Probably.

God loves us and He intended for us to be able to talk to each other and to Him. But, in the last ten or fifteen years we have become isolated from each other. We text people who are in the same house or even at the same table. We “like” our “friend’s” status on Facebook or Instagram and sometimes we write that we will pray for them in their time of need. But…do we actually do it? Do we pray for each other and for our own problems or do we just say so and then go about our own routine and forget about the prayer that is needed?

If we are truly honest with our answer to that question, many of us would find that our prayer time is sorely lacking in depth and in frequency. When Paul wrote about “praying without ceasing”, he meant that we should treat prayer as an act which is like breathing. Not that you have to close your eyes and kneel in prayer all day and every day but be in a spirit of prayer all day. When a problem comes to mind, pray about it. When something is missing, like your keys, pray about it. When you think of a loved one or a friend who may need God provision in their life, pray about it. Right then, not later or when you get to it.

Jesus prayed many times during His ministry. Sometimes it was for strength or for blessing or for a healing but He never neglected to speak to the Father about what was going on. We shouldn’t neglect prayer either because it is our line of communication with our Creator, God, Elohim, our Father and our Savior.

This is not the only prayer that God will answer but it is the one that you should begin with if you haven’t prayed before.