What is the message?


This could be a long message.

The Bible is the message of salvation from the beginning to the end! The seed of the woman was promised to crush the head of the serpent in Genesis. The Rock which gave Life-giving water to the Israelites in the desert was a type of Christ. The Pillar of cloud by day and the Pillar of fire by night was God watching over His people. Moses was a type of Christ as well since he prophesied and said that God would raise up a Prophet like him in time to redeem His people. The Passover lamb was a type and representation of Christ.

I could go on with the types and representation of a Redeemer in each book of the Bible, but the Message of the Bible is that we can’t save ourselves! We are flawed in our religion and in our own righteousness because we try to make “god” in our image and make “our god” into one who allows us more freedom than we could get from God Himself. God gave us freedom in all forms especially with regard to our choices. We can choose to follow Him or not. There is no pattern or way for us to gain His grace or His forgiveness other than through Jesus and our belief in Him.

Jesus (Yeshua) came and paid the price for our sins so that we would not have to, but you only get to enjoy the benefits of being a Christian if you believe in Him. John’s gospel says it best and you already know the verse, John 3:16-18:

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

It is your heartfelt belief in Jesus as the Son of God and as your Savior which grants you forgiveness for your sins and entrance into eternity. God is not going to throw you into hell because of your sins, at least that won’t be the only reason. It will be your lack of belief in Jesus as your Savior which condemns you. Yet, today, many do not want to hear about Jesus and salvation through Him. Why?

Because they would have to admit that the Bible must be true in order to believe in Him and most are not willing to believe in the absolute Truth found in God’s Word. Many people, in fact, most people in the world want to create their own version of the truth which fits their ideas and not the ones found in the Bible. Why do they feel this way about God’s Word? Because if they admit that any part of it is true then they have to accept that ALL of it is true as well.

God’s Word is the Truth and, like it or not, there is only one Truth found there: Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and He is the only way to Heaven. Belief in Him and following Him for the rest of your life is the only way to enter into eternity with Him.

Bridge2Salvation

 

How do you see the love of God?


Is this even possible in the 21st century? Yes, it is! The love of God shows through the love expressed when a child needs to be comforted for whatever reason. We show the love of God to each other in many ways, sometimes daily. You may be wondering, “How can God’s love be shown where the belief in God is not present?”.

Well, it is a little dangerous for the church, the body of Jesus Christ on Earth, to go to some places where the love of God is desperately needed. But…it is possible. We can show the love of God to each person that we meet. We don’t have to do much or even say much, just pray for them, pray over your food in the restaurant, be a disciple that they can see Jesus in.

God’s love can be shown to others in ways that aren’t overt or apparent to many people, but it is possible. Give away something or do something for someone without regard for payment or getting anything in return. The love of God is shown in the Bible from cover to cover because every action which God did for the Jewish people He also did for every person on Earth!

The love of God is expressed and seen in this verse: John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”.

The Love of God is manifested in the Word of God and the Word of God became flesh and was the Son of God.

Why?


It is a question which we hear, especially parents, when our child or children are young. They ask it…sometimes to the point of getting on our nerves with the number and frequency of the question!

Sometimes we can answer it with a realistic answer and sometimes it is “Because I said so!”! But, this week we have no answer for the shooting in Las Vegas. There is no note or reason or anything that even approaches rationality. Because there is nothing rational about this! Was the shooter insane? I don’t know and few other people have a real clue either. Had he been “radicalized” in some way? Who knows?

Why is a question which we as a nation will be asking about this for a long time. Will we ever find the answer to that question? I honestly don’t know. In my view, my opinion is that only the shooter knows and God and likely we will never find out the actual reason. Because, the behavior to do such a thing defies logic and any human decency.

On the news tonight, Steve Hartman said that there are no real words to describe or comfort this type of event and he is right. We can’t think of anything to say because there isn’t anything that makes any sense when you are talking about an act so dehumanizing and tragic.

Life is precious. Not just one person’s life or a particular skin color or religion, but to God ALL human life is precious because He made us in His image! At one time the rule of law was that “when man kills another man, then by man his life will be taken“; which we have toned down with political correctness so that even when convicted a killer can live out his natural life without ever being killed for his crime! Some even claim that it is inhuman to punish a man in that fashion. Really? If they killed your wife or son or daughter, would you feel that way?

God is already punishing the killer from Las Vegas since he took his own life as well, so at least he is getting his punishment. His soul and his eternal body will endure that forever and there is no appeal or stay that will come to get him out of hell.

Hell was not created to punish mankind, but when we act like demons and follow the leading of their suggestions in our minds then God has no recourse but to place us in the same place of punishment that they have waiting for them. Please give your heart and life to Jesus and follow Him while there is still time to do so. We don’t know when He is coming back, but it won’t likely be much longer. Will we all live to see it? I don’t know, but I do know that when He comes there will be no doubt about Who it is and what is happening…at least to those who have heard about it or read the book of Revelation.

What do you really believe?


It is becoming clear that many people in churches today, regardless of denomination, have no idea what being a committed Christian is. Some think it means going to church when we feel like it. Some seem to think that, just like the rest of the world, if they are good and read the Bible occasionally then God will let them into Heaven. There seems to be quite a few that think that they don’t really have to do anything except to believe that Jesus is the Christ and that will get them into Heaven.

Preachers have told us this for decades, that if you believe in Jesus you will be saved. The apostle, John, says mostly the same thing in his gospel. So, why does it seem that we should desire more of Him than we do? Jesus said that “apart from Me you can do nothing“, truly that phrase has nothing to do with belief. It has to do with our commitment to a daily life with Him.

Reading the Bible, prayer for all of the things that are good and needed in our world, seeking His will for your life in His Word, meditating on His Word after you read it and considering what it means to your life, these are processes which we need to do in our daily walk with Him. This sounds like far too much to do in a day, but it doesn’t need to be. Reading a chapter or two every day and then praying for the meaning of it to be revealed to you doesn’t take long. Thinking about what God reveals to you during the day is your meditation on Him and His Word, but it shouldn’t interfere with your daily life.

Being a dedicated child of God is not as easy as just saying that you believe in Him. It is a daily, sometimes hourly walk with Him through your day, every day. He walked with Adam in the Garden, so why can’t we walk with Him every day? He doesn’t get in the way, and He certainly won’t be a hindrance to anything that we do, unless you intend to do or be in agreement with sinful actions on a daily basis.

Being a Christian is not as easy as it is portrayed because even though becoming one is easy, the process is a daily walk with Him. As Jesus said, “take up your cross and follow Me”, sometimes that means that we have to put something else that we have been holding onto down. For many people today, that is not an easy thing to do. We are addicted to our computers, our tablets, our phones, our games and almost every other distraction imaginable. But, we only come to Jesus when it is necessary or when we have to.

Seeking Him and learning about Him and about our relationship with Him is something which we don’t consider important. We will worry about that tomorrow or next year or when the next revival service is at church. But…what if you don’t live that long? What if you were to die in an hour or two from now? You would be standing at the judgement of your life in front of God without any help at all.

God knows your life and He knows if you will come to Him and when. He is your Creator and He will not turn you away IF you will come to Him with a repentant heart and ask Him to save you from yourself. Ask Him to help you to become the person that you can be in Christ and He will do it IF you are sincere and truthful about your need for Him.

If this is just “lip service”, He won’t even hear you. But, this has to be done in this life. Waiting to take care of this on your death-bed won’t cut it because you may not have that chance. A car wreck, a heart attack or any number of other ways that you can die without any notice, might prevent you from making that last-minute decision. So, what will you decide?

Are you going to keep doing what you have always done, hoping that God will just let you pass? Will you just turn away, like the rich young ruler did because you are having too much fun and you don’t feel that you need Jesus in your life? Maybe you think that being a devoted Christian just doesn’t fit your lifestyle right now. But, if you were to meet Jesus at your judgement and He says that “I never knew you”, how will you feel? Eternity is a long, long time to be outside in outer darkness, away from the Love of God.

Think about it, pray about it if you are serious about your Eternal destiny and then pray some more. Seek Him while there is time, in this life, because when this life is over…your time to be His is up and your eternity begins wherever you are.

Life, what about it?


baby developmentWhen I was much younger, I wondered about the life that we live. Not so much in philosophic terms exactly, but after watching the coverage of the Vietnam war and Dr. Martin Luther King’s murder, even then it seemed that life was cheap. I knew better, but it still made me think a bit. But, I was young and I didn’t think about it long so I went on to school and played with my friends and did my homework.

Now, I am a father and a pastor and I think about life every day. It still seems that to most of the world around us, not just in America, human life isn’t worth much even today. It seems that life today isn’t regarded as being worth more than a thought, if that much! Why have we come to this point in history? Where the life of a baby in the womb is in just as much danger as one on the street! A baby in the womb is even in more danger today because there usually isn’t anyone to speak up for them and defend them.

No, I am not getting on a platform about abortion, I did that a day or so ago. My point here is that we don’t cherish life today, no matter if it is a pet, a baby, or a person. But…life is supposed to be sacred! Human life certainly, but all life in general because it is God’s Creation! It is true that many people claim to be Christian and yet many of them don’t even have a true relationship with God at all! We don’t look at being a human being and being a Christian as anything special, it seems.

Many believe that by belonging to a church and attending services occasionally that they have a relationship with God. How absurd! That is more akin to visiting McDonald’s once in a while and thinking that you know the owner! God does know you and He loves each one of you. But, being known by God and being His child by adoption through Jesus Christ is something totally different.

Jesus died for you in order for you to be God’s child and when you feel that call by faith in Him you can become a part of His family. It isn’t something that you choose on your own, He chooses you first, then you have to answer. If you don’t, then you have pushed Him away. This part won’t be good for you, now or in eternity, because you are telling Him “Not now, I’m busy” and “You’re not important to me”. Hopefully, He will keep trying to bring you into His family but you can push Him away only so many times. There may come a day when He chooses to let you go your way…not good at all.

Why do I say that? Because if you look at how humanity has fared without Him, it usually isn’t very good and depending on how far they move from God it can be very, very bad for all concerned. Even though God said that He would never again bring a flood on the Earth, that is why it came in the first place. Mankind had pushed Him out of their lives and went after their own ways and their own gods. This is why God chose Noah, because he had not gone the way of everyone else. Sometimes, following the crowd has very serious consequences. Think about it.

How do you live?


Are you a Christian? Do you believe in Jesus’ atonement for your life? Have you walked with Jesus or did you just get baptized and go on with your life?

Do you deny that Jesus is real? Do you believe that He was “just a prophet”?

If you believe and you accept Him as your Savior, then the first sentence should apply to your life, but are you living your life according to His will for you? It is a question that needs to be answered by all of us. Have you “given your life to Him”, but then walked away from the church and never went back? You are denying Him.

If, on the other hand, you fall into the group of people who don’t believe in God or Jesus at all, then who do you believe in? Yourself? Satan or Allah? Mohammed? Can you change the color of your skin or your hair by thinking about it? Of course not, you and I are not going to be gods and we can’t do anything like God can.

Has Satan appeared to you in a robe of white with wings so bright you couldn’t see? He can you know. Mohammed is dead and he isn’t coming back until God raises him up one day to pay for what he did in his life.

Satan can appear as an angel of light and he can tell you that he is Gabriel if he chooses to, but that doesn’t make it the truth. Mankind is easily deceived and especially when it comes to the master of lies who has had many thousands of years to perfect his deception. One day there will be a man who will appear to be our savior and he will be able to do things that will look miraculous, like Jesus did, but he will be a false savior. Many people will be taken in by him and his words and power that he shows, but he is not the Son of God.

All of those words that I wrote in the past couple of sentences are foretold in Daniel and in the book of Revelation. It is God’s Word and it is True. It will come to pass. I don’t know when, but with all that is happening around the world I would bet that it won’t be much more than a decade or so away. I could be wrong, of course. The point that I am trying to make is that when this person shows up and everyone seems to think he is so wonderful, that should cause a bell to go off in your mind. Remember what you may have heard or read in the Bible or in Sunday school.

Don’t just follow someone blindly because they seem to be more than they are! Many false “Christs” have appeared in the past, but they all died. Many things are going to happen in the near future which will cause many people in the church to leave their faith behind. When all of this begins, take notice and get a Bible and read it. If you have lived a life which wouldn’t have been acceptable to Jesus, then you should repent and ask for His forgiveness.

Why? Because if you see all of these things happening then the end is getting very near. When the peace treaty between Israel and all of her enemies is signed and the Temple begins to be built, take note of who is brokering that deal. All of these must happen before Jesus comes to get the elect, His church, His Bride. Make sure that you are part of that number. In the picture there are many promises for His elect, if you have repented of your sins and given your heart to Him and asked for His forgiveness.