Archive for July, 2018
July 11, 2018
#2 Following the previous post from last week I will pursue my concern of Christians, so stated by their confession, having an uncertain or muted expression of Jesus being their Savior or even necessary in returning to a relationship with God the Father.
It comes to my thought I need to lay some foundation before continuing, what did Jesus say about Himself. I don’t take this lightly as those who exhort and teach the Word of God will be held to a higher accountability. Also, we are dealing with a matter of extreme importance to all of mankind, however, not collectively but individually we shall answer. So, you may deride what I say or take it seriously. In neither case will it change my position as it is an individual acceptance or rejection.
I decided to simplify deciding points years ago. One, is their a God or Not? Two, if there is a God then what do you do with the character of Jesus Christ?
I have chosen simply that there is a God and His design is evident to any serious observer. With that, I was forced to decide quite seriously what to do with Jesus. I say forced as at current there are an estimated 4300 religions. Many claiming to be Christian though they do not agree necessarily on the attributes of Jesus. Of all the religions there are five dominant. There are estimated followers of Christianity with 2.1 billion, Islam with 1.5 billion, Hinduism with 900million and Sikhism (combined beliefs of Islam and Hinduism) at 23million.
Jesus Christ stands unique in all of the religious beliefs and made some claims that demand attention. Either He is as He claimed, God, or He is a fool and a lunatic that should be discharged from any serious consideration. This one choice is pivotal in my view. If you reject Him than it makes absolutely no difference which of some 4300 religions you choose from the regard that He, Jesus claimed to be God. In my estimation, this is verifiable to any who seek the truth. Many have set out to prove Christ a hoax, a lie, or simply a fairytale and have come away somber and dedicated followers. The first to my mind would be a man called Saul in the scripture.
Some basis for my own search and choices. I had reached a point in my teens where my questions exceeded my answers. I would ask a friend from a church what he thought? Why did Jesus have to go through such a horrific death, why were millions slaughtered in wars and millions dead from plague and famine? Why did men hate so easily and enslave others through history? What is the real truth in acceptance by God the Creator? In each case, the answer was in joining their church with the only right answer. That does not let you atheists, agnostics or others off the hook as you believe in something. We all have some kind of faith in something, even if it is only to turn to the dust and be eaten by the worms. Somewhere it all started. It seems obvious that it all has a purpose and I cannot I cannot believe that anything with a plan does not have a planner. So, starting at that point I will proceed. What did Jesus say? (note* Christ is not His last name It means He is the Sent One of God.) He came with a specific purpose and at the risk of being chastised, that purpose was you and me. Reading in the Bible that Jesus was the Way the Truth and the life, that faith cometh by hearing, hearing the word of God, and the Holy Spirit of God would be my teacher, a helper, that He would give me revelation and understanding of the Word of God became transformational. I believed it, buying a complete Old and New Testimate in audio I purposed to listen from Genisis 1 through Revelation. About two and a half times through someone turned on the lights and the shadows began to disappear. Hello Holy Spirit.
A touch on what the Lord Says.
Jesus was in a public setting at a feast as He went into the temple to teach; John 7: 14–14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. 15 The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?” 16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Matthew 24:35 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. What a bold statement, that His words would outlast the creation of Heaven and Earth.
John 18:3636 Jesus answered, “My kingdom [k]is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not [l]of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” This conversation was taking place as Jesus was before Pilate preceding his crucifixion.
Many tell me that they must do the work of God, I find in John 6:29 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” The sent one is Jesus, the Christ of God. To go with this we find in Luke 10:26 16 “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.” This simply says, to reject Jesus is to reject God.
Jesus came to fulfill the will of His Father and bring a message of Good News to the world. For the World was lost and in Luk 19:9,10 as Jesus was talking with Zaccheus He said ” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus was speaking to a man who was reviled by the people because he was a tax collector so they were upset that Jesus would talk with the man let alone dine with him at his house. Jesus had not come to judge, He came to redeem the lost and show them the Love of God. He came to call the sinners (those separated from God) to repentance and save them from Hell. If you think you are not good enough then realize that He, Christ is the standard by which you are justified not by your own deeds. In Mark 2:17 again dining with tax collectors and sinners Jesus is called to explanation by the Pharisees for his action and he says this, 17 And hearing this, Jesus *said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Those who are sick, (Perishing) are those separated from God by sin. The Son came to save the lost condemned to Hell. God sent a solution I will bring one more scripture to light, John 12:44-46 44 And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. 46 I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.
There are many more scriptures I could record here but am reminded from the book of John it says if all of the things Jesus had done were written one by one, not even the world itself would have a place for the books written. I will touch many scriptures with some reflection on what Jesus said and why He is the Only way to the Father. It is not too late to call out in response to Him as He has left a standing invitation until the end of this age.
Revelation 3:19-21 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
I need to stop for now. It is time for a refill and there is plenty of food for thought until the next time. I cannot wait to get into the reasons why Jesus is the way to the Father. The world would like to deceive us, to cause us to run away from rather than to Christ. I will look forward to the next post and may discuss the nature we choose from each day of our lives. Each Breath is a gift. each drink of water is life renewed, each moment of hope is a faith in Christ for he is Life.
It is enjoyable for me to talk with and share ideas with friends and acquaintances so I do it often. I am the guy that will talk with anyone that will share with a real interest. There are many topics in my conversations. One of them is Christian Fellowship and as a result, I participate in three Bible studies. I want to give a background for them. One started with a couple of guys that had morning conversations at work and decided to start a study to see what the Bible said about the things they debated rather than their religious or predetermined ideas. The next is a group of businessmen and when we meet there are typically up to six different church affiliations represented. In the third group, I meet with up to twenty-six Lutherans and I attend a Life Church which is quite different. In all cases, we have good participation. There is another group I will mention in my daily conversations at restaurants and various activities. Some even on social media.
Here is my challenge, in several cases over the last year there has been the suggestion that there are multiple ways to heaven. This coming from an audience of which 100% profess to be Christian. I am going to spend several months addressing this. I want to clarify that to me saying you are going to heaven equates to having a renewed relationship with God the Father, a relationship which was lost in the garden of Eden when Adam disobeyed the one command, do not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. You can read of these events in the Book of Genesis.
16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [n]eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
This was not an immediate death of the body, (the flesh) but a death described as separation from God, actually a spiritual death. It meant that God, who had daily walked with Adam in the garden sent Adam and Eve out of the garden and separated them from Himself and they no longer could eat of the Tree of Live and they eventually died a physical death as well. Now, God was not caught off guard or unable to repair the damage that had been caused by the rebellious fallen angel we know as Satan. In the garden, he is the serpent that approaches and deceives Eve who then eats of the fruit of the tree and also encourages Adam to do the same. When Adam and Eve were faced with God and hid from Him in their shame the creation became cursed. You can read of this in Genesis: 1-3. My only purpose of this outline is to get to this specific revelation from reading Genisis: 14-15. 14 The Lord God said to the serpent,“Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
In Genesis God had a solution and we see what the divide is in the world. The solution was the Son of Man, the child born of the seed of the woman. I am not trying to outline the whole of the Gospel of Christ as there is a Bible available to all. In this day of computers and pads, printed books, audio books on CD and MP3 and every Bible version and commentary you can imagine immediately available you can read the “Rest of the Story” as Paul Harvey would say.
My focus in the next several weeks is going to be on at least fifty scriptures that establish there is only one way the human race can reconcile with God. That way is an “Incredible Gift” a gift of Salvation which is available through only one manner. Of some estimated 4,300 religions in the world, two of which are predominant in the billions, there is one who claims He is the Only way, I will be discussing that one and the scriptures in the Bible that make that claim.
There may be some slight deviations in the topic as we go but this is the course. I am disturbed by Christians having an uncertain or muted expression of their Savior and how to return to God the Father. So, with the next cup of coffee, I hope you will join me and feel free to comment.
God Bless and Have a Sparkling Day,