Tag Archives: Jesus

What can I do to be saved?

The Bible presents a clear path to eternal life. First, we must recognize that we have sinned against God: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We have all done things that are displeasing to God, which makes us deserving of punishment. Since all our sins are ultimately against an eternal God, only an eternal punishment is sufficient. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). However, Jesus Christ, the sinless (1 Peter 2:22), eternal Son of God became a man (John 1:1, 14) and died to pay our penalty. “God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ died on the cross (John 19:31-42), taking the punishment that we deserve (2 Corinthians 5:21). Three days later He rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), proving His victory over sin and death. “In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). By faith, we must change our mindset regarding Christ – who He is, what He did, and why – for salvation (Acts 3:19). If we place our faith in Him, trusting His death on the cross to pay for our sins, we will be forgiven and receive the promise of eternal life in heaven. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that anyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Faith alone in the finished work of Christ on the cross is the only true path to eternal life! “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is a sample prayer. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Christ that can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. “God, I know that I have sinned against you and deserve punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life! Amen!”   

(Copied from http://www.gotquestions.org/eternal-life.html)

Are you Good Enough to go to Heaven?

Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven!

How is Noah’s Ark symbolic of Jesus?

There was one door on the side of the ark through which Noah, his family, and all of the animals could enter to be saved from the Flood.  In John 10:9, Jesus tells us, “I am the door; if anyone enters through me, he will be saved.”  Just like Noah and the others who entered the door of the ark, those who enter the “door to salvation” through faith in Jesus and repentance of their sins will be saved.  There is another interesting symbolism regarding the pitch that was used to cover the ark.

People were saved from the flood by entering the door to the ark. We are saved from eternal suffering by entering through the “door” of Jesus. (Source: Answers in Genesis)

Is Jesus prophesied in the Old Testament?

The following article is from www.allaboutgod.comThis shows how the life, ministry, and death of Jesus can all be found in the Old Testament.

The Messiah preexists time (Gen. 1:1). He is the eternal Redeemer that will come to earth to reconcile mankind with God (Job 19:25-26). Although Satan will try to attack Him, the Messiah will have ultimate victory (Gen. 3:15). One day He will rule over everything and all nations will bow down to Him (Is 45:23, Ps 22).

The Messiah will descend from Shem (Gen 9-10), Abraham (Gen 22:18), Isaac (Gen 26:4), Jacob (Gen 28:14), Judah (Gen 49:10), Jesse (Is 11:1-5) and David (2 Sam 7:11-16). He will be born in the city of Bethlehem in the county of Ephrathah (Mic 5:2) when a bright star appears (Num 24:17). It will be a miraculous, virgin birth (Is 7:14).

The Messiah will be unique, having preexisted His birth (Mic 5:2). He will perform many miracles: calming the sea (Ps 107:29), causing the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and the mute to talk (Is 35:4-6). He will be referred to in many ways, including: God With Us (Is 7:14), Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Princ e of Peace (Is 9:6). He will be a great teacher and will use parables (Ps 78:2).

But the Messiah will come to save mankind (Is 53:3-9). He will become man’s sin offering (Is 53:3-9) and present Himself to Jerusalem as both the anointed King (Zech 9:9) and the Passover Lamb (Is 53:3-9). This will occur 173,880 days after the decree by Artaxerxes to rebuild both Jerusalem and the temple (Dan 9:20-27). So, in early April, 33 AD, the Messiah will present Himself to a rejoicing Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Zech 9:9). But then He will suffer greatly (Is 53:3-9). Many will reject Him, including His friends (Is 53:3-9). He will be betrayed by a friend (Ps 41:9) for 30 pieces of silver (Zech 11:12-13). Later, that money will be thrown on the floor of the temple (Zech 11:12,13) and w ill eventually go to a potter (Zech 11:12-13). At His trial He will not defend Himself. He will say nothing (Is 53:3-9) except as required by law. Israel will reject Him (Is 8:14).

The Messiah will be taken to a mountaintop identified to Abraham as “the Lord will provide” (Gen 22). There He will be crucified with His hands and feet pierced (Ps 22). His enemies will encircle Him (Ps 22), mocking Him, and will cast lots for His clothing (Ps 22). He will call to God, asking why He was “forsaken” (Ps 22). He will be given gall and wine (Ps 69:20-22). He will die with thieves (Is 53:3-9). But, unlike the thieves, none of His bones will be broken (Ps 22). His heart will fail (Ps 22), as indicated by blood and water spilling out (Ps 22) when He is pierced with a sp ear (Zech 12:10). He will be buried in a rich man’s grave (Is 53:3-9). In three days, He will rise from the dead (Ps 22).

Why is Jesus called the “Last Adam”?

Adam was the first man created and he sinned, causing a separation between God and his creation.  We are all decedents of Adam and therefore all have this separation.  We are all born of Adam, have the sin nature, and are destined to die in a cursed world.  Jesus, who was fully man and fully God, came to restore the creation after Adam.  Through our Redeemer, we can be born again  and live with him in Heaven for eternity, where there will be no more curse.

The problems of the world started with something hanging from a tree, and those problems were resolved by God hanging from a tree (Source: Answers in Genesis)

What is significant about the pitch that Noah used to cover the ark?

“Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.” (Gen 6:14).  The pitch was a substance used to waterproof the ark.  The Hebrew word used for pitch, Kopher (Strong’s #3724), is from the root word used for “atonement” or “covering.”  The ark is symbolic of how people “enter the door” to be saved by Jesus (John 10:9).  Jesus atoned, or “covered” our sins on the cross, just like the pitch covered the ark and protected the people and animals inside from the waters of judgment.

Jesus covered our sins, just like the pitch covered the ark.

Do the names of the patriarchs in Genesis have a meaning?

In Old Testament times, people were given names that had a meaning.  You can read in the Old Testament how children were named according to events occurring during or before their birth, and even places were named according to events.  There was much importance and meanings in names.  Below is a list of the names of the patriarchs in Genesis 5:1-32, and to the left is the English meaning of their name.  

  •          Adam = Man
  •          Seth = Appointed
  •          Enosh = Mortal
  •          Kenana = Sorrow
  •          Mahalalel = The Blessed God
  •          Jared = Shall come down
  •          Enoch = Teaching
  •          Methuselah = His death shall bring
  •          Lamech = The despairing
  •          Noah = Rest

 

When you put the names into a sentence, you get the following: Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest. 

Could it be that Jesus, the Blessed God who would bring us rest, was foretold in Genesis some 4,000 years before his earthly ministry began?   For more information about this and other interesting Bible facts, visit www.khouse.org.

Christianity versus Religion

In business, the competitors study each other in order to find out how they can improve and win the customer. In football, players use a big book of defensive and offensive plays in hopes of winning the game, and each team would love to know what the other team’s plays are in order to effectively defeat them. Part of my work in this ministry is studying the other religions and the skeptics. I’ve got to know what the enemy or “competitor” is up to.   I have visited pages like www.ex-christian.net and have read other atheist blogs. I’ve listened to the podcasts about atheism and evolution. I want to know what makes people question and leave the faith. What I have found is quite alarming.

The word “religion” probably gives you the image of a bunch of people sitting in an old church adorned with stained glass where everyone is wearing their finest clothes while they hold hymnals and stand up or sit down in unison. “Religious” people are thought of as “goody-good-goods” who do nothing wrong, are always happy, and follow a list of rules. (I’m thinking of Ned Flanders…) Generally speaking, that is what religion is—a list of rules to live by that are given to us by an authority figure who may not even live by them. The Muslims have their 5 Pillars of Faith, the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have several “good works” to do in order to be saved, the Catholics have Mass and good works as well. The list goes on.

One recent blog I read was about a man’s deconversion. He grew up in a Pentecostal church (no offense met at all towards that denomination). In that church, and among his different family members, this man had to live by a lot of rules. Understand that I believe in a set standard of morality, but these rules this man talks about were just unbiblical. For example, he wasn’t allowed to play cards or go to the movies. In his particular church, there was abuse of the spiritual gifts as well (that’s another topic in itself). I’ve experienced “gifts abuse” myself and is it little wonder why anyone would want to avoid religion if it’s full of stuff like that? If I went to a church and everyone was babbling away out loud, swinging from the chandelier, and trying to heal me by slapping me in the head, well I wouldn’t be going back. That stuff is strictly unbiblical.  Where is the gospel in the chaos?

Christianity is considered to be a religion, but it’s quite different from religion. Sure, there are rules, and hypocrites who break the rules, and there are people who have “holier than thou” attitudes. But this is not what Christianity is supposed to be. Christians follow Jesus and His teachings. Jesus taught love. Jesus spent time with the sinners. He cared for the sick and needy. Jesus did show judgment towards the “holy rollers” like the Pharisees. He called them “white washed sepulchers,” which basically is saying they were clean on the outside but full of dead men’s bones. There are many examples of Jesus calling these people out. But overall, Jesus was a loving and caring person, and this is what Christians are supposed to exemplify.

Jesus came to fulfill the law of the Old Testament. During OT times, the Jews had to make a sacrifice in order to atone for their sins. All Jews were sinful because no one was ever able (or will ever be able) to follow each commandment of the law. When Jesus came, there was no longer a need for the law. Nine of the Ten Commandments were reiterated in the New Testament. We do need to follow the law, but in doing so we are not saved from God’s judgment. We follow the Ten Commandments because they are rules set by God for both peaceful living and reverence to Him. They promote overall good behavior to our fellow man.

A quick review of the Big Ten will show that we are allowed to play cards and we are allowed to go to the movies. The commandments say nothing about when to sit and stand, what to wear, or what songs to sing. Because of grace (see my much earlier post about grace and mercy), we are free in Christ. Granted, there are several things that we know not to do. We are to avoid adultery, we are to avoid gambling because it leads to greed and lust for money, we are to avoid pornography for multiple reasons, we are to avoid movies that promote the occult, lust, adultery, and other immoralities. Do we do this because we are goody good good? No, we do this because we want to be like Christ. He saved us from eternal punishment so we should in turn exemplify Him.  This is not a religion.  It’s a way of life, and standard by which we live.

Do Christians fail at this? Yes, a lot. But when we fail, there are two options: continue with the sin or acknowledge that we have sinned and ask for forgiveness. A Christian who continues in sin needs to be helped and/or rebuked. I’ll admit that there are a lot of bad Christians out there, and some of them I wonder if they are even in the faith or just going through the motions. Some of the big names I see on television are teaching heresy, and people are buying into.  That too is another topic for another time.

Christianity should be about loving others and showing compassion to the less fortunate because this is what Jesus did. It’s not about our clothes, the hymnals, or avoiding card games. We are saved not because of what we do but rather what has already been done for us, when Jesus paid the ultimate price on the cross. He fulfilled the penalty for us breaking the commandments, because none of us could do it ourselves.  Christianity is definitely not about judging others or being holier than thou.  Jesus rebuked people like that during his time on earth.  Christians should be humble as well.

I want to leave with this thought: Do not base your opinion of or belief in of God on His followers—they all (including myself) fall short of being like God. Instead base your opinion on his loving nature and awesome plans for those who accept Him.  Let’s focus on the freedom that is in Christ.  We are free to worship with loud music or Gregorian chant.  We are allowed to wear jeans or an evening gown.  We are allowed to play cards or build a house out of them.  Let’s stop the bickering over these non-essentials and unbiblical rules and go spread the gospel of Freedom!

Jesus revealed through Prophecy

This is an article from www.allaboutgod.com and I think it is worth posting on here.  This article shows some of the many prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus.  Everything you read below is taken from the Old Testament.  It’s awesome that we can learn about Jesus’ life story before he became God in the flesh!  Enjoy!

The Messiah preexists time (Gen. 1:1). He is the eternal Redeemer that will come to earth to reconcile mankind with God (Job 19:25-26). Although Satan will try to attack Him, the Messiah will have ultimate victory (Gen. 3:15). One day He will rule over everything and all nations will bow down to Him (Is 45:23, Ps 22). 

The Messiah will descend from Shem (Gen 9 – 10), Abraham (Gen 22:18), Isaac (Gen 26:4), Jacob (Gen 28:14), Judah (Gen 49:10), Jesse (Is 11:1–5) and David (2 Sam 7:11–16). He will be born in the city of Bethlehem in the county of Ephrathah (Mic 5:2) when a bright star appears (Num 24:17). It will be a miraculous, virgin birth (Is 7:14). 

The Messiah will be unique, having preexisted His birth (Mic 5:2). He will perform many miracles: calming the sea (Ps 107:29), causing the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and the mute to talk (Is 35:4–6). He will be referred to in many ways, including: God With Us (Is 7:14), Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Princ e of Peace (Is 9:6). He will be a great teacher and will use parables (Ps 78:2). 

But the Messiah will come to save mankind (Is 53:3-9). He will become man’s sin offering (Is 53:3-9) and present Himself to Jerusalem as both the anointed King (Zech 9:9) and the Passover Lamb (Is 53:3-9). This will occur 173,880 days after the decree by Artaxerxes to rebuild both Jerusalem and the temple (Dan 9:20-27). So, in early April, 33 AD, the Messiah will present Himself to a rejoicing Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Zech 9:9). But then He will suffer greatly (Is 53:3-9). Many will reject Him, including His friends (Is 53:3-9). He will be betrayed by a friend (Ps 41:9) for 30 pieces of silver (Zech 11:12,13). Later, that money will be thrown on the floor of the temple (Zech 11:12,13) and w ill eventually go to a potter (Zech 11:12,13). At His trial He will not defend Himself. He will say nothing (Is 53:3-9) except as required by law. Israel will reject Him (Is 8:14). 

The Messiah will be taken to a mountaintop identified to Abraham as “the Lord will provide” (Gen 22). There He will be crucified with His hands and feet pierced (Ps 22). His enemies will encircle Him (Ps 22), mocking Him, and will cast lots for His clothing (Ps 22). He will call to God, asking why He was “forsaken” (Ps 22). He will be given gall and wine (Ps 69:20-22). He will die with thieves (Is 53:3-9). But, unlike the thieves, none of His bones will be broken (Ps 22). His heart will fail (Ps 22), as indicated by blood and water spilling out (Ps 22) when He is pierced with a sp ear (Zech 12:10). He will be buried in a rich man’s grave (Is 53:3-9). In three days, He will rise from the dead (Ps 22).

www.allaboutgod.com

What is Mercy and Grace?

You hear it talked about in Christian circles…”God’s mercy and grace…”  It sounds good and churchy.  But what does it really mean?

Let’s get to the true meaning of these important terms.  Suppose you are a shopaholic.  You have five credit cards and they are all maxed out to a total of $100,000.  You will never be able to pay that debt—ever.  Now imagine some stranger comes to you and recognizes your debt, and he gives you $100,000 to pay for that debt.  This is mercy—a pardon/forgiveness.  Now imagine that not only does this person pay off your debt, he gives you $1,000,000 for no reason.  This is grace—something we don’t deserve. 

In theology, we all have a debt to pay that we can never pay off.  That debt is sin.  When you read the word “sin,” think of the word “offense” because that is truly what it is—an offense against God.  Those words are interchangeable.

In Old Testament times, a priest had to sacrifice an animal to pay for the sins of the people.  What this amounts to is that whoever brought the animal to be sacrificed on behalf of their family had to lose something.  Animals were an important commodity to the family.  And they couldn’t offer up just any goat or sheep.  It had to be a flawless animal without defects.  Compared to today, it would be like us having to pay a portion of our paycheck each year to atone for our sins.

This animal sacrifice covered the sins of the people for a limited amount of time.  When Jesus came, he offered himself up as a human sacrifice.  Jesus, like the animals without defects, was perfect.  God allowed for the sacrifice.  He lost his Son, just like the family in OT times lost a portion of their wealth.  Jesus is fully human but also fully God and therefore had no sin in his life.  This perfect, human sacrifice atoned for all of the sins of the people then and now.  God’s loss was done for our gain!

Jesus’ death was an act of mercy.  It pardoned the sins of all mankind, which is something none of us would ever be able to do.  How could anyone other than Jesus repay the offense made to an Infinitely Holy God?  Without this ultimate sacrifice, we were all destined for hell, because an offense against God has to be paid for.  Jesus paid for our offense.  He took our place.  This is mercy.  Mercy allowed us a ticket out of hell. 

Grace comes in the form of eternal life in Heaven with our Savior.  We don’t deserve Heaven, but God in his unfailing love has given us Heaven.  We as sinful humans don’t deserve the mercy, and definitely don’t deserve the grace, but God loves us this much. 

The sacrifice of His son is something that a parent can easily relate to.  Parents are typically very protective of their children and would never want anything to happen to them.  For the parents, imagine the sorrow you would have to go through by sacrificing your own child for someone who rebelled against you.  You would have to watch this beating and murder take place.  This is what God had to do for all of us so we could be saved from eternal torment.  He saw His son Jesus endure the mockery, punishment, beatings, and brutal crucifixion for you and me!  For those who don’t have children, think about something you cherish, such as a pet.  Imagine seeing your dog or cat going through a brutal beating all for the sake of people who offended you. 

What God has done for us is True Love.  God is Love.  God loves us so much that he created a way for us to be redeemed instead of having eternal punishment in hell!  And to think, so many billions of people reject this sacrifice.  They reject the One who offers the only hope.  Thank God for the Mercy he gave us—the ticket out of hell—and thank God for the Grace we don’t deserve—the gift of eternal life with Him!