Posted in messiah, salvation

"Who do you say that I am?"

Who is Jesus?

Is He a prophet? Is He Elijah? Is He a nice, moral man with a few good things to teach?

Who you say Jesus is determines your eternal destiny.

Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets“. (Mark 8:27-28)

What ho, Mormon, who is Jesus?

Source

Mormons: “Mormons do not believe in the Trinity as we understand it. They believe that God and Jesus were separate physical people” who dwelled on the earth, [former Mormon Beth Johnston said. “God was Jesus’ father, and both men died“.

Muslims say Jesus (Isa) was a Messenger, a Prophet, not deity, never crucified.

As-salamu alaykum, O Muslim, who is Jesus?

O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say


not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. Quran, Chapter 4 The Women An-Nisa: Verse 171

Shalom, good Hebrew. Who is Jesus?

Judaism teaches that it is heretical for any man to claim to be God, part of God, or the literal son of God. The Jerusalem Talmud (Ta’anit 2:1) states explicitly: “if a man claims to be God, he is a liar.”

Wiki Commons

And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” (Mark 8:29)

The exclusivity of Christianity as the sole way to salvation is an eternal truth.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Jesus is the Messiah, the promised One, the savior of all humankind.

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16:17)

Anyone who rejects Jesus as Messiah…King…Lord…Savior…Forgiver of sins, will not go to heaven. They remain in their sinful flesh, and will be damned.

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:50)

Between the sinful, perishable flesh, and the sinless imperishable kingdom which the gates of hell shall not prevail against, is a great gulf fixed–

And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ (Luke 16:26)

Except that while they are still living, you may cross from perishable to imperishable by and through Jesus, by confessing Who He Is.

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Posted in jesus, rapture, salvation

Rapture: "Where did all the people go?" What will the world say in explanation?

Many readers of this blog have asked in email or Facebook messages, what I think the government or the ‘powers that be’ will say to a fearful and wondering population after the rapture. With millions of people having suddenly evaporated, the disappearances will have to be explained somehow. I’m often asked to speculate on what the response will be. I know many of you wonder, too.

This is because once the Light has broken into our stony hearts and conformed us to the image of Christ, it is soooo hard to see life any differently. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us makes everything suddenly so clear about our sin, our condemnation, and our destination before we knew Him. We wonder how it is that so many will STILL refuse to believe, despite the world’s most massive sign, ever.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (John 3:19)

So we know many will still reject. We wonder what kind of explanation will be offered that could satisfy a lost and unbelieving world.

The rapture will be an event unprecedented in human history. The Flood was a global catastrophe, but there were only 8 people alive to witness it and the aftermath. The rapture will be the opposite. A few will be taken and the multitude will be left behind to witness the aftermath. Christians who are alive and Christians who are dead will be taken instantly, in the twinkling of an eye, to meet the Lord Jesus in the air (1 Corinthians 15:52). Of course, we have no way of knowing for sure what will be said in the aftermath. The Church will be gone.

We understand one of the false explanations that may be given is that it is new technology being tested. It may also be proposed that the government explains that the disappearances are due to space beings of a higher order (i.e aliens) taking all the bad people (i.e Christians).

I watched a rapture movie last night on Youtube. It was produced in 1981, and like many in the genre, is low budget with cheesy special effects. It is called “Years of the Beast.” Never mind that it is hosted on Youtube by someone calling herself “Apostle” Mary Thomas, it is the theater version of the 33 year old movie, credits and all. Internet Movie Database has the scoop on it, including some viewer reviews.

The synopsis reads: College professor Stephen Miles (Gary Bayer), his wife, a young girl, and a drifter (Jerry Houser) are suddenly faced with a society where money is worthless, food is scarce, your neighbor is your enemy and oppression reigns. The four must survive a world of earthquakes, natural disasters, looters, corrupt officials and the Anti-Christ in power.

In the movie, after the rapture we saw the people left behind watching the news, and the newscasters tried to explain the disappearances in exactly the above ways. They said it was new technology, or aliens. Another explanation was no explanation, “We just don’t know what we are dealing with yet, that is why the entire planet must come together as a family…” an explanation which of course paved the way for the antichrist.

However two of the main characters are discussing the event in their truck as they drove along. They were hashing over the above given explanations. One said to the other, ‘what do you think?’ And the actor playing the drifter (Jerry Houser) said,

“Someone told me it is a hoax. That the radical Christians dug up their friends
and went into hiding.”

Now THAT is a biblical explanation! It is the first proposed explanation I’ve heard that might be the actual reason given for the rapture. Read Matthew 28:13-18. It is the report of the Guard to the chief priests. Jesus had resurrected and of course His body was no longer in the tomb.

While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

In the Movie Years of the Beast, the adult daughter and son in law drove from Seattle to her father’s farm to find out why her dad was not answering the phone. They couldn’t find him. They waited some days and then they came across his clothes in the chair, his watch and wedding ring next to them. They realized what had happened, and they ran out to the family cemetery plot behind the house. They were running to check if her mother’s grave had opened. It had.

Human depravity is a powerful thing. The priests and Pharisees and scribes and Sadducees were standing in front of Messiah, recipients of His teaching, miracles, love, discipling, and yet they rejected. The power of the human mind to remain embedded in darkness even when a powerful sign is right in front of us is something most people can’t fathom, whether they are saved or unsaved.

Therefore, yes, people will believe whatever explanation is offered as to where the Christians went. Personally, I don’t believe there will be so very many alive that will go. The world will be in chaos, yes, but the world will easily paper over the disappearances and get on with business, the business of rejecting Christ all the way to the grave.

So let us turn from this speculation, as interesting as it is, and ask the eternal question: are YOU ready? Christ’s return in the air to gather His elect could happen at any moment. It could happen now, or tomorrow or next week. Never put off what you can do tomorrow what you must do today.

For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:1-18)

Posted in conversation, encouragement, john bunyan, pilgrim's progress, salvation

We all have a pulpit. How do we use it?

I read an interesting list of points an author made about John Bunyan’s conversion. John Bunyan was the writer of Pilgrim’s Progress, a book many say is the greatest book ever written, apart from the bible. It is without doubt a literary masterpiece. It has stood the test of time since its publication in 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature in history. And the man who wrote it was raised as an atheist.

In Geoff Thomas’ essay titled “John Bunyan,” Mr Thomas wrote,

“John Bunyan had no family influences encouraging him to become a Christian. … In June 1644 when he was 16 his mother passed away and four weeks later his sister died. Eight weeks after his mother’s death his father remarried and in 8 months his wife gave birth to a boy whom his Royalist father named ‘Charles’. Four months earlier John had left home and had joined the Parliamentary Army fighting against King Charles. There was little affection between son and father. How then did John Bunyan become a Christian? There were ten factors which all played their part, great and small:”

One of these factors caught my attention-

Bunyan was stirred by the godly conversation of Christians.
He would work in Bedford and eat his bread with some Christian women who tailored their conversation for his ears. They talked of their own sin, the new birth, and the love of Christ. Bunyan listened intently and later wrote, ‘They spoke as if joy was making them speak. They were to me as if they had found a new world,’ and he often sought them out and sat with them.

‘they tailored their conversation for his ears.’ How important it is, to speak of Jesus in truth for known hearers and unknown hearers! The women must have seen the Spirit working in Bunyan, and they made a choice to and selflessly not speak of the carnal or mundane or the personal, but of the joy of His grace!

They were living this:

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)

Gill’s Exposition says,

“let grace be the subject matter of your speech and conversation. When saints meet together they should converse with each other about the work of grace upon their souls, how it was begun, and how it has been carried on, and in what case it now is; they should talk of the great things and wonders of grace, which God has done for them, which would be both comfortable and edifying to them, and make for the glory of the grace of God”

Jason L. Sanders wrote this week,

Preachers Aren’t The Only Ones With Pulpits

Parents carry a pulpit with them. And from it, thousands of times a day, we preach a sermon to our kids. Whether the sermon is a good one or a bad one, we can be sure of this one thing.

Whether we are preachers exhorting in church, parents teaching our children, or two simple Puritan Christian ladies serving lunch to an obviously tortured soul, we have the privilege and the responsibility to speak ‘as if joy was making us speak.’

What glory it brings the Lord when we intentionally speak of the riches of His grace. Hearers known and unknown to us, Christian and perishing, listen to us and our Spirit-carried words,

For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. (2 Corinthians 2:16)

For John Bunyan, the ladies’ words were the aroma of life to life (‘he often sought them out and sat with them‘). Therefore season your conversation with love, joy, and salt, and watch with admiration and joy where He carries your words. For we all have a pulpit.

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36)

Posted in repent, salvation, sin

Never forget what sinners we are

The actual wickedness of men’s lives bears a very small proportion to what is in their hearts. But when lust is inwardly cherished, it will break forth into outward sin. Those who tempt others to drunkenness never can be their real friends, and often design their ruin. Thus men execute the Divine vengeance on each other. Those are not only heated with sin, but hardened in sin, who continue to live without prayer, even when in trouble and distress.”
~Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Hosea 7:1-7

Gustav Kaser said of icebergs,

Think of an iceberg! Only about 1/7th rises above the surface of the water. The remaining 6/7ths are under water and not visible to the human eye. A human being is comparable to an iceberg.

The wickedness we see above the surface is only a small proportion to what is in our hearts…

Therefore, praise God that He sent His Son! Jesus lived a sinless life. He died shedding His blood for those appointed to salvation, and pleased with His Son, God raised Him to life on the third day. Now instead of staggering under the weight of all my sin, that which is seen and that which is unseen below the surface, Jesus sees it all, and He saved me anyway. Now I have His righteousness declared upon me by God. As long as I am in this sinful body breathing air on earth, I have been released from the power of sin via the Holy Spirit indwelling me. I have the glorification to look forward to, when I’m no longer even in the presence of sin.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

Posted in allah, grace, Obama, salvation, sin

UPDATE from Todd Friel. Bowe Bergdahl’s Father Invokes Allah In Arabic- Obama smiles triumphantly

I have not followed the Bowe Bergdahl issue. I know little about it. Bowe Bergdahl is America’s only known prisoner of war. Apparently Obama secured this detained and ailing soldier’s release by swapping five Taliban detainees — and leaving most of Congress in the dark. As Congress has become more upset at the President’s sudden and unilateral action, it appears as the story unravels, that the soldier may or may not actually be a deserter- not a hero.

I don’t follow the ins and outs of politics anymore. I have limited time and limited emotional capacity, so I try not to fill it with incidental things of life. I stay focused on work, my local church, the people I interact with, and studying the bible, prayer, and writing, etc.

I have to admit also that my distaste for our current occupant of the Oval Office aids me in keeping me from looking too closely at our American machinations at home and abroad.

However, something on Allen West’s website came to my attention. When Obama held a press conference with the soldier’s father, Bob, and the father was speaking, the father spoke in Arabic. They were just a few words, but there you go. Allah was one of the words. Here is former Congressman and Lt. Colonel Allen West’s report of the incident.

First words of Bergdahl’s father at White House were Arabic
Clare Lopez is a former CIA operations officer, a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on Middle East, national defense, WMD, and counterterrorism issues, and a friend of mine. She emailed me this morning a very poignant analysis that only someone knowing language and Islam could ascertain. She wrote:

“What none of these media is reporting is that the father’s (SGT Bowe Bergdahl’s father Bob) first words at the WH were in Arabic – those words were “bism allah alrahman alraheem” – which means “in the name of Allah the most gracious and most merciful” – these are the opening words of every chapter of the Qur’an except one (the chapter of the sword – the 9th) – by uttering these words on the grounds of the WH, Bergdahl (the father) sanctified the WH and claimed it for Islam. There is no question but POTUS knows this.”

Folks, there is a lot to this whole episode — like Benghazi — that we may never know. And this is not conspiracy theory, it is truth based upon Arabic and Islamic dogma and tradition. And here’s the video if you have any questions.

UPDATE, Todd Friel. 56 seconds, another good word from Todd to ponder:

We Americans have been blessed. For the most part we have had leaders who have willing hearts, attitudes of service, and a desire to do the best for our nation and their fellow citizens. Oh, sure, we’ve had bumblers (Jimmy Carter) some bad ones (James Buchanan), some whose personality did not fit the demands of the job (Ricard Nixon), but overall we never had an inkling that the man whom fellow citizens had elected to office was actually an enemy working against them and did not care at all about their best interests.

Until Obama.

In my opinion, he is a traitor, working actively with satan to dismantle our nation. And that makes me sad, because I love this nation. I mourn for the soldiers who must perform under such a Commander in Chief. I feel empathy for the impoverished ones, the fatherless and the widows in this climate of coldness and rising crime and chaos.

I have felt this way for 7 years. But so what? In looking at nations since the first nations formed in Genesis, 7 years of living under a man who isn’t working for Jesus and isn’t even working for the best interests of the citizens is a tiny, microscopic mite in the historical scheme of things. What about Pharaoh, who let his own people die out of pride? What about invading armies into Israel, killing children? What about Herod and the Massacre of the Innocents? Nero?

What about Germany’s historical shame of Hitler, someone they elected? What about every dictator who ever lived; Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Manuel Noriega, Genghis Khan… Actually, monarchies and dictatorships have been the historical norm for governments. And given man’s depraved state, it is only natural that sinful men do sinful things, and even ‘good’ dictators turn bad.

So who are we to have pity parties over one man for a few years, even while our nation is still one of the wealthiest on the planet? Here is THE question I asked myself: am I more willing to pray for Obama, an obviously lost and hell-bound man, than I am willing to complain about his motives? Am I more willing to complain about Obama than I am to praise Jesus?

I have to admit that I don’t pray for him as much as I should. Well I hardly ever pray for him, if I’m honest. And this is despite the fact that the bible says we must pray for our leaders. It is despite the fact that for 42 years I was a sinner like Obama, and only now I am released from the power of sin by Jesus’ grace. As it is written in 1 Timothy 2:1-4,

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

We should not get all tangled up and angry when sinful people do what they normally do: sin. This goes for even our leaders, whom sometimes we set apart as somehow higher, more noble, less sinful. But the lost are just that, lost. A lost man smiles when another prays to a false god. A lost man smiles when his plans for evil seem to be coming true. But God means all evil for good to those who love Him. (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28). It is by God’s grace that we even know that He means it for good, having the Holy Spirit in us to illuminate the bible’s meaning to us in the verses which declare it so.

As for Obama, all our leaders, any leader, or every sinful person, “Their foot shall slide in due time.” (Deuteronomy 32:35). Obama can smile triumphantly all he wants, but the only triumphant smile I will give is the one if in the Lord’s purpose and plan, He calls Obama to salvation. I once was a sinner like the president, smiling when false gods were mentioned. If he is saved, we will be brothers in grace. THAT calls for a smile of triumph.

Posted in Father, grace, holy spirit, irresistible grace, salvation

The Irresistible Grace of the Father and its role in Salvation

I had resisted the pull from the Father toward the cross and His moment of justification. (John 6:44). I was not successful, obviously. But I vividly remember the feeling that I was OK about the concept of God but not OK with the sin and the blood of Jesus. It was just too weird. Of course we know the bible teaches that Jesus’ general call to the world (Matthew 22:14) was not an effectual call for each person upon it. (Romans 8:28). My thoughts and opinions of the matter didn’t figure into His process of salvation for me one iota.

I remember feeling like I was being drawn somewhere, (John 6:65) but kicking and screaming. I used to liken it (mentally) to the science fiction use of the famous “tractor beam.”

The 1960s show Star Trek used the tractor beam a lot, with ship engineer Scotty always yelling they were caught in it and they couldn’t get out no matter how many shields they put up or how much force they turned the engined up to. Star Wars too.

We’re caught in a tractor beam! It’s pulling us in!” ―Han Solo, Star Wars

In “Star Trek,” tractor beams were often used to pull spaceships and other objects closer to the focal point of the light source attached to another ship. The term came from a 1931 science fiction story where the author had used the term “attractor beam”.

I used to call this palpable draw ‘the invisible tractor beam’ and now I know it was the Father drawing me to Jesus. I resisted it forcibly.

I was unsuccessful. Thank God!

After I was saved, I was talking with another Christian and I was laughing about my foolishness to resist the Holy Spirit. I said, “I was dragged kicking and screaming to the cross.” They looked at me disdainfully and said “You were not!” I knew I was. The notion that person had, and so many others have, is that we all come to the cross gently and walking on cotton candy rainbows, placidly and willingly. It is such a false view. We resist salvation every step of the way and it is the Father drawing us that gets us there. (So none may boast- Ephesians 2:9)

We resist the grace of Jesus in salvation, we are in a spiritual war in which we are the enemy combatants, and we never, ever seek after righteousness or holiness, in fact we resist it.

I picture Justification as a courtroom where the guilty criminal is hustled by burly bailiffs to stand before the judge in handcuffs for his own safety, the accused yelling he’s innocent, but made to look at the judge and receive his sentence while he writhes against the process. (Sentence: PARDON!). It is all spiritual warfare and none of it is easy or gentle. But Scripture reveals a truth about a call, a summons that cannot be ignored and it cannot be resisted. It is the unyielding summons from God. It is a subpoena to appear before Him in His court for the purpose of being declared righteous… ~John MacArthur

We’re all dragged in the ‘invisible tractor beam’ toward the point of Light, and we all resist – some more than others but resistance is 100% for each person. However just like the science fiction stories say, “Resistance is futile!” lol. Wouldn’t you like to see a behind the scenes view of the process of our own justification, the angels around us, both holy and unholy, and the Spirit doing His work?

My own experience notwithstanding, as I learned by studying the Doctrines of Grace, His grace is irresistible. That is a very good thing, because if we had the strength to resist Him fully we would be sovereign over God. In addition, He would not be God if His will could be thwarted. And finally, none of us would be saved. (Romans 3:11)

Here are three good essays on the Irresistible Grace of the Savior. I’ve included an excerpt from each.

John Piper: Irresistible Grace
“The doctrine of irresistible grace means that God is sovereign and can overcome all resistance when he wills. “He does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand!” (Daniel 4:35). “Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). When God undertakes to fulfill his sovereign purpose, no one can successfully resist him.This is what Paul taught in Romans 9:14-18, which caused his opponent to say, “Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?”

“Irresistible Grace – is it biblical?”
“Simply put, the doctrine of irresistible grace refers to the biblical truth that whatever God decrees to happen will inevitably come to pass, even in the salvation of individuals. The Holy Spirit will work in the lives of the elect so that they inevitably will come to faith in Christ. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit never fails to bring to salvation those sinners whom He personally calls to Christ (John 6:37-40).”

John Murray: Irresistible Grace
“When we speak of irresistible grace, therefore, it is not to assert that all grace is irresistible, nor is it to deny the numberless respects in which grace is resisted and resisted to the culmination of resistance in everlasting doom.”

The Doctrine of God’s Effectual Call
Paul understood that he was just grabbed by the neck by God and awakened to the glory of Christ and saved and made an Apostle.

Posted in jesus, righteousness, salvation

A plea for your salvation

This is me, one woman’s plain-language plea for those who read this blog who are unsaved to believe in the Gospel.

We can see God plainly because He has made Himself plain in creation. (Romans 1:19). He has set eternity in our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We know it, but we suppress it. Why? We’re sinners.

Because we’re all born sinners and do wrong from even in the womb, (Psalm 51:5), we can’t go to heaven after we die. There IS a heaven, and after-life that lasts forever. So heaven exists but what would make it heaven if we’re all there acting like we are here? It would not be heaven.

Only God is holy, that is, without sin. He does no wrong, He does not lie. He is perfect in righteousness…and we’re not. (1 John 1:18, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:10).

Therefore humans have a problem, don’t we? We can’t do right, having a sin nature, and God is righteous and the bridge is so wide. A great gulf is fixed between us and Him…except that Jesus came to be that bridge. He lived a sinless life as a man, in the days of His flesh He was tempted as we are but overcame it all. He died on the cross as a criminal who had done no wrong, and took on all of God’s wrath and punishment for our sins.

It is true, God is angry with you for sinning. God hates sin. Hates it. (Psalm 5:4). He has wrath about it. He was pleased to crush His son (again are you shocked at this language? It came straight from the bible, Isaiah 53:10). Then, pleased with His Son, God raised Jesus from the dead, and brought Him to glory. Now Jesus is not only the bridge, but the door we can go through to get to heaven.

Picture a car wash. The car is put on the tracks and goes through the building with powerful washing, and emerges the other side sparkling clean. Scrubbed from top to bottom. We don’t get out and scrub the car, it is automatically scrubbed while we do not contribute to the work. Jesus’s blood washes our sins away and if we go through Him we emerge clean by His works and we can go on to heaven.

But how do we get to the car wash? How do we get clean?

Repent.

That means hating your sins and asking Jesus to forgive them. He can and He does. He lived the life on earth and resisted performing even one sin, even one thought of sin. He is qualified to forgive us because He has triumphed over sin, and He took your punishment for them.

If you do not seek Jesus and repent of sins, believing He is qualified to forgive you because He is the resurrected Son of God, then God will reject you when you die and come asking to get into heaven. Those who reject Jesus will be rejected in turn. If God was pleased to crush His sinless Son, (Isaiah 53:10) do YOU think you’d fare any better standing before Him pleading your own sinful case?

It might sound shocking to hear of things like God hates sin or being rejected or crushing His Son. The world certainly teaches that God is [only] love and that heaven is open to all. But I go back to the original, if you go to heaven like you are now, and so does everybody, what makes it heaven? Earth is a terrible place, full of murderers and liars and child molesters. Even if you are not those things, you’re a greedy, coveting, lying, cretin who doesn’t do good and has poison in your heart. If you have ever even had one malicious thought, you’re a sinner. So again, what makes heaven, heaven, if YOU’RE there?

I was a sinner too. I still am, but I asked Jesus to forgive me (Romans 10:9) and in His mercy, He did. He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell me so as to help me resist sin. I still have that sin nature but I am a new creation in Christ. I am IN Christ. You see, once we emerge from that car wash, the track leads straight to Jesus’s arms and He enfolds us to Himself and He is in us and we are in Him. There is no better place to be, than in the One who is righteous, sinless, holy, living and perfect. He will never forsake me nor let me go. No one or nothing can snatch me from his hand.

He will give you the desires of your heart. Your desire is to sin. If you reject Him and won’t repent, He will allow you to fulfill your desire to sin, but that disqualifies you from entering heaven. When you die, you will get your wish to be apart from Jesus forever. You will got to hell. Hell is real and at this very second it is full of people who thought they were saved because they were good. Thought they had the right religion. Thought there was no God, or hell, or heaven.

So repent while it is the day and not the night. Your foot shall slide in due time. Jonathan Edwards described the enormity of an eternal hell:

It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble, faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable: For “who knows the power of God’s anger?

This is the Gospel from the bible:

The Resurrection of Christ

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)

Posted in america, mark of the beast, repentance, salvation, tribulation

US company wants to bring free wi-fi to 100% of world: mark of the beast technology?

I enjoyed Rapture Ready editor Terry James’s essay this week called Tribulation Technologies Tightening. The title is evocative, isn’t it? Mr James said, “Things are progressing so quickly in the area of people-control technologies that I must admit I simply can’t keep up.

What he is referring to is the fact that during the prophesied 7-year tribulation period at the end of the end of days, certain technologies will have been developed which will aid certain events to come to pass. For example, this verse:

“He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

For it to come to fruition, first, there must exist some sort of tracking and identification technology that the antichrist and false prophet can even begin to catch up to and track each person, “everyone”, in order to force them to take the mark. Second, there must be some sort of technology in place that tracks financial purchases at every point of sale so that people without the mark will be banned at that point of sale from buying anything.

Here is another verse where some sort of technology will exist that will become part of the verse’s fulfillment:

“For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb. and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 11:9-10)

This was an ancient way of saying ‘the whole world.’

And how will the whole world gaze at their bodies for three and a half days, the mews getting around so fast that people have time to go out and buy and exchange gifts? Television. Satellite. Cell phones. But even then, there are many places in the world where people don’t have electricity, or tv’s or cell phones or cell phone coverage. Additionally, countries like China and North Korea have censored online activity, denying their citizenry the opportunity to view and participate in world news.

But now there’s the following interesting news:
“There’s really nothing that is technically impossible to this.”
Company plans to beam free Wi-fi to every person on Earth from space
[O]ne ambitious organisation called the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to turn the age of online computing on its head by giving free web access to every person on Earth. Known as Outernet, MDIF plans to launch hundreds of satellites into orbit by 2015. And they say the project could provide unrestricted Internet access to countries where their web access is censored, including China and North Korea. Using something known as datacasting technology, which involves sending data over wide radio waves, the New York-based company says they’ll be able to broadcast the Internet around the world. The Outernet team claim that only 60% of the world’s population currently have access to the wealth of knowledge that can be found on the Internet. This is because, despite a wide spread of Wi-FI devices across the globe, many countries are unable or unwilling to provide people with the infrastructure needed to access the web.

Well, the so-called outernet would certainly take care of the problem of 40% of the world not having access to instantaneous news, wouldn’t it.

In other news I’ve been amazed at the speed with which America has declined. I was born in 1960, at a time when there was the gold standard, US astronauts zooming to the moon and back, winning the cold war, beating the Russians at Olympic Hockey, and being the world’s sole superpower. Nothing was impossible and it seemed like the US could and would go on forever.

That was an illusion, as the 2007-2008 economic crash showed us. The National Review has a good article on the US decline.

The United States of Decline
America unravels at an increasingly dizzying pace. America is unraveling at a stunning speed and to a staggering degree. This decline is breathtaking, and the prognosis is dim. For starters, Obama now rules by decree. Reportedly for the 27th time, he has changed the rules of Obamacare singlehandedly, with neither congressional approval nor even ceremonial resolutions to limit his actions. Obama needs no such frivolities. “That’s the good thing about being president,” Obama joked on February 10. “I can do whatever I want.” In an especially bitter irony, Obama uttered these despicable words while guiding French president François Hollande through Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson — a key architect of America’s foundation of limited government.

Earth’s sole superpower is sagging where it should be No. 1. America has slouched to No. 12 on the 2014 Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom. “Now considered only a ‘mostly free’ economy, the U.S. has earned the dubious distinction of having recorded one of the longest sustained declines in economic freedom, second only to Argentina, of any country in the [20-year] history of the Index,” the report states. “The U.S. is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years.”

In my personal opinion, having been an active and acute observer of American life and cultural mores for 50 years, the end is near. I am daily amazed at the implosion of just about every aspect of both American and global life. The decline of morals, the persecution of the Christian religion (higher now than ever in history), declining economy, craven entertainment, unscrupulous personal and governmental finances, rising lack of conscience, the emergence of technologies, church tares over-running the pews, extreme weather, geo-political collapses (Kiev anyone?), natural disasters, all occurring at once and so constantly, and with ever increasing extremity, all serve to show me and perhaps you too that truly the end is near.

The Lord has given his world 2000 years to heed the words of Messiah. What a gracious and long-suffering Savior we have. He said that He would build His church and that when it is complete the rapture would come and He would then turn His attention to finish the transgression of Israel. (Matthew 16:18, Romans 11:25, Daniel 9:24).

I believe the time is short to repent and become folded in to the beauty and certainty of the Lord’s church. He will whisk His bride home and then unleash the worst wrath and times upon the earth that ever was or will be. (Matthew 24:21). Please heed these things. Please, please repent.

What is repentance and is it necessary for salvation?

Is repentance required for salvation?

Repentance

The Doctrine of Repentance

Posted in Action Jones, encouragement, salvation

Salvation: an illustration by Action Jones

Action Jones made his illustrations freely available for ministry. Here is one titled Salvation

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” – Jesus Christ, from the Gospel of John 6:63

Only the Holy Spirit of God can bring a dead sinful soul to cry out to Jesus for eternal life – and if we are to be saved, this is exactly the miracle that must happen.

If you’re reading this and do not love Jesus and trust Him as your Master and Savior – this can happen to you right now if you’d just recognize your desperation and call out to Him.”

More Action Jones on:

Deviantart
Tumblr blog: Full of Eyes
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Posted in charles manson, evil, father of lies, pope, salvation, timothy mcveigh

What do Joel Osteen and the Timothy McVeigh have in common? Mother Teresa and Hitler?

Pastor Don Green of Truth Community Fellowship preached an excellent sermon on February 2, 2014 titled Who is Satan?

He posed a question at the beginning of the sermon, asking, “Have we underestimated satan?” It is a question that I believe has a resounding ‘yes’ for an answer. I recommend the sermon, which is unvarnished truth about satan, satanic schemes, and the demonic horde, combined with a look at the grace of Jesus. Meanwhile, here are some transcribed excerpts,

Paul wrote, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,” (1 Timothy 4:1)

These doctrines of demons, Pastor Green said, are “not necessarily going to be fiery displays of evil, it will be things cloaked in things that sound palatable to the human ear, things that sound plausible. Things that give you the sense that you can work your way into heaven, or that ultimately God is going forgive everyone and no one will go to hell. Or perhaps that God isn’t as holy, or that you’re not as bad as the scripture says you to be. The vast diversity of evil that the devil propagates through so many different systems shouldn’t confuse us to the ultimate fact that there is a common root.

Pastor Green made the point that there are only two sides. There is the Spirit of truth, and the father of lies. There is no in between. He said, “Satan is the father of every lie that opposes the Gospel. He is a liar and the father of lies.

You know that if someone is not from God, they are of the devil. Truth is not relative. Biblical truth is either/or. (Mark 9:40).

Pastor Green explained,

When we see false doctrine being taught, we need to understand there is more going on than a man who is mistaken. There is a spiritual force at work whether the man is aware of it or not. Men become the mouthpiece of the deceiver of souls. What should frighten us is that satan has the supernatural capacity to make himself look like, to present himself as one who is bringing light, not darkness.

In my never-ending quest to starkly illustrate the truth of the bible’s words, and that it is the same evil behind all that opposes God, no matter how ‘gentle’ it first appears, here are a series of paired photographs.

The same evil that spurred Charles Manson to become a cult leader and a murderer is behind the Pope, too, who is also a cult leader and a murderer of truth and souls, creating sons of hell. (Matthew 23:15)

The same evil that whispered to Hitler to roast Jews in ovens

is behind the Catholic Mother Teresa, whose refusal to share the Gospel sent many to roasting in hell forever, and who said, “There are so many religions and each one has its different ways of following God. I follow Christ”.

The same evil that is behind Timothy McVeigh and his bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City, killing children in the daycare there along with many others,

is behind Joel Osteen, whose doctrines of demons delude millions every week. Many wither on his vine and die weekly

Too awful to contemplate? Yes, it is. The murderous, unsaved men such as Manson, Hitler and McVeigh are children of the father of lies and it is the same spirit that popes, preachers, and religious workers in false religions serve, too. When they die, unless they repent, they all will go to the place where the father of lies is prepared for, hell. Popes, “Mother” Teresa, and Joel Osteen all present themselves as workers of light, but they are in fact all darkness and their evil deeds are the same as the aforementioned men in the murderous category. They all have a common root. Satan.

Here is another either/or:
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)

The good news is that satan has been vanquished by our holy and wonderful Jesus. Jesus came to live as a man for 33 years, teaching and preaching for the last three. He was unjustly killed, shedding His blood for sinners, and exhausted God’s wrath for us. Pleased with His Son’s sacrifice, Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God on the third day, and has ascended to the Father. Jesus will return in glory to judge the living and the dead.

I’ll paraphrase what Pastor Green said about the urgency of the message. I don’t know if you will be here tomorrow to read these things on this blog or any other blog. I don’t know if I’ll be here tomorrow to repeat them. Your eternal soul is at stake. Please take this seriously. Satan is real, he is a devourer of souls, and if you’re not in Christ at this moment, you’re blinded to the fact that you’re standing on a gossamer web hanging over hell. Your foot shall slide in due time, and your fate will be sealed. Come to Christ now,

And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain– for He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION.” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2)