Oct 26, 2009

Responding to the Gospel of Jesus Christ

If you have read the previous post, which is the first part of understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it convicts your heart, perhaps makes you feel guilt, or shame, or like you've got to get right with God, then to that I say AMEN.

Do not let another day go by without making things right between you and the Lord. You don't know when will be your last breath, nor do you know if in that moment you will have the chance to repent of your sins.

You don't need me to tell you how to pray to God, and you don't need to repeat anything after me. Consider your sins, all of them if you can. Think of how you have sinned against the One who made you, the One who everyday despite your rebellion still provides for you. Think of not only His provision for you but also how He died to save you.

Fall on your knees and apologize to Him. Trust no longer in your own goodness, but surrender you life to Jesus Christ, putting all your faith and trust into Him and Him alone.

Here is a wonderful prayer of contrition; a Psalm of repentance by King David; (Psalm 51)
For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

This means that you deny yourself and daily pick up your cross and follow Him, for "he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of Me." (Matt 10:38) Jesus also said that "if you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love..." and "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit (doing good works and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ), and so prove to be my disciples."

When you give your life to Jesus Christ, you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as a promise of your salvation. You will be born again and made new. You will be given a new attitude and instead of wanting to sin, you will instead strive to obey the commands of Jesus Christ and live a life of repentance and faith.

You are a disciple of Jesus Christ a "Christian", a Greek term meaning, "Christ follower".

Find a good Bible teaching assembly of saints (a church), and be baptized. Read your Bible and pray every day and grow in the Lord. **

I rejoice for you and so do all the angels of heaven. May the peace of God be upon you and may God bless you and keep you.

** It is important for you to understand though, and really unfortunate, but many church's nowadays are straying from sound Biblical truth. It is important for all new believers and old believers to be grounded in sound Biblical truth. If you would like to find a good solid church to attend please let me know and I will do all that I can to point you in the right direction**

Oct 20, 2009

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

The Gospel of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the most important information that has ever been given to mankind and requires... no, demands that you respond. Much more then, the importance of your response will determine where you will spend eternity.

It's a common response to hear that life is too short to be thinking about what happens when you die
, but if you think about it, your going to be dead a lot longer than your alive, so maybe you should think about what happens on the other side of the veil. If you are reading this and you have not received the Gospel of Christ, please don't just read through this and go on with your life, receive for yourself the word of truth and be saved.

The Good News of Christ is most clearly spoken in Paul's letter to the Romans in chapter 5:8-10;
"But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."

Now before anyone can fully understand this we must recognize the bad news first. That is that we have all sinned and committed crimes against an infinitely holy God. Again, I ask that you please read this honestly and sincerely.

Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Most people do, and they usually cite the fact that they haven't killed anyone. Which is good, but the Bible says something a little different. The Bible says that "there is none who does good, there is not even one" (Rom 3:12) You see, murder is not the standard by which we judge a person good or not, the Law of God is, the 10 Commandments.

We don't decide what is right and wrong, the One who created us does, and it is He that establishes the Law, and He has written it upon each of our hearts. We know this because it does not matter where you go on Earth or what culture or society, we all have the same inherent moral standards. Also because God is our creator, He demands and deserves all glory and worship. Therefore, His Law also demands His worship.

The 10 Commandments
1 You shall have no other gods before me
2 You shall not make for yourself any graven image to worship
3 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
4 You shall remember the Sabbath to keep it holy
5 Honour your father and mother
6 you shall not murder
7 You shall not commit adultury
8 You shall not steal
9 You shall not lie
10 You shall not covet

Examine the Law truthfully. Have you ever lied, or stolen anything? Do you keep one day a week to worship God? Have you ever used God's name as a swear, or in a way other than reverent honour? Jesus said, "You have heard it said, 'You shall not commit adultery'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a women with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt 5:27-28, this applies for women too, not just men). So now when you stand before God on the day of judgment He will find you guilty, "because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin... For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:20,23).

*Please keep reading, I know this isn't pleasant talk, but remember that their is good news after this.*

The foundations of God's throne are justice and righteousness (Psalm 97:2) He will not overlook any sin and He will hold all accountable. Not only that, but our sin, which is primarily against Him first and foremost, angers Him. "For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience." (Col 3:6)

Now do you remember that I said that there is good news after all this? There is very good news. I hope you have seriously considered what was previously said and I even hope that I have caused a little bit of fear and remorse in your hearts. Fear can be a good thing, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And remorse, a godly sorrow is which leads to repentance.

The good news in all this is this. Jesus Christ has come from heaven to earth and has Himself paid the penalty for your sins with His own blood being nailed to a Roman cross. It works like this. You have offended a holy eternal God and justice demanded an eternal righteous judgment and eternity in hell is not enough to satisfy our debt against God's Law.

However, Jesus Christ, God Himself,was made in the likeness of a man, being born of a virgin. He lived a sinless perfect life, keeping God's Law in it's entirety. And while we were yet sinners, without hope in this world, Jesus Himself came to give His life as a ransom for all who believe. He was beaten, whipped, punched in the face, His beard ripped out of His face, spat upon, mocked, and nailed naked to a cross for all to see, all by those He created. Thereby satisfying the wrath of God, and three days later Jesus Christ rose from the dead, defeating death.

You see, He did this for you, so that you might be set free, completely forgiven of every sin, past, present and future. Our sins were placed on Jesus and His perfect life is accredited to our account. It is a free gift if you shall receive it. You must respond to this by repenting of your sin, which means to turn from all your sins; all lying, stealing, immoralities and idolatry. You must deny yourself, and apologize to God and call upon the name of the Lord. That is if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation (Rom 10:9-10).

Consider how kind God is. How great a love He has for us. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and yet loses his soul?" You can have everything in the world, yet it is appointed unto man once to die and then judgment. Or you may have nothing at all, and you will still stand before the judgment seat of God and give an account. All you can do is cry for mercy, and because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ you shall receive forgiveness and everlasting life only if you have repented and trusted in Jesus Christ before that day.

Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, for today is the day of salvation.

Repent and believe.

Oct 17, 2009

My Stripe

What stripe am I? Where do I stand in the mass of confusion which we call Christianity? What do I believe when it comes to the Bible? When it comes right down to it, this is what matters, because where you stand on the Bible will most likely determine your world view, and also where you stand on various issues that concern the Church.

I believe the Bible to be without error and wholly and truly inspired by the Holy Spirit, given to mankind straight from God Himself. The Bible stands above all authority on earth, and by it and it alone we know the will of God. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man (and women) of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

The Bible is all we need and is alone all that is trustworthy. So much so that the Bible says that we can't even trust our own hearts (Jer 17:9) and to examine all things by the Scripture (1Thes 5:21).

I believe the Bible to be literal and historically accurate. So when the Bible says that God created the whole universe in 6 days it means God created the world in 6 days. When the Bible says that there are no other gods other than Him, it means that there are no other gods other than Him. It does not mean that the other gods that people worship are the same god by another name, it means that Allah, Vishnu, Jesus of the mormons and JW's, etc. are idols and do not exist.

The Bible does not mean what we think it means, we should not read it and say "what does that verse say to you," rather a verse should be read and we should say " what does this verse say." Scripture is interpreted by Scripture, and in a historical and grammatical way, meaning for example what was Paul saying to those people at that time, and how does it apply to us now, and grammatically by knowing the original language in which it was written.

And so I'm sure anyone can conclude that I am a very conservative (even fundamentalist if you want) Christian. I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

"Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Him,"(Jn 14:6) "and there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."(acts 4:12) For the wages of sin is death. (rom 6:23) "Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received, in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which 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 according to the Scriptures and that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." (1 Cor 15:1-4)