Month: March 2018

Resurrection

  History has recorded the testimonies of thousands who rejected the message of the Bible for a lifetime.  Scores of men have expended themselves in an effort to discredit, change or destroy it, as if their efforts could somehow eliminate that which truth requires of man.   But God has overruled; the Bible stands.  One who has never perused the pages of scripture might ask, What’s the big deal?  The big deal is that the Bible dethrones man, revealing that he is a mere creature of dust.  It declares that the material universe, including man, belongs to eternal God.  Clearly, man cannot determine his own destiny because God writes the rules, and man has broken them.

  In discrediting the Bible, it is easier to obtain an audience if one attacks the portions that deal with the supernatural.  After all, they reason, “What miracle cannot be explained away as the result of natural phenomena?  It is obvious that God does not audibly speak to man, and no one has ever visited heaven or hell and returned to tell about it.  Since there are no supernatural events taking place in our day, it is apparent that the supernatural claims of the Bible are unfounded.  It follows that if God does not perform supernatural deeds, He is equal to man.  Reason then requires, that if God is our equal, He has no authority over us. We can do as we please.”

  The only problem with this contemporary thought is that it is wrong.  Take for instance the supernatural resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is the single most important event of all ages, and one of the most documented.  The resurrected Christ was seen by a multitude, many of whom died martyrs’ deaths rather than deny what they had witnessed.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ sets biblical Christianity apart from ALL other religions of the world.  Because Christ is risen, we do not worship at His tomb.  He is alive to make His promises good, and He has promised eternal life to all who turn from their sins and trust Him for forgiveness.   Easter makes the difference!

A Portrait Of Christ

  In the Old Testament, the Hebrew sacrificial system consisted of sweet savor and non-sweet savor offerings.  There were offerings consumed by flames, while others were eaten.  Some offerings were for those who were in fellowship with God and others for those who desired to be.

  Why all the complexity?  The intricacies of the sacrificial system were necessary to picture the coming ultimate sacrifice of God’s Lamb, Jesus, who died for the sins of the world. (John 1:29)

  There were five basic sacrifices required of the Jewish people.  Each of them reveals something about the Savior.  First, the “Burnt Offering” portrays Christ’s total surrender to the will of His Father.  His life was totally consumed to atone for our sin, as our substitute. (2Corinthians 5:21).

  Secondly, the “Meal Offering” typifies Christ’s moral and spiritual purity.  In spite of severe testings, He lived and died sinlessly so that He might be the “Bread of Life” to those who put their trust in Him (John 6:35).

  Third, the Hebrews were required to bring their “Peace Offering” before the Lord.  It pictures the sinless Christ, purchasing our peace with God by shedding His own blood. “For he is our peace…” (Ephesians 2:14a).

  The fourth offering was called the “Sin Offering” and portrays Christ as God’s sacrificial Lamb.  According to the Bible, Jesus actually carried my sin to the cross in His own body, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” (1Peter 2:24).

  While the “Sin Offering” pictures Christ as removing the guilt of sin, the final offering, called the “Trespass Offering,” illustrates how Christ’s sacrifice would repair the damages incurred by unintentional failures, and keep me in good standing with God.

  The resurrection of Christ confirms that He was all that was required to take away the sins of the world.  God is totally satisfied with my Savior!

Blood Bought

  We have all experienced circumstances that stretch us out of our comfort zones.  But perhaps you have endured trials that seemed even more unrelenting or unresolvable than the norm.  e.g. To turn to the right will destroy a friendship and to turn to the left will cost you your job.  This type of situation has been described as, between a rock and a hard place.  You find yourself asking, How can I get out of this mess?  …it all seems so hopeless and foreboding.

  But there’s good news; Look UP!  The Bible tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1).”  As our refuge, God’s arms are always open so that, like a child who flees into the arms of his father when threatened, we can escape to the arms of our Heavenly Father and find protection and solace.

  Secondly, the verse tells us that God provides strength when we are weak.  We are no match for the challenges of life or for the forces of darkness that prey on the unwary, but God strengthens those who trust in Him.  And when it comes to strength, He is omnipotent (all-powerful).

  Thirdly, Psalm 46:1 tells us that God is, “a very present help in trouble.”  In spite of our pride and independence, not one of us can say, “I never need help.”  But, as you know, good help is hard to come by, especially if we expect to get something for nothing.  But God is always near, and He is always watching and listening for our cry.  He wants to help.

  This is just one verse that speaks of the blessings that God longs to bestow upon His children.  But, this begs the question, Are you a child of God?  It is all about forgiveness for sin and adoption into the family of God through Christ.  The Bible says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12).”

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

  We have all experienced circumstances that stretch us out of our comfort zones.  But perhaps you have endured trials that seemed even more unrelenting or unresolvable than the norm.  e.g. To turn to the right will destroy a friendship and to turn to the left will cost you your job.  This type of situation has been described as, between a rock and a hard place.  You find yourself asking, How can I get out of this mess?  …it all seems so hopeless and foreboding.

  But there’s good news; Look UP!  The Bible tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1).”  As our refuge, God’s arms are always open so that, like a child who flees into the arms of his father when threatened, we can escape to the arms of our Heavenly Father and find protection and solace.

  Secondly, the verse tells us that God provides strength when we are weak.  We are no match for the challenges of life or for the forces of darkness that prey on the unwary, but God strengthens those who trust in Him.  And when it comes to strength, He is omnipotent (all-powerful).

  Thirdly, Psalm 46:1 tells us that God is, “a very present help in trouble.”  In spite of our pride and independence, not one of us can say, “I never need help.”  But, as you know, good help is hard to come by, especially if we expect to get something for nothing.  But God is always near, and He is always watching and listening for our cry.  He wants to help.

  This is just one verse that speaks of the blessings that God longs to bestow upon His children.  But, this begs the question, Are you a child of God?  It is all about forgiveness for sin and adoption into the family of God through Christ.  The Bible says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12).”

Without The Word

  Some time ago, I was reading an article that supposedly revealed the “true character” of a political candidate.  Someone had attended a church service to observe this would-be public servant in worship mode.  The writer described nods of affirmation as the candidate listened to her pastor speak of future global events as they are described in the Bible.  The tone of the article was, of course, critical.  For a public official who might be called upon to make decisions that affect international policy or diplomacy, any espousal of Bible prophecy, he inferred, could only spell disaster.

  History, as it was recorded (rather than as it has been revised) reveals that our nation was founded upon biblical principles.  The greatest patriots were men and women who placed their confidence in these principles and risked their lives and honor to defend them.  I take issue with this and all journalists who defame the eternal Word of God.

  Understanding Bible prophecy and applying Bible principles would make us a stronger ally for peace loving people around the world.  A political leader with a healthy understanding of foundational Bible prophecies and principles would cease the senseless bargaining with godless world leaders who state their evil intentions in the confines of their nation’s academic institutions and political arenas, and then lie with a smile for the cameras of gullible international media.  An understanding and affirmation of the Bible will not hinder the performance of an honest politician, but will enhance it.

  Perhaps you are reading these lines with skepticism.  Maybe you see this as a religious fanatic’s minuscule effort to mix the affairs of church and state.  My challenge to you is to spend enough time with a Bible to gain a cursory understanding of what it contains.  You’ll discover that the Bible has eternal freshness and relevance.  It could change your life, and save our land.  In fact, we’ll never make it without the Word.