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Crucifixes – only half of the gospel

The apostle Paul attached great importance to the crucifixion of Jesus.  Here are two things he said about it:

I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  (1 Corinthians 2:2)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  (Galatians 2:20)

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An Awesome God and little ole’ me

Here is something I read on Facebook.

An Awesome God, and little ole’ me

by Lester Peoples

Who would have ever thought fifty years ago that a time would come in America where men would take on themselves to be as smart intellectually as their creator, as they devise and scheme in their own corruptness, or follow after Satan and worship his appointed ones of wicked, evil, and darkness. Even Satan is a created, angelic creature of God made to worship God and act as messengers to serve Almighty God. But personal ego, due to his beauty and power, led him to fall, taking a third of fellow angels with him. God has allowed him to be in the position that he holds as ‘Prince of the power of the air’ on earth, but with “limited” power used against mankind, only to torment, but not indwell physically. God has his reason for allowing Lucifer/Satan to keep on with his schemes, but the secret things belong to the Lord, our God. We have a book called the holy bible that contains all the instruction man needs if he will follow directions given; obey the laws and commandments and in faith, believe; he can be approved and will be blessed. Read the rest of this entry

Jesus and his brothers

Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”  That was certainly true of Jesus.  His mother Mary honored him because the angel Gabriel had foretold his birth and he had been born while she was still a virgin.  Joseph honored him because after he discovered that Mary was pregnant an angel appeared to him in a dream to tell him that Jesus had been conceived by the Holy Spirit and that he would save his people from their sins.  But after he was born Joseph and Mary had other children.  There were four boys named James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, and an unspecified number of girls.  These children had not received the divine revelations their parents had and they thought that Jesus was just an ordinary person like them. Read the rest of this entry

Between death and resurrection

Adam’s sin brought death to the whole human race.  There are a few exceptions to this.  Enoch and Elijah never experienced death and all believers who are alive when the rapture takes place will never die, but for most who have ever lived life ends with death.

Everyone who has died or who will die in the future will be resurrected.

Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voiceand come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.  (John 5:28-29)

But what will it be like between death and resurrection?  Most Christians believe the dead will continue to exist in a state of consciousness but some believe they are be in a state of soul sleep and not aware of anything that is going on. Read the rest of this entry

Job’s rewards

Most of you are familiar with the story of Job.  He was a man who feared God and he was very wealthy.

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters.He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.  (Job 1:1-3)

Satan claimed that Job served God not out of sincerity but because God had made him wealthy.  God allowed Satan to test Job by taking away his wealth.  Job lost his wealth, his children, and his health.  His wife urged him to curse God and die.    He was also afflicted with three “friends” who claimed that Job had brought his misfortunes on himself by sinning.

Job insisted he was innocent and wanted God to explain the reason for his suffering, but his faith in God never wavered.  In the end God did appear to him but rather than explaining the reason for what had happened he asked Job a series of questions that revealed his superiority to Job.  As a result Job came to know God better than he had before. Read the rest of this entry

The synagogue and the Areopagus

God chose Paul to carry the gospel to the gentiles.  Wherever Paul went he preached to the gentiles but he also preached to his own people, the Jews.  Acts contains two detailed accounts of his preaching the gospel, once to the Jews and once to the gentiles.

During his first missionary journey Paul and Barnabas came to Antioch in Pisidia and attended the synagogue on the Sabbath.  They were invited to speak to the congregation and Paul gave this message. Read the rest of this entry

Thomas

You have probably heard the phrase “Doubting Thomas.”  It originated with this incident in the life of Thomas, one of the twelve apostles.

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.”

But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:24-29

All most people know of Thomas is that he wouldn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead until he saw him with his own eyes.  There is an earlier mention of Thomas that sheds more light on what he was like. Read the rest of this entry

Seeing the kingdom of God

Jesus made an astounding prediction.

But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:27

Aside from Jesus himself everyone who was there is now dead, so this prophecy must have been fulfilled.  But just when did its fulfillment take place?  The prophecy appears in three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and in all three is immediately followed by the event known as the Transfiguration.

Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.

As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
Luke 9:28-36

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Delays for the glory of God

If you heard that someone you cared about was sick and was about to die wouldn’t you immediately go to see him if you could?  And wouldn’t that be even more true if you were able to prevent him from dying?  Jesus didn’t react this way when he heard that one of his friends was near death.

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
John 11:1-6

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The shroud of Turin

Here is what Wikipedia says about the shroud of Turin.

The Shroud of Turin is a length of linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion.  There is no consensus yet on exactly how the image was created, and it is believed by many to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth.

Scientists have studied the shroud and haven’t been able to determine whether or not the image is that of Jesus but there is another way to answer the question.  That is to study what the Bible says about what Jesus was buried in and see if it matches the description of the shroud.  John’s gospel give us the information we need.

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Good Wednesday

Two days before Easter we observe Good Friday as the day on which Jesus was crucified. For anyone who is familiar with Jesus’ predictions about his death and resurrection this raises a problem. He said that just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights he would be in the earth three days and three nights. But how could this be if he was crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday?  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday make up three days but there are only two nights.

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The resurrections and the rapture

In the Old Testament it is clearly taught that there will be a resurrection of both the good and the bad.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Daniel 12:2

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Pattern for evangelism

Jesus has commanded his followers to preach the gospel to the whole world so that everyone will have the opportunity to believe in him and be saved.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20

But he also said in John 8:44,

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. Read the rest of this entry

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