Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching, and now I'm working my way through the New Testament. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage. I'm still writing, of course, and my written posts appear here.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How bad can you be?

And still receive God's gift of salvation?

Here's a thought: Look at Acts 2:22-23:

22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--
23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death."

This was the worst crime throughout time and space, for Jesus was the Holy Son of God, God and man united in one Person forever.

Not only so, but Jesus was a good and godly man:
Acts 10:38: "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (these were the opening words of Peter's message to Cornelius the Centurion and his friends)...

He did no harm to anyone; instead, He healed and preached and did many other good works, which John tells us "that if all the things Jesus did were put into books, the world could not hold them." (John 21:25)

He was no sinner: Instead, He was "tempted in all points just as we are, yet he was without sin."

So Jesus' murder was literally a killing of an innocent for no reason (on the human side) other than envy and rage at Him. 

Now ask yourself. "What's the proper punishment for this killing?" Suppose this was YOUR son. YOUR daughter? What would be fair and right? I believe that most of us would devise some sort of lengthy torture ending in death. Now consider that this killing was against the Ruler of the Universe.

Just think about that for a minute. Infinite power, combined with infinite knowledge, combined with constant Presence, combined with infinite rage. Suppose on the other hand that YOU had done this thing. What could you expect from the King of the Universe? Now suppose further that the Person to whom you had done this didn't stay dead--not like a Zombie, but He rose from the dead because "He could not be held by it." So here you have the Father and the Son. The Son still has His scars. He's literally been to Hell and back. Who will pay? Is there sufficient punishment in all eternity for you, if you did this?

Note the final accusation here: (2:36) "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified."

This is a way of saying, "You are dead meat." 

Now see what happens in Acts:

First, the question: Acts 2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" (Pierced to the heart means that they knew they were guilty).

Now observe Peter's answer (Acts 2:38-39):

38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 "For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."

Wait! What?!

That's IT? "Repent?" Receive Christ? Turn to God? That's ALL?

Yes. That's all. That's everything, and that's enough.

Remember. This was the worst crime that ever has been, or ever will be, committed in all of space and time. These people were GUILTY. And they knew it.

So how bad can you be? Ask those Jews. Ask Cornelius, to whom Peter said, (Acts 10:43) "Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."

Any sin. All sins. Every sin. Including, most famously, the murder of the Son of God. 

So how bad are you? NEVER tell me that you are too bad to be saved. NEVER say, "God won't forgive me." NEVER say it, because it's the worst lie you can tell yourself, or that the Devil can whisper in your ear. NEVER SAY IT. God has made Jesus The Judge of the living and the dead, and HE said: "He who hears My word, and believes in Him who sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24).

There is literally nothing you can do that will keep you from heaven, except rejecting the Son of God, for the Bible says:
"Whoever believes in the Son has everlasting life; whoever does not believe in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests directly on him." (My paraphrase).

You want eternal life? Doesn't matter what you've done. You can be forgiven and set free.

Repent. Turn to God. Receive His Son as your Lord and Savior. Do it now. He will accept you. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

I've been reading...2 Corinthians 5:1-21

If you want to understand exactly how FREE your salvation is, read 2 Cor. 5. This is truly an amazing chapter. Consider some of the statements:

5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

5:5  Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

5:14-16:  For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that  (the) ONE died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.

5:17: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

5:18-19: Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (when Christ died), not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

5:21: He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

"Not counting their trespasses..." He died for all..."Him who died and rose again on their behalf..." "He made Him who KNEW NO SIN to be SIN ON OUR BEHALF... that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

There truly is no love like the love of God, no mercy like His, No salvation like His, and no salvation without Him. Imagine, on the other hand, rejecting Jesus Christ, whom God allowed to be crucified for you, and seeking another path. Imagine the worst insult you could pay to the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ--it would be this: to treat His infinite sacrifice as nothing, and try to get eternal life and heaven on your own or by some other means. "Many paths to God?" Don't believe it. Why would God, whose Son paid the price for your every sin, accept you taking "another path?" Why would the Son say, "It doesn't matter?" It mattered to Him--enough so that He took the hardest path Himself so that you could receive eternal life.
God provided it, but you won't take it? You would so insult the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? You would make His crucifixion, His pain, His death as nothing? If you do that, you are a fool indeed. On the other hand, if you will just reach out and take the salvation He freely offers, and accept it as it's offered, as a gift, YOU WILL LIVE FOREVER WITH HIM IN HEAVEN.