Archive for the ‘Following Jesus’ Category


COPYRIGHT WARNING

The Love that a person has for Jesus, is directly proportional to the view that they have of their life.

Mary Magdalene was a known prostitute in Jerusalem.

In John chapter 8, she is brought by the Pharisees before Jesus to be judged for her adultery, being caught in the very act. John 8:4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.” (NIV)

As a result of her encounter with Jesus, she turns from her sin and begins to follow Him as her Savior. Luke later records an evening when Jesus is having dinner at the home of Simon, one of the Pharisees. Suddenly, Mary burst into the home of Simon and falls at the feet of Jesus—weeping convulsively, anointing His feet with her tears and fragrant oil. Simon is indignant over a known prostitute coming into his home, and immediately begins to wonder to himself why Jesus, if he were a true prophet, would allow such a woman to touch Him.

Jesus, knowing what was in Simon’s heart, begins to tell him a story…

Luke 7:40-43 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.

Jesus establishes an important principle of salvation: those who have a deeper sense of their own sin, will love and appreciate what Jesus has done for them in forgiving their sin, in greater measure, than a person who does not consider themselves much of a sinner.

Luke 7:47 “Therefore I say to you (Simon), her sins (Mary), which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

On a bright and sunny day in April, 1975, I went forward at Calvary Chapel in Southern California to receive Jesus as my Savior. I was just 19, had hair down to the middle of my back and was touring with a Rock band in small venue’s around Arizona. My life was full of activity but my heart was empty. I knew that there had to be more than what I had experienced so far, I just didn’t know where to find it. That all changed the morning that I trusted in Jesus. From that moment, I began to study the Bible intently and learned about the promise of Jesus to return for those who love Him.

During the Jesus People Movement of that day, there was great excitement over the expectation that Jesus could come for us at any moment. We were constantly talking about the Lord’s return and we were trying to live our lives like people who really believed our Lord could come for us before we drew our next breath.

Over the years, I have watched young people as I pass them on the street, who have the same emptiness in their eyes that I once had. I know that there are many teens and young adults today who are not satisfied with their life. They also feel like something is missing, although they cannot figure out what it is. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

There is an error that many people make today, regarding God and whether evidence for His Being can be observed. I have had conversations with individuals who have brought forth accusations of contradictions that they assert, exist in the Bible. Rather than focussing on what the purpose of the particular verses are saying, the person looks closely at the differences between the gospel writers; as evidence that the text is not truthful.

I recently finished translating my own version of the four gospels for a new book: “One Gospel,” which required a great amount of time to correctly create a version of the New Testament text that is both accurate and reliable. The reason for this new version is that major publishers of the existing translations, do not allow the extent of use for this text that I am accessing, without paying a sizable royalty payment.

As I was trying to meticulously ensure that the text was true to the original, I became aware of multiple places where the four writers of Jesus Gospel, recorded different observations from one another. All of these men were telling the same story, while recording their own particular view of what took place. I have written about this before and have stated that this difference between the four writers is evidence of authenticity, not contradiction. When four people are at the scene of an event, they will always write different aspects of the same story; if the account genuinely took place. If four people write an account that matches each other, precisely, this is evidence of coercion between the writers and likely reveals that the story is not true. (more…)


disunity-in-jesus-churchThe issue of forgiveness is one that few people want to be reminded of. This is, of course, unless they have been offended by someone else. When someone offends us, we expect them to come to us quickly and admit their mistake, seeking our forgiveness. When It is we who are the offender, very few of us will seek to apologize or admit that we are at fault. Jesus was very specific on this matter and quite serious in the manner in which we should resolve ALL conflicts that we have with another believer. He said that if we are unwilling to forgive and forget, then He will not forgive our sins.

Matthew chapter 18, is the quintessential guide on how to resolve all conflicts within Jesus church. May we all read this carefully and follow everything that our Lord has instructed us to do… (more…)


obstacles-to-salvation

And it came to pass afterward, that Jesus went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the good news of God’s kingdom: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities; Mary called “Magdalene,” out of whom seven demons were removed, —Luke 8:1-2

What Does God Require?

In order for any person to obtain eternal life from God, the first and primary element that must be present in the heart, is genuine repentance. Many people are sorry for their sins, yet not sorry enough to change their life and seek to sin no more. True repentance compels the sincere to not only experience genuine sorrow, but also a earnest desire to cease from their former sins.

A person who begins to follow Jesus will never, in this life, be sinless. They should however, endeavor to sin—less.

It is impossible to obtain salvation from Jesus, apart from a determined work of changing our previous behavior. All sins are equal before God and a consistent, unrepentant liar can miss eternal life, equally with a fornicator, or murderer. If we have been living in a sexual relationship with another person, outside of marriage, we must cease this relationship as a part of true repentance—before Jesus will grant us eternal life. If we have been a theif or liar during our life, we must cease from these two faults before the Lord will convey eternal life to our account. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Many people live out their lives without the realization that our entire purpose for being here on the earth, is to be saved. We were not born to achieve financial, material, or public success; we were born so that we might have the opportunity to have our sins removed and gain access to eternal life. Just as Jesus’ entire purpose for coming to the earth as a man, was to die for our sins and make eternal life possible, we also have our own purpose, necessitating Jesus’ arrival to save us.

Most people go through their life without realizing or believing that this is true. We forget that everything that we have accumulated during the time that we are here on the earth, will be left behind. One hundred years after you die, barely a sole with remember who you are. The Bible is very clear in its declaration that the only things that you and I can do, that will last forever; is what we do for and with Jesus. The universe was created for Him, and it is He who holds all things together by His great power.[1] It was by His sacrifice on the cross, and His subsequent resurrection, that He achieved the right rule and reign over the entire universe.

What we do right now, during this life, will have eternal consequences. The Bible is very specific in its declarations that only those things that we do to bring glory to Jesus by the way that we live our life, will matter in eternity.[2] If this statement sounds absurd to you and impossible to believe, then you are amongst the great majority of people in the world. I did not know these things myself until many years after I began to study the ancient Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. The universe was made for the Glory of God and we were given the great honor of glorifying Him by our lives. If we fail to understand this, or are deficient in achieving this, we will have missed the entire purpose of our existence. What is personally important about these facts, is the reality that we will also find our greatest fulfillment, when we live to bring the Lord glory and honor.

for in Him we live and move and have our being… Acts 17:28 (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

It is the greatest desire of man that he could live forever. There have been many books written, movies produced, and songs sung; that express our desire to live a life that would never end. When we think about the ceasing of our existence here on earth, it doesn’t make sense. How could we suddenly cease to exist? It is our sense of eternity and fear of death, that haunts us our entire life. The Bible states that God placed eternity within our heart when He made us, but none of us understands How to achieve it.

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

If there was a fee that could be paid in order to gain access to eternal life, it is certain that many wold endeavor to pay it. The reason that people explore religion in the first place is to understand what happens at the moment of death and seek to know if they will go on living after their body dies.

Amongst all religions of the world, there is a common thread: The fact that eternal life can be achieved, at a cost. Those who will acquire the right to live forever, must perform certain rituals, procedures, or follow a set of rules. Only the Bible reveals that eternal life is a free gift that cannot be purchased. God will give any person the right to live forever, without cost, if they will simply believe what He has said.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

The way to heaven is not by a religion, it is through a person. Jesus has already purchased our salvation by the giving of His life. All that we must do is believe this and receive His gift. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

When the Lord Waits Cover

If you have ever wondered how God could love and care for you when there have been so many difficult and painful events that have happened in your life, this article may be of some use to you.

As we examine the arrival of Jesus into the world, we must ask the question: Why would God allow His Son to be born under such difficult and dangerous circumstances? From the moment that Jesus was born, His life was in jeopardy. King Herod of Judea knew about the prophecy of Micah—describing the Messiah as born in Bethlehem. In fear of losing His rulership, he dispatched soldiers to kill every baby boy, under the age of two years. We know that God loves His Son. The question is: how is it loving to allow someone who you care for—to suffer?

Matthew 2:16-18 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.

The Bible records a great number of trials and difficulties during the first two and the last three and one half years of Jesus’ life. The Father ordained that His Son would suffer so that He might learn obedience.

Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Jesus InterestingA Unique Life

There is one man who is so distinct amongst all other men who have lived upon the earth, that He is worthy of careful examination. Many people have great difficulty with the Christian church and organized religion–and so they should. The religions of men are frequently a catastrophe of errors and diversely opposite from who Jesus is and what He represents.

Jesus is not a religion, He is not a church. He claimed to be God, living within the flesh of a man, and the only Savior of the world. Either He is a liar, a man delusional, or He was telling the truth. It is our responsibility to examine the evidence for His life and determine if He is who He claimed to be.

Jesus never commanded men to join a particular church or religion, He said “Follow Me.”

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COPYRIGHT WARNING

I disagree with that

Today, we live during a period of history when the rights and freedoms afforded to all Americans by the First Amendment are being eroded and redefined.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

There is a group of individuals who are offended by what certain people say or write and therefore assert that those who express themselves in offensive ways, should be silenced. The problem with this view of speech is that the people who make these claims, selectively choose what is offensive and what is not. Essentially, anything that you write or say that they do not agree with, is deemed offensive language and should be censored.

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