Archive for the ‘Complicating a Relationship with God’ Category


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Nearly 700 years before Jesus came into the world, the prophet Isaiah described the Salvation which God would offer to the world and the fact that it would be completely His work and none of man’s efforts or works. .

Isaiah 59:16b He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.

Isaiah speaks of the Messiah as the only way by which any person may be saved.

“Therefore His own arm brought salvation.”

Unfortunately, a majority of people who have lived upon the earth do not like a plan of salvation which does not recognize their efforts or reward their obedience. We have this idea as human beings that we can work and perform good in order to be accepted and loved by other human beings. We tend to carry this idea over to our relationship with God, who surely will accept a person who is basically good or does good works.

According to the words of God, this idea is wrong.

The actions of redemption rest solely with the Lord and not with man. We do not have the capacity to redeem ourselves, according to the word of God. This principle makes it clear for us that no church, no religion, no man, has the ability to meet the requirements set forth by the law of God for salvation to take place.

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COPYRIGHT WARNING

According to many Theologians, Churches, and individual Christians, a person cannot be saved apart from Baptism, or membership in their particular church. The final authority on all matters of doctrine resides with the Bible, not what men say, nor the tradition of the church. According to Jesus, the requirements for salvation are extremely simple and even the worst sinner may find forgiveness and eternal life–even during the final moments of their life.

As a person goes through each one of the individual parts of the Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, we are struck with the details that are included in these many faceted predictions.

In the prophecies of Isaiah chapter 53, we see the specific detail that the Messiah will be condemned and put to death along with other criminals. Although this may be seen as a very common occurrence in the carrying out of a sentence for crimes committed, in the case of a prophecy written over 700 years in advance of its fulfillment, this detail is a stunning inclusion.

Isaiah 53:12c Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 23:32-33 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.

When we examine the New Testament, we discover that there were two thieves who were also condemned to die by crucifixion along with Jesus. They are placed on either side of the Lord. At first, it seems that both condemned men ridicule Jesus for also being crucified along with them. After one of these men witnesses the grace and the love with which Jesus endures His suffering, praying for those who placed Him on the Cross, this dying criminal has a change of heart. He cries out to Jesus: Lord, Remember me when you come into Your kingdom. A subtle statement of salvation from a man doomed to die, during the final moments of his life. Though his confession is short and simple, yet it is sufficient to move Jesus to pronounce him: forgiven and worthy of eternal life.

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COPYRIGHT WARNING

Luke 19:41-42 Now as Jesus drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”

How does the Lord feel when countless numbers of human souls depart this earth without the covering of His sacrifice and find themselves in the torments of hell? How does the Lord feel after He has done everything that He could do to prevent the loss of a single eternal spirit, and they are lost because they were unwilling to be saved? (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

I have often pondered the fact that many people today still reject Jesus Christ. They do so of their own free will, with full knowledge of who Jesus is, and what the eternal cost is for rejecting Him as their Savior. What I find most perplexing is that Jesus is so incredible and wonderful in every way. How anyone could walk away from Him is beyond my ability to understand. It must be that the depth and darkness of the human heart is much greater than I can understand. How anyone could reject the Love that Jesus has offered them, I find unbelievable.

Perhaps it is true that many people do not see themselves as the miserable sinner that I see myself and how greatly I am in need of redemption. It is true that many folks simply do not think that they are bad enough that they require anyone to make a sacrifice for their sins. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

There are certain occasions in our life when it seems that there is no solution to our problems. We should remember that the Lord always has a plan and a way to solve every difficulty.

In the minds of the leaders of Israel, salvation through the Messiah was for the Jew, not for the Gentile. In their view, the Gentile nations were far from God and could never be brought near. To consider that the Gentiles would carry the message of the Messiah’s salvation to the entire world was in their minds—an impossibility.

Very often, what we consider impossible is really very easy for God. Those people whom we might think have no possibility of salvation are the very ones whom God pours out His Spirit upon and saves.

This should be a great lesson for us. When we think that we have figured out what God is going to do, often the Lord has a way that we would never have considered. He has resources that we have no knowledge of. His ways are not our ways. His power to accomplish all of the promises which He has made are limitless.

Isaiah 55:8-9“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Before the Lord offered Israel salvation and the opportunity to be a light to the Gentile nations of the world, He knew that the Jews would reject His Son when He came to earth. It was His plan all along to offer salvation to every person born on the earth. In order to provoke Israel to jealousy, the Lord saved the Gentile nations of the world who turned to Him for salvation. Ultimately, it will be this massive move of God through all the Gentile nations which will turn the eyes and the hearts of Israel back to the Lord, to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior in the last days. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Feeling overwhelmed by life? Tired of the demands of religion? Burdened by your own failures and inadequacies?

Jesus came to lighten your burdens and take away the useless and irrelevant parts of life. God has made knowing Him and having a relationship with Him–very simple. It is we who heap upon ourselves and others, great demands and priorities which God never intended. When we allow these things to crowd out a simple and joyful relationship with the Lord–we are robbed of our joy and lose sight of what is really important. (more…)