Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
If you're reading this I think it's safe to say that this moment in your life is a touch point. What is a touch point? It's a string of moments in one's life where they hear the name Jesus. Many people will stand before God one day and He will replay their lives before them. I believe He will show them all of the times where they could have believed on the name of Jesus. He will show them all of the touch points and then the judgement will come. His verdict will be final.
There will only be one question that will be asked on that frightening day:
"Is his/her name written in the Lamb's book of life?" in other words…
"Did you believe on the name of Jesus Christ?"
If the answer is no, then God in His perfect justice will execute swift judgment and everlasting punishment. If the answer is yes, then God will welcome you into His kingdom.
Why does everything hinge on Jesus? Most people have a basic idea of Jesus and that He died for humanity but they don't understand what "Forgiving us of our sins" really means. People hear the hymn Nothing but the Blood of Jesus and they are turned off because they don't understand what blood has to do with anything.
We're Born Guilty
- Remember Adam and Eve? Well Adam sinned and sin came into the earth.
- Sin affected everything in our world from the animals, to food, to human nature.
- Sin is passed on to us from birth via our fathers, it is passed through our blood.
- Because sin is passed to us via blood, God requires a blood sacrifice to cleanse our sins.
- God created a law, you've probably heard of it when watching the 10 Commandments.
- Those who disobey the law that He created (called the Mosaic law) manifest their sinful natures.
- Priests would need to sacrifice unblemished animals to atone for the sins of the people.
So at this point we have essentially explained Judaism. They believe all of these bullet points. They also believe that since the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed that a blood sacrifice is no longer required to atone for sins. The problem with this is that their sinful natures still exist and they are held guilty.
In a nutshell:
- Our ancestors sinned and sin is inherently passed onto us.
- We don't sacrifice animals anymore so our sins are still held against us.
- We will be held responsible for all the wrong what we've done when die.
God saw that the world continually rebelled against Him. The law was designed to show us how sinful we are (look back at the original points where the law manifested our sinful natures) and that we can't actually live up to His standards on our own. Although the priests would sacrifice animals for our sins the animals were never sufficient (this is because when sin came into the world it also infected all animals) so they would have to continue to sacrifice animals over and over again.
God spoke His plan of redemption long before Jesus even came to the Earth which He wrote through His prophet in Isaiah 53. The entire chapter was written thousands of years prior to God's plan actually being executed. The entire chapter is amazing but let's focus on verse 11:
"Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities."
God's plan was to bring someone into the world and this one person would bear everyone's sins on their shoulders. Millions would be accounted righteous and this person would bear their iniquities.
Well the problem is that if the person who bore everyone's sins were to come into this earth via natural birth then their sins would be passed onto them via the blood of their father. Maybe you're starting to get the idea...
The virgin Mary conceived Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. This was necessary because if He were born from the seed of His father Joseph then the sins of humanity would have been passed onto Him. As it stands Jesus was born spotless and without blemish (much like the unblemished animals in the Old Testament only Jesus had absolutely no sin at all unlike the animals that were sacrificed because of His divine birth).
Jesus was then led to a cross and crucified by the very people He came to save. He was essentially slaughtered. Tortured. Hung on a cross and died worst possible death imaginable. Let's go back to Isaiah 53:10:
"Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him (Jesus) to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand."
So the death of Jesus was essential because He was the perfect sacrifice talked about in Isaiah 53. Jesus did not just die for our sins. He was resurrected on the 3rd day!
"He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay." - Matthew 28:6
Why is this significant? Because since Jesus still lives, He remains an everlasting sacrifice for us. For those who actually believe in Jesus Christ they no longer have to depend on an animal sacrifice like those of the Old Testament had to depend upon. He was the perfect sacrifice!
Hebrews 7:11-26 breaks this down perfectly.
Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, "You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek." For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever.'" This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinner, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.
So now you see that the blood of Christ was necessary to cleanse us of our sins. This is why Christians believe that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said it best,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6
Christianity is not like any other religion. In all other religions you must perform to attain zen or some form of enlightenment but as we have seen man's performance in itself is inadequate. Jesus is the only way to the Father and because Jesus was the core person in God's plan He is the only way to salvation!
My prayer is that you would believe upon the name of Jesus. That He would write His law upon your heart and that you would be transformed from the inside out to become like Jesus.
If you're interested in learning more about Jesus feel free to contact me and I'd love to help get you started. Oh, and listen to this song... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_tbv76Pu2g
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Many people wonder why I am so adamant in my position toward Christ. My ploy is that the true Christian has no other stance other than full surrender to the cross of Jesus. It is expected from my non-believing friends to mock and ridicule my position because the majority of the messages that I convey are spiritually discerned and I pray for you all that you too may comprehend the depths, the truth, and the heights of the love of Christ.
These days I find myself losing my own agenda and becoming obsessed with knowing God. The further down the rabbit hole I proceed I realize I don't know Him like He has called me to know Him and that puts a very real fear in my heart. So much that there are times I read the Bible and I tremble. Although this should be no surprise because even the demons believe and shudder (ref. James 2:19). I will one day stand before God in His throne and give an account to the life that I have lived on this earth. I am far from perfect but everyday I am striving for holiness and righteousness. I used to think that it was by my effort that I was being made more into the likeness of Christ but I was sorely deceived. It is nothing but the grace of God that has brought me here to travel this narrow road. Romans 9:16 says, "So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." I lay here before the Father gazing into His eyes of truth. Like a child crying out to His Father I am fully relient on Him for my sustenance and very breath. I pray that you too would see that the Father yearns for all men to be saved. Unfortunately only few of my brothers and sisters will take these words to heart and follow them with all of their might.
I pray for you all, that none of you would be deceived but realize that there is a creator who has formed you in your mother's womb. Creation declares the glory of God (ref. Psalm 19:1). God bless you all.