God’s Not Dead! . . .

There are some who teach that there is no life after death . . . That we just go to sleep, unconsciously aware of anything anymore, and that God will raise from the dead whom He chooses at the final resurrection.

To live this life with all its sorrows and suffering,  and only end  up in the resurrection living here on earth forever ‘under much better conditions’, is definitely not enough as far as I’m concerned.

It is also, not what the Bible says.                                                           1 Timothy 1:4 says not to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather  than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.

The God who created the heavens and the earth, is such a glorious God. His heavenly realm is where He originally intended for mankind to live. Eternally with Him in glory. The thing is, that when Adam and Eve sinned, they brought death upon themselves and their descendants. Adam and Eve were never meant to die physically or in any other way. They had a very personal, intimate, loving, and glorious relationship with their Father (God)

That bond was broken by their sin. God cannot look upon sin.

It was then handed down through the bloodline, from generation to generation.
When Adam and Eve sinned, it was not because of their lack of appreciation for God’s kindness, but because they were deceived and tempted and believed the devil’s word over God’s. When God had told them that if they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would surely die, He was speaking not only of physical death but eternal spiritual death. Eternity separated from God. Because of their sin, the curse over Adam and Eve became one of pain, separation from God, tyranny and death. Because of their sin, they would now physically deteriorate and eventually die and return to the ground from where they had been taken. But because they were made, each as a spirit, who had a soul and all this lived in a body, when death came for the body, it would drop off and die, and spiritually they would live on.

Whether or not they repented and asked forgiveness would have determined their eternal destination. Eternal life or eternal death.

In Genesis 2:7 the Bible tells us that God formed mankind of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. The difference between mankind and all other creation is the fact that we have God’s life breathed into us.

Who’s breath of life do we have?

God’s.

He is an eternal God, always was, always is, always will be. Therefore we have the same life flowing through us. We will live eternally. We had that right from the very beginning, but sin stole it from us.

However, God began to put in place a plan, to redeem us from the eternal death we brought upon ourselves by disobeying, and not trusting God. The entire Bible is the account of that plan, and all it entailed, to bring about our redemption.

The Bible is a love letter to mankind.

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Those who receive into their hearts the promises of God’s Word, and believe in His Son, Jesus, will live forever. This amazing book that has survived centuries of persecution, stands strong today as the most read book of all time. It shows us unquestionably that God is a living God who created mankind to love and serve Him and live with Him.

The Bible is Oh so much more than just living, dying and hoping to be chosen as one of the resurrected few. Living ‘under much better conditions’ is nothing compared to the glory that is before us.

1 Corinthians 2:9  says, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

In other words, things which we have never seen or experienced, or heard of, or even imagined in our wildest imaginings; wonderful, glorious things ~
All THAT, God has prepared for us ~ for those who love Him.

In Ezekiel 18:4-9, we see that the sinner will die and the righteous will live. This refers to eternal life or death. The whole Bible is about the journey, and ultimately leads us to the doorway to eternal life.

In the gospel of Luke 8:40-56, we see Jesus heal two people. One, the lady who touched His cloak and the other, a young girl who had died. In verse 55, it says that after Jesus commanded her to arise, her spirit returned. It is not our immortal soul that gives us life, it is our immortal spirit, designed to live forever. The girl’s spirit had not ceased to exist, it had just left her body. So when her spirit returned, it returned  to her  body to give it  life. Plus, whatever had caused her death in her body was obviously fully healed.

In the case of Lazarus, John 11:11-44, when Jesus met Martha and she proclaimed that she believed her brother would rise in the resurrection on the last day, it was her FAITH that Jesus saw in her. And just because there is no account by Lazarus as to where he  was when he was dead, does not prove at all that he was only unconscious in his dead state. Jesus may have asked him not to speak of his death experience; after all Jesus had not yet been to the cross, and heaven was not readily available to those who had already died.

There was another Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, who was very poor, very sick and very hungry. There was also a very rich man who ignored Lazarus and did nothing to help him, but lived in his own splendour and fine living each and every day. When the rich man died, he went to hell. He was in such agony he called out to Lazarus (who had also died) across the chasm which separated them, for help. But it was too late. The place that Lazarus was in was where all who had already died (Abraham, Moses, all the prophets, etc) with faith in God and His promises, went, like a part of hell that separated them from the suffering,  until such time as Jesus went to the cross and redeemed mankind, and opened the gates of heaven for us. That doesn’t look to me as though they were unconscious.

Everything does not stop at point of death, our bodies might, but our spirit lives on.

Ecclesiastes 9:5, says that the living (the righteous) know they will die; but the dead (sinners) do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. If we look at verse 1 in this chapter, then the living referred to are the righteous, and their deeds are in the Hand of God. ‘Man’ here, is referring to those unrighteous, who are so not wise; have no wisdom, knowledge or understanding; that they know not what is in store for them, it could be anything. They are the dead, who have lost their reward, because they continually sin, deny God, live unholy lives, and therefore, will be remembered no more. It does not say they are unconscious and have no memory, it says that they won’t be remembered any more.

In Romans 6:23, it says that the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The entire Bible leads up  to Jesus’ death and resurrection and ultimately this following statement :

 

I am the way 2

Why did He die and rise again from the dead? (He rose again, He’s not dead anymore!)

So we could live!!!

So, if God is a God of the living ~ Luke 20:38 ~ then, why on earth would we be unconscious and unknowing, when we die. It is only our body that will die. If God is a God of the living, and we have His breath in us, then He intends for us to live forever with Him in Heaven.

I’m very excited about that!

Passover and Easter . . .

I have over the past few months been studying more about the Feasts of Israel.

So, we gentiles are about to celebrate Easter. If we have been raised  in a family devoted to the Christian faith, then we know that Easter is about the sacrifice Jesus made for us at Calvary. We are aware of His death and resurrection. Unlike most of the world, it’s not just about chocolate overload and bunny rabbits.

Passover and Easter are so inextricably interwoven. Passover being the celebration of the Hebrews deliverance from Egyptian tyranny. Easter being the celebration of the world’s deliverance from eternal death.

Victor Buksbazen, in his book The Gospel in the Feasts of Israel, says this:
“In the light of the New Testament we obtain a full understanding of the Passover, while the deepest meaning of the Lord’s Supper cannot be fathomed without the historic background of the Jewish Passover.

Passover and Easter generally coincide, usually March or early April. The central point in Jewish history is their deliverance from Egypt. The central point in the Christian faith is Calvary.

Jesus and His disciples, in the upper room, were celebrating Passover, and it was at this time  that it obtained its deepest significance.”

Passover and Easter

Jesus, the Lamb of God, became the sacrificial lamb of the Passover. He shed His blood, all of it, just as the Passover lamb had to be prepared. My understanding of the significance of the Hebrews not being able to be subjected to blood in the Old Testament, because it was so unclean, is that in our bloodlines sin is carried from generation to generation, and Jesus had not as yet borne that sin at Calvary. Have you ever wondered why the woman in the Gospels, with the issue of blood, only came up behind Jesus to touch the hem of His cloak? I think it was because she had no place even being  close to everyone because of her uncleanness, but she was so desperate for healing that she thought that if she just touched the hem of His garment (not Him, for that would have been against the law of Moses) then she could be healed. And she was!

The bread and wine on the table at Passover are very significant. The bread (afikomen) is shared by all, but some of it is hidden away and brought out again at the end of the meal. This is also a symbol of the broken body of Jesus at His death, and His resurrection.

And Jesus took this bread, blessed it and broke it, and said:
Take, eat; this is My Body, which is broken for you: do this in remembrance of Me.

The wine is a symbol of the blood of the lamb that was wiped over every door post of the Hebrews, so that they were saved from the angel of death. It is also very symbolic of the blood that Jesus shed for us that saves us from eternal death.

And Jesus drank of this wine after blessing it, and said:
This cup is the New Testament in My blood: do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.

“Jesus Himself, was the final reality of what the Passover lamb sought to convey originally. It is His blood that saves Jew and Gentile alike from the death of sin and eternal condemnation and makes the believer a child of God” ~ V. Buksbazen.

The preparation for the Passover lamb was thorough. It had to be slain and prepared outside of the camp. All its blood had to be drained. Not one bone was to be broken. All of it had to be consumed.

Jesus celebrated Passover, then He walked out of that warm comfortable room and became the ultimate Passover for our sins.

He was crucified outside the city. His entire blood supply was shed. Not one bone was broken. Unreal considering where they put those nails. He gave His all.

God the Father had to turn away from His Son as He laid all the sin of the world on Him. Jesus cried out for His Father, and then as He declared that all was finally accomplished, He hung His head and died.

For you. For me.

There has never been and never will be any greater sacrifice.

SOME SCRIPTURES PERTAINING TO THIS ARTICLE
Exodus 12 / Psalm 22 / Psalm 34:20 / The Hallel sung at the end of the Passover meal: Psalms 113-118 / Matthew 9: 19-22 / Matthew 26:17-30 / Luke 22: 7-28 / John 19 and 20 / 1 Corinthians 11: 23-33

Redemption . . .

When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, it was a test. This type of sacrifice was a common practice amongst the people (who worshipped idols) where Abraham had lived before God directed him to leave and seek the promised land, so he obviously did not see anything odd in doing this.

Abraham is known as the Father of Faith, so his assurance from God that he would become the father of a great nation was at the forefront of his mind as he climbed the mountain with his beloved son confident that God would not go back on His word.

And He didn’t.

Because Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son for love of Yahweh, at the same time knowing, by faith, that God was about to do something extraordinary, God was willing to sacrifice His Son for the redemption of mankind.

Fast forward to the first Passover.
“Judaism and Christianity are as inseparable as seed and flower or tree and fruit. In the light of the New Testament we obtain a full understanding of the Passover, while the deepest meaning of the Lord’s Supper cannot be fathomed without the historic background of the Jewish Passover.

Israel’s deliverance from Egypt is the central point in Jewish history and worship, even as Calvary is the central point in the Christian faith, for on Calvary the work of redemption was accomplished for every believer.

Passover, the story of deliverance, is the harbinger of a greater redemption yet to come, the vehicle of the undying Messianic hope. It was in the upper room (where Jesus and His disciples  celebrated the Passover) that it at last obtained its real meaning and deepest significance”

(Excerpts from “The Gospel in the Feasts of Israel”, by Victor Buksbazen)

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Blood sprinkled on the doorposts on the night of the first Passover to save them from the angel of death ~ Jesus’ blood shed for our deliverance from eternal death.

The Passover lamb slaughtered outside camp/city confines ~ Jesus crucified as the Lamb of God at a place called Golgotha, outside of the city of Jerusalem.

All the blood drained from the Passover lamb ~ All Jesus’ blood was shed, for when the soldier pierced His side only water flowed.

Not one bone of the Passover lamb was to be broken ~ Not one bone in Jesus’ body was broken.

There are so many things related to each event, referred to as Types in the Old Testament of things to come.

Finally another word from Mr Buksbazen ~

“Jesus Himself was the final reality of what the Passover lamb sought to convey originally. It is His blood that saves Jew and Gentile alike from the death of sin and eternal condemnation and makes the believer a child of God.”

You can read the account of the Passover in Exodus chapter 12 and the account of Jesus’ death in the Gospels of Matthew chapters 26,27,28  or Mark chapters 14,15,16 or Luke chapters 22,23,24 or John chapters 13-21.

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes . . .

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A couple of years ago my two grandsons Levi and Archie (who were at the time 8 and 5) were building a cubby in the lounge room with their mates Felicity and Silas.

At its entrance they placed one of my paintings that Levi had chosen as his own (pictured above) and then wrote three pages of rules that must be met before entering the lounge room.

When their mum, Heidi, walked in to bring them dinner Felicity and Levi hurried out of the cubby and Felicity demanded of her, “Did you give glory to God before you entered this room?” To which mum said, “Uhhh…I think so…” And Levi  replied, “Was it in the highest? ‘Cause it can’t just be any glory ya know!”

In the gospels Jesus tells us that we must come to Him as little children. Just as a child has faith in the promises of his/her parents and does not doubt that they will do what they say, so we are to come to God in the same way.

Levi is so right. It is not just any glory that we bring to God. ‘Glory to God in the highest!’ (Luke 2:14) was sung out by the angels at Jesus’ birth. In verse 13 it says that a multitude of the heavenly host were praising God. It was a rip roaring party of the ages that sang of the coming, finally, of the Saviour that God had promised for hundreds of years. As the heavenly host were praising God for this wonderful event, they had no qualms as to what baby Jesus was called to do as He grew and developed into a man.

They would not have been celebrating the awful death He was to die but the eternal life that he was to obtain for the world. From Adam and Eve to the very last soul that will be born here on this earth before He (Jesus) returns in all His Glory.

God’s love for us is so great that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, just as Abraham was willing to do, because God had already promised him that he would be the father of many nations, and that could not come to pass if his heir was killed. Abraham knew his God so well that he was confident that God would raise his son again even if the sacrifice had gone ahead. This act of faith is what is called a foreshadowing of what was to come.

God needed to test Abraham’s faith to see if there was a man willing to give his only son for Him (God) Because of Abraham’s response, God was willing to sacrifice His Only Son to redeem mankind. And, although He died on a cross, He was raised to life again by God, just as Abraham had known He would have done to his son, Isaac.

In several places throughout the gospels Jesus tells His disciples to have faith in God and they can move mountains. In other words, the mountain of sin in our lives can be forgiven, the mountain of debt can be worn down, the mountain of sickness, disease, infirmity can be demolished and therefore healed.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that HE IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

The whole story of Salvation is tied up in His Glory.

It is a Glorious Heaven that was momentarily tainted by Satan’s rebellion and therefore the need to exile him forever to a place that disallows return.

It is a Glorious Heaven that celebrated His coming to redeem the world’s loss because of that rebellion and mankind’s fall.

It is a Glorious Heaven that we will live in forever with Jesus when we accept the sacrifice He made for us and His Glorious Resurrection.

Heaven is Light and Life and Purity and Love and Holiness and Glory beyond our wildest imagination.

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Levi is so right . . . It’s not just any Glory. God’s Glory encompasses the entire universe, God’s amazing Love, Mercy and Grace, with a depth so profound it is inexpressible.

Far beyond what we could ever ask or think or imagine, is what God has for us (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Joy immeasurable, forever.

When we confess with our mouths Jesus as Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in Salvation ~ Romans 10:9,10

And verse 11 says that whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.

I’m certainly not!

Without Jesus in my life, I could never have made it this far.

There is a link at the top of this page if you would like to pray the prayer of Salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth ~ Psalm 97:5

Jesus is the Lord, therefore when we have faith in God and believe like He says that we can move the mountains in our lives, in the name of Jesus our Lord, then why not see those mountains melting away like wax!

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All praise and glory to God!

Ephesians . . .

Paul’s prayer in this first chapter of Ephesians in verse 17 is that ~

The God of our Lord Jesus Christ ~ the Father of glory ~  May give to us a Spirit of wisdom ~ and of revelation ~ in the knowledge of Him.

He then goes on to write in verses 18-21 about  ~

1. The Hope of God’s calling upon our lives ~

This is eternal life.

2. The Riches of the Glory of God’s inheritance that we have in Him ~

This is forgiveness, healing, provision, peace and comfort, and so much more.

3. The surpassing greatness of God’s Power toward us who believe ~

This is His love, mercy and grace.

These three things are ~

In accordance with the working of the strength of God’s might, which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Jesus from the dead, and seated Him at His (God’s) right hand in the heavenly places ~ Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.

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God’s strength and might is what raised Jesus from the dead, therefore ~

Any Hope we may have in our future is guaranteed through God’s strength and might that is so great He can even raise souls from the dead. Even ours when our bodies die.

Therefore, Salvation through Christ, and Eternal life.

The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, is comforting. Because of Jesus’ great sacrifice, He inherited the seat at the right hand of God the Father, where He  continually intercedes for every one of us. When we accept what Jesus did for us and Who He Is, we become inheritors of the same riches and glory.

Salvation, healing, our sins forgiven, and eternal life with Jesus and God the Father and Holy Spirit.

God’s amazing greatness and power and ability to do astounding works for us is outmatched by no-one. He created us. We turned away from Him, our Maker, and sinned, and He in His great love and mercy, put a plan into place to redeem us, to save us, to give us the opportunity of reclaiming our eternal life.

So, if we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we can be assured of a future of ~

Hope ~ given to us from God’s great abundance of riches ~ and

Love, and mercy and grace ~ Our inheritance ~

Along with all other believers ~ in the Glory of God ~ and eternal life in the presence of that amazing Glory.

“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” ~ Ephesians 2:8

Prayer for Salvation ~ Click on the link at the top of this page.

The Day of Salvation . . .

I feel a real heaviness lately for the world and the direction in which we are heading.

Not regarding wars and rumours of wars around the globe. Not regarding even the hunger that millions suffer from. Not even regarding the injustices upon women and children.

Don’t get me wrong, I grieve for those incomprehensible wrongs.

But the most insidious behaviour of my fellow man for me, is the absolute degradation of our attitude toward God.

Which of course, is why all the above atrocities are happening in the world today. I find it puzzling, that whether we’ve been taught about God or not as we were growing up, that we can believe the evolution story, or that there is no God at all.

Who caused the ‘big bang’? Something had to. The Gospel of John 1:1-3 says this ~ “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”

I definitely believe in the ‘big bang’, because when God’s  powerful voice spoke the words “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3)  the resounding noise that would have taken place, considering the speed of light, would have been enormous. A HUGE bang! And that’s an understatement!

I have been raised my entire life, learning about God, so it has been easier for me than many who were not. But, I want to ask you several questions ~ You’ve been born into this world, feel happiness, joy, pain, rejection, and some of us insufferable pain and loss.

Why do you think you are here? Do you really think there is nothing after this life? If so, don’t you feel cheated? Do you think just spending your life working, working, working, for a home and children, and grandchildren, and being a good person, then dying, is enough?

These are all interesting questions. But being ’good’ is not enough. You can be as good as you like and spend your entire life helping others, but if you do not believe in God the Father and His Son Jesus and the sacrifice that was made for you at Calvary, then life, and all your achievements are in vain.

If you do not recognize that there is a higher power than yourself and that His great love redeemed you from eternal death, then life is worthless.

H jN 14,6

I’m not scientific at all, but I do know that the laws of gravity and all the rest that keep our vast solar system and all the rest in place are quite intricate and therefore MUST be controlled by more than BANG! and whoops, everything just fell into place! And stays in place!!!

Wow, what a coincidence. That was lucky!

God is real. God is good. He is wise beyond measure. His wisdom is ~ Pure ~ Peaceable ~ Gentle ~ Reasonable ~ Full of mercy and good fruits ~ Unwavering ~ and, Without  hypocrisy (James 3:17)

There are some people in the world who treat others abominably. They abuse, ridicule, steal, but how about considering that others should be treated how you would like to be treated. We reap what we sow. In other words, you treat others badly, then it will come back to you.

However, if you treat others well, you will reap what you’ve sown.

There are others out there who gossip and bad-mouth and slander others, for what reason, is beyond me. The advent of Face Book and other such media, has made it easy for the otherwise reserved ones to destroy with words those he/she does not like. Sometimes to the loss of their lives.

Again, if you speak well of others, or don’t speak at all if you really can’t say something nice, you will also reap what you sow.

While children around the world are starving and/or being abducted and sold into the sex slave industry; while nations are murdering their citizens by the thousands just because they don’t believe the same doctrine as their slayers; while the powers that be are all plotting against each other to be the reigning supremacy; we are back-biting, revelling in luxury (compared to some around the world) and in general, just couldn’t care less about the bigger picture.

And the big picture is this ~

God is real. Jesus did come (God in the flesh) and suffer and die for us. He has always had a plan, and a part of this plan, is Jesus’ return to earth. He is coming back, and we need to be ready. Some call this event Armageddon. Well whatever we call it, it will happen, when Jesus Our Lord will return to sort us all out.

So the big question is this ~

Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour?

Check out Genesis 1:3 ~ Matthew 22:37-40 ~ John 1:1-3 ~ John 3:16 ~ John 14:6 ~ James 3:17

There is a link at the top of this page to pray the PRAYER OF SALVATION.