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Monthly Archives: August 2009

What Is The Wrath of God

If you could imagine the wrath of God occurring at this moment, what do you believe it would it look like? Would it be earthquakes and fire engulfing and destroying the earth as we know it? If you were to imagine God executing his wrath upon unbelievers, what would you see? When does God’s wrath occur and upon whom is it coming? Does it come upon unbelievers only or does it also come upon God’s people, too? Is it possible to know for certain what it is? I believe we could not only have a general idea, but many of us have experienced it, and it is occurring all around us today! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2009 in Religion, Wrath of God

 

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Striving to Enter the Strait Gate

As Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of God through parables, he was asked: “Are there few to be saved?” Jesus’ reply was not as direct as the question, rather he told his listeners what they should do. He said:

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. (Luke 13:24 KJV)

I like the way Weymouth’s translation puts it:

“Strain every nerve to force your way in through the narrow gate,” He answered; “for multitudes, I tell you, will endeavour to find a way in and will not succeed. (Luke 13:24 WNT)

To strive is agonizomai (G75) in the Greek. We get our word agonize from this word. I am to agonize over entering this narrow or strait gate (Luke 13:24). Jesus was in agonia (G74) or agony in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). We get these words from the root word agon (G73), which is translated in the New Testament as “fight, continue, conflict or race.” The word relationships are interesting and reveal a picture of our spiritual struggle as we enter the strait gate. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2009 in Kingdom of God, Religion

 

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The Three Tenses of Salvation

The Scriptures reveal there are three phases of our salvation. Our salvation has a past, a present, and a future. Ephesians 2:5 says Christ saved me in the past. I had nothing to do with this area of my salvation, because I was dead in my sins. In other words, I was spiritually dead, and a dead person cannot do anything, think anything or say anything. I was helpless and hopeless, until Christ died for me on the cross, reconciling me to God (2Corinthians 5:14-19). This is the past tense of salvation. I have been saved period. I did nothing to accomplish it, and I can do nothing to destroy it. In the past I have been saved from the penalty due my sins (Romans 6:23), once and for all time, by the death of Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2009 in Religion, salvation

 

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What is the Kingdom of God Like?

What is the Kingdom of God like? How does it appear? The parables of Christ often use similar language to make Jesus’ point, but some interpret the Kingdom to mean the place God rules when sin is put out of the way. Is this what Jesus said? I don’t think so! Matthew 13:3-23 unveils the Kingdom of God in the hearts of his children. God is glorified in the good fruit his word produces in our hearts. What Jesus claimed nearly 2000 years ago is as true today as it was back then. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2009 in Kingdom of God, Religion

 

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Are Only a Small Number Saved?

Few Saved

from Google Images

While in Jerusalem Jesus was asked: “Are there few that be saved?” This is a question, concerning which, I have wondered for many years. I believe that at some point in our lives all of us come to Christ asking this question (Luke 13:23; compare Luke 13:34-35)! We see so many who don’t know Jesus nor even care to know him. What about the sincere person who never heard of Christ? Is he condemned for the lack of a laborer in his field? What about the sinner who is not so sincere, but never heard of the Lord? Is he condemned without ever having a reason to repent? So many people die in their sins! Is there any hope? Will they live again, or are they lost forever (Ezekiel 37:3, 11)? God says there is hope! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2009 in Redemption, Religion

 

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Who Am I In Christ?

All mankind are descendants of Adam, who, though created to live forever, are swallowed up in death. I cannot live forever, because Adam’s life had become corrupt and began to decay. As my most ancient ancestor, he defined me. He was my truth. My power to know was written in the map of life that I inherited ultimately from him. Adam was my way. I could experience only what he could. He was a rebel, so how could I be more than him? What Adam gave up, I cannot inherit from him. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2009 in Redemption, Religion

 

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Who Am I?

Who am I with respect to God and this world? If Jesus says his Kingdom is not of this world, how can I serve God and keep from being caught up in the way of this world? This world’s way is to draw me away from Christ into its labyrinth of enticements out of which there is no way. So, who am I in this world, and when temptation arises, what exactly is going on in me? Do I have the power to stop sinning? What does God require of me and how does temptation affect me with respect to His demands? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2009 in Religion, Temptation

 

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Cooperative Effort Produces Eternal Results!

The sources of Luke’s gospel are the records given him by many eyewitnesses (Luke 1:2). That is, he was not the eyewitness, but his record is an account of the eyewitness testimony of others. This included the testimony of the Twelve (verse-2), which was believed by so many throughout the world (verse-1), of which Theophilus is an example (verse-3). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2009 in Body of Christ, Religion

 

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Did God’s Original Plan Fail?

Have you ever heard the argument that either God wanted Adam to fail or God gave him an impossible task to perform? Some would claim God foreknew Adam’s failure, so Adam had to fail, because, if God foreknows anything, what he foreknows must come to pass. Some have even gone so far as to say eating of the forbidden fruit was a good thing! They argue that God concluded it was a natural progression of man to desire to know for himself—to experiment, if you will, and decide what is or is not good for him. Is any of this true? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2009 in Rebellion, Religion

 

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Did Jesus Have To Die?

Was the Crucifixion necessary or was it sort of bad luck? Who decided Jesus had to die and when? Did God decide to have his Son killed, and, if so, wasn’t this malicious?

As a Christian I see that God is not malicious. What could possibly be malicious in God becoming man and being crucified in order that we might have eternal life? The problem is some unbelievers see the idea of the crucifixion in precisely that scenario. Why should God killing off his Son be necessary? This whole scheme is god’s work: sin, death, sacrifice, redemption the whole spectrum of the Biblical account. Why set it up like this? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2009 in Redemption, Religion

 

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Jesus Before Pilate

son-of-godGiven that the religious leaders of the day found Jesus guilty of blasphemy, this was nothing to Pilate. So, we must ask: for what charge was Jesus crucified? What did the Jewish authorities say to the Roman governor? First of all, they were vague. They wanted Pilate to kill Jesus just because they found him guilty in the Sanhedrin. They desired the Roman governor to rubber stamp their decision (John 18:29-30), but this didn’t work. Pilate told them to punish him themselves, but they wanted the death penalty, which only Pilate had authority to administer (John 18:31-32). But, before Pilate could leave they began shouting accusations of insurrection. Notice: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2009 in Blasphemy, Religion

 

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Jesus Before the Sanhedrin

Blasphemy

from Google Images

On what basis in Jewish law was Jesus convicted by the Sanhedrin? Matthew and Mark say the high priest accused Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65; Mark 14:63). Did Jesus commit blasphemy? If not, why did the high priest believe he did or at least was able to convince the other priests present that Jesus spoke blasphemy? Luke records the trial held by the Sanhedrin in the morning: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2009 in Blasphemy, Religion

 

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Spiritual Sleep

As Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, he returned to the disciples three times and found them sleeping (Matthew 26:40-44; Mark 14:37-41; Luke 22:45). The first and second times, Jesus returned to them hoping the fruit of answered prayer would become evident in them. He prayed for his Father to remove the cup of depression from him (see, “Bearing Away Our Sins“), that is, the cup of deadly silence in their fellowship. Twice, he came looking for that second hand encouragement, that he might be strengthened. When Jesus prays, the Scriptures say he is always answered (John 11:41-42). The Father waited for the third session of prayer, giving the three disciples every opportunity to be used of God and bring strength and encouragement to Jesus in answer to his prayer, but they failed, as I so often do. They all testified of their own strength and loyalty to Christ. They could not believe that they would desert him. They were filled with the thoughts of glory issuing from their own hearts, but failed to stand with Jesus in the hour of prayer (see: “Watch and Pray”). They failed to listen for God to speak to them. I am desensitized by dwelling at the border of righteousness or the hedge that God has placed around me, and I often fail to listen for that “still small Voice” of God within. Therefore, just as Daniel waited twenty-one days for his answer, because of a spiritual battle (Daniel 10:2-3, 7-14), so Jesus waited until his third session of prayer, before his Father answered him with the comfort and strength of an angelic visit. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2009 in Religion, Temptation

 

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The Gethsemane

If Jesus was troubled with the apparent break in fellowship between him and his Father, how could the angel strengthen him?

I will offer a crude, but, I believe, a fairly accurate example of how Jesus could have been strengthened by the presence of the angel in Gethsemane. I believe I understand Jesus’ plight, at least in part, because of what occurred between my own father and me. I am the eldest of eight children. When I was in my twenties, my dad did something that hurt our relationship. In fact, I withheld my love for him. He hurt me, though he did not intend to do so, but I wanted to hurt him. This went on for about two years, before we were reconciled on his death bed. I tried even then to hold back the love I had for him, but I broke down and wept into his lap. Through my sobs, I could hear him say, as his hand stroked my head, “I knew he still loved me.” Up until then, my dad would not speak of his dying. Afterward, he did. I believe that our reconciliation strengthened him. He never wanted to appear weak. After we were reconciled, I believe he was able both to face death and speak about it without breaking down. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2009 in Religion, Temptation

 

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Bearing Away Our Sins

As Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives in the garden called Gethsemane, his Father sent an angel to him to strengthen him (see “Praying Through Gethsemane“). What could the angel possibly do for Jesus? How can an angel strengthen God who became a man? There is an interesting account of an angel strengthening Daniel in Daniel chapter ten. Here the prophet was praying and fasting for three weeks (Daniel 10:1-3), when he saw a vision (Daniel 10:5-6). Daniel lost all his strength, and he fell prostrate with his face toward the ground (Daniel 10:8-9). The angel had to strengthen him so he could stand (Daniel 10:10-11). The prophet was unable to speak, and with each command, the angel had to strengthen him more and more (Daniel 10:15-19). Daniel experienced a similar situation during another vision (Daniel 8:1, 17-18, 26) when the angel had to physically strengthen the fear stricken prophet. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2009 in Religion, Temptation

 

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